Earl Finckle - Mr. Weather - dies
When I worked at WOWO, Earl Finckle, who died this past Friday, was the voice of weather. His slightly raspy, down-home voice fit right in at the station, which pumped his forecasts out across the Midwest and near South with its 50,000 watts.
Listeners didn't seem to care that Earl wasn't in Fort Wayne -- or most of the other cities where he was the voice of "the weather." Or that sometimes the telephone line noise almost drowned him out. More often than not, when people in Fort Wayne talked about the weather, I remember hearing back, "What does Earl say?"
His Central Weather Service was in Chicago, and there's something right with the karma there -- the city of broad shoulders was home to the man on whose intellectual shoulders rested many the fortunes of farmers, pilots, and just plain folk wanting to know if it was OK to go to the lake.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Finckle died Friday in Highland Park Hospital. He was 81.
You'll find several snippets from his forecasts on the airchecks on the WOWO history site.
It's a reminder that no matter how many computers, databases, interconnected networks and flashy green-screen graphics, one of the most powerful forces has always been a person's judgment to make sense of it all and personality to make us listen, read or watch.
Thank you, Earl, for reminding us of that day after day, even though we didn't know it at the time.