As the sun rises on the new year, this makes 30 years of broadcasting for me. I have many remarkable memories in my career and I hope for many more. Please allow me to share 15 moments of my life and career that will always be locked away in my heart.
I was able to share the birth of my two daughters with my TV family; my oldest with KTRE in Lufkin, TX and my youngest, right here on THV11. I was a very proud papa and so grateful to be able to share the joy of new parenthood with viewers.
On March 1, 1997, my career changed forever when more than a dozen violent tornadoes swept across central Arkansas. Tom Brannon and I were on the air for more than 8 hours, and for the first time in Arkansas weather broadcasting, provided live tornado tracking on a street and neighborhood level. Lives were lost, but many more were saved. I was reminded that my job was much more than just forecasting temperatures–there is great responsibility involved.
In 1995, I flew in a C-130 Hurricane Hunter aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico. It was only a simulation, but I got to see firsthand how important the flights are to learn and forecast hurricanes.
My official diagnosis of mild Tourette Syndrome in 2002, and going public with it 2007, led me down a path I never expected. After the story aired, I received hundreds of letters and emails asking me to help family members deal with their personal struggle with Tourette Syndrome and the stigma it can create.
In 2002, I recorded a CD of original weather songs for kids that were fun, educational and helped relieved children’s fear of the weather.
In 2005, as a board member of Kaleidoscope Kids, I had the opportunity to write songs of healing for kids who were grieving the loss of a loved one. I will always be proud of these songs that were born from the hearts of children.
When I first moved to Arkansas in 1996, the station asked me to travel the state with Chuck Dovish. I will never forget first seeing the beauty of the “Natural State.”
New Year’s Eve 1999 was the big “Y2K” celebration. I was asked to flip the switch at the River Market to light up the bridge in celebration the new year!
I was once asked to do a live show from NASA in Houston. I had a private tour of the original and current mission control centers, and was humbled to see the location where President Kennedy announced his dreams for putting a man on the moon.
Although I’ve received Associated Press awards, the awards that mean the most are when I’m voted “Best Weatherman” by viewers in local publications. It means the world to me and I don’t ever take that for granted!
Of course my job allows me to meet many famous people–from Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes to Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top!
Ed Buckner & The Meteors played everywhere for a brief time, opening for more famous folks like Grand Funk Railroad and Dennis DeYoung of STYX!
I have the pleasure of doing school talks all over the state to educate kids about the weather. Now adults are telling me I came to their school when they were kids. Time flies!
I had the honor of starting the “3 Miles of Men” during Komen Race for the Cure. It was especially meaningful as my Mom battling breast cancer at the time.
Recently one evening at dinner I was approached by a proud mom who asked if I would sing Happy Birthday to her 26 year old daughter who watched me since she was 10. I realized what a gift I have to be able to make a difference for others.