by: Erica Bryant Updated:CHARLOTTE, NC —
All this week, Channel 9 is celebrating Don Griffin and his 31 years with Action 9.
Griffin's mother, Mary Walser, flipped through pages from his high school yearbook reflecting on his senior year.
"I don't remember the mustache," Griffin's older brother, Ken Walker said.
"I don't remember the full lips either," Walser said.
The teenager nicknamed "Griff" was voted best looking with plans to major in business.
"We were farmers and he would try to work in the field," his mother said.
She said Griffin, one of three brothers, developed a strong work ethic at a very young age and recalled an incident involving an air rifle.
"As she bent over," Walker said. "He shot her."
Griffin accidentally shot his grandmother in the hip and his brother still laughs about it to this day.
Griffin left a legacy in Lexington, N.C., one hour from Charlotte.
A book of notable African-Americans from Davidson County highlights his leadership as president of the South Lexington High School student body.
Griffin began his reporting career at Channel 9 in 1982 after graduating from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a degree in pre-law and political science.
Sean Griffin, one of Griffin's three sons, said he doesn't remember a time when his father didn't work in television— a career that impacted every aspect of his family's lives.
"I got treated totally differently in public with my dad than I did at school," his son said. "It was kind of hard in high school. Kids give you a hard time so they kind of teased me about being Action 9's son."
Don Griffin's family said his drive made him the consumer's champion.
"He would tell me about things happening, about things that he would do," Griffin's mother said. "And I thought he was really doing good. I was proud of him."
She believes Griffin will indulge more in things he loves during retirement including more traveling, more time with his three grandchildren and more time on the golf course.
Claudia Griffin said her husband deserves retirement.
"He works so hard all his life, since he was very little and I am very happy for him," she said.
His brother, Ken Walker, said, "I know he's sad to leave because he likes the work he's doing helping people. I hope he will continue to help even outside this role."
Watch Channel 9 at 5 p.m. Friday for Griffin's final report on Eyewitness News.