Don Nelson looks back at ABC-13 career

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Don Nelson to retire
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Don Nelson reflects on some of his favorite memories at ABC-13

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- He was Houston TV's jack of all trades, master of none. His niche, said a former news director, is that he didn't have a niche.

Don Nelson's done everything at least once.

Thanks to his long running talk show, "Good Morning Houston," and the morning news, Don did just about everything even more than once, from cooking with the world's greatest chefs to collecting their cookbooks.

"I had almost 640 cooks books after 17 years," Nelson said. "You know I said I had like an r-20 insultation rating in the attic from cook books."

He interviewed the biggest stars, too many to count. He hosted the stations biggest events from Share Your Holidays to the Rodeo Parade and The Power of Houston. He even traveled the world for the International Festival, riding on elephants and sampling some of the strangest foods.

His favorite event, though, involved his favorite food.

"One thing I enjoyed the most and drove me crazy the most was the cookoff," Nelson said.

For more than 20 years, Don's team of BBQ cookers hosted thousands in their tent at the annual World Championship BBQ. This kid from Pittsburgh became such Texas cowboy that he even bought a horse for team roping.

"His name was BOC, Bought on Credit, and my wife said, 'just what you need, a horse you can't ride'," said Nelson.

His team roping lasted until cowboy actor Ben Johnson told him he'd never seen anyone do so many wrong things all at once. It was a rare failure for guy with so much talent, a bigger than life guy who will say goodbye to the morning show he made number one.

"People say 'what's it like' and I say there's nothing glamourous about getting up in the middle of the night," Nelson said.

He'll miss the people he says and the adrenaline rush of live TV, but Don is retiring knowing he accomplished his biggest goal: To be who he is on and off camera. With this guy, what you see is what you get, genuine and honest.

Are you Don Nelson's biggest fan? Then we want to hear from you! Let us know your favorite memories of Don and why you're his biggest fan. Send your videos to or use the #abc13eyewitness hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.

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