It's a historic day at WGBH. Ed Mahoney, longtime security attendant for One Guest Street, has retired. WGBH employees know Ed as the guy with a knack for names, who's quick with a joke, and is as plugged-in to the day's news as any of the news employees.

Friday on Boston Public Radio, Mahoney ventured down to Studio Three to offer a few wise words to Jim Braude, Margery Eagan and listeners. Mahoney joked about how he felt.

"Kinda numb right now, kinda moving around aimlessly."

Mahoney joined up WGBH after more than three decades working at Boston Edison.

"I was a meter-tester for many years. Then I went into the revenue side of it, trying to find people that weren't paying for the service. It comes a time in life that you have to make a new direction," Mahoney said. "I'd been there for 37 years. It was time for something different, and this is different. It turned out a lot nicer than I thought it would be."

Mahoney was charged with monitoring the comings and goings at One Guest. He oversaw hundreds of staff people as well as the many guests who traveled through WGBH doors. Mahoney told Braude and Eagan he'd never had to get physical with would-be intruders or ne'er-do-wells. He also said — emphatically — he'd never used a weapon.

"No, no, no. Pencil at all times."

Mahoney said "99 percent" of guests he talked to were pleasant, and a few in particular made an impression.

"Yo-Yo Ma, Keith Lockhart -- very friendly people. Mayor Walsh, very, very friendly, down to earth."

"The politicians as a rule are very friendly, because they do want your vote," Mahoney said. "Yo-Yo Ma, Keith Lockhart — very friendly people. They come right up to you, say 'How are ya?' [...] Mayor Walsh, I found him to be very, very friendly. He'd just come in, just very down to earth."

"There was one guy who'd come in, he had to do a podcast," Mahoney remembered. "I thought he was a surgeon when he first come in. Turns out after he waited all of five minutes that he was a poet. I said to myself, 'What kind of a poet could this guy be?' I tried to diffuse him with humor, with this, that and the other thing. Nothing worked with this guy. Fortunately, about five minutes later somebody came out and got him."

The most surprising guest Mahoney saw strolling through the glass doors ended up being his own son, Michael.

"I was talking to the woman, Azita [Gharamani]," planning editor and booker for Greater Boston, Mahoney said. "'What is the subject you have today?' She said it was something to do with gaming. I said, 'Oh, my son, he's into gaming a lot.' My younger son. So on and so forth. And about five minutes later I look out the window, and there he is coming into the studio!" 

Ed Mahoney's advice on job longevity: stay upbeat, stay engaged.

"I had a great time here. I think it's what you make of it. If you say, 'Well, I'm gonna come in and try to have a positive attitude,' and not think of it, just be it, you're far more successful than [if] you come in and you have a long face on."