CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - He's just a big old country boy who loves his dogs, his Cadillac, and his family, not necessarily in that order.
For the past few years former Live 5 midday host Mike Hiott has been back home in the woods where he feels most comfortable, but his deep radio voice still resonates with authority.
"I miss the people," Mike said. "I don't miss the schedule at all!"
The 73-year-old lives live with his three dogs on 1,600 acres of pine trees he calls Hiott Farms. He lives in his father's house and has won a preservation award for restoring the old home site.
His son is within hollering distance on the farm, and his cousin lives just up the road.
"I sleep till I feel like getting up and then I cook my breakfast, I feed my dogs, and maybe go buy some groceries. By the time I get through unloading the groceries, it's dark again," said Mike.
Mike has fond memories of the people he worked with like Debi Chard and Harve Jacobs, who were in radio with him before they became local TV stars.
He also remembers a TV promotion when he fell on top of Charlie Hall after the hot air balloon they were riding in made a hard landing on the ground in somebody's cow pasture near Summerville.
"I couldn't help it," Mike recalled with laughter. "When we finally lurched to a stop, here's Charlie smiling. He said, 'I think you can get off now, dear!'"
On set, Mike always enjoyed teasing me a lot, and I threw it right back at him! We enjoyed each other's company!
"I remember when you had black hair and I remember I had some too," he told me. "You've been around a long time. I think when you retire, I'm gonna come interview you!"
He has pictures throughout his house of his career in radio and TV; on air jobs that took him to Dallas, Cincinnati, Columbia, Savannah, and of course, right here at Live 5.
But that seems long ago, and now Mike is content being a solitary man, tending to his dogs, his lawn, and his pine trees out in the woods of Colleton County on Hiott Farms.
"I'm just kind of kickin' back, relaxing out here in the country"