I saw something that caught my interest on the local news online service I subscribe to - Gantdaily.com - yesterday or maybe it was Friday. Can't remember cause that involves my short term memory which apparently is toast.
Anyway, it was an article about my former boss being given yet another honor or award as he was put in as the first person to be admitted to the Punxsy Phil's Weather Forecasting Awards thing. That's not the correct title for this and when I went back to check it out on the GantDaily.com site, the story had been taken down. However, in the interest of complete accuracy about this item, I e-mailed the editor to ask her to please give me the exact title of the award, etc. I'm sure she'll respond to me but not in time for this posting. I'll correct those omissions later because if I don't write this post now, it might just slip my mind completely.
Anyway - the person being honored was none other than Dr. Joel Myers, owner/founder of "The World's Largest Private Weather Forecasting Service." And, it just so happens I worked there at AccuWeather for seven years back in the 90's. (That would be the 1990's as opposed to the 1890's for those of you who like to harass me about being from the dark ages.)
This company has been in operation since 1962 when Dr. Myers (Joel) began it - working out of a phone booth is how the story goes - while he was a grad student at Penn State University. How it grew over the 40 plus years it has been in operation is quite a testimony to his genius for business as well as his high level of knowledge about meteorology.
The funny thing - to me - is that about the time that Joel was beginning his company, I probably met him then through a former classmate of his at Penn State.
One of my closest friends from high school - still is one of my best friends to this day - was hired after graduation for a secretarial position on campus in the Meteorology Department of the University. It was while working there in that capacity that she met, began dating and subsequently married a grad student who just happened to be good friends with Joel - and for that matter, they still are good friends with him too. I spent a weekend in 1962 over at my friend's apartment, attended the Penn State/Maryland football game after which, we "partied" a bit with some of my friend's boyfriend's roommates and fellow grad students and that was where I first met the future Dr. Joel Myers, the astute owner/founder of AccuWeather!
Years later, I responded to an ad in the Centre Daily Times for a data entry position and subsequently was hired by AccuWeather in that capacity. It was then that I realized I had actually met Joel many years earlier and that we shared common friends.
I have to tell you I have nothing but the utmost respect for Joel and his organization - they do perform a very valuable service and one that can be quite tricky at times too. Mother Nature sometimes likes to fool even those people who study the weather at great length you know!
It is absolutely amazing though to see, to observe, the forecasters at work. The radar screens they use to determine where a front is now, how long it will take it to pass through this or that area, how much rainfall or wind speed or snow accumulation will this bring along with other bits and pieces of information they extract from those radar readings absolutely amazes me!
Four years ago this spring, I had to have radiation treatments for the cancer that had been diagnosed in my colon and to my surprise, the doctor in charge of the radiation department at Altoona Hospital (Dr. Jack Shocker) it turned out was fascinated by weather forecasting. During a conversation with Dr. Shocker on one of my treatment days, he learned I had formerly worked at AccuWeather and told me how he was really in awe of Dr. Myers, his work and his organization. He also mentioned he would dearly love to take a tour of the facility in State College and I suggested he contact Dr. Myers or some member of the AccuWeather staff and set up such a tour as they do that frequently for people who are interested in learning about weather and the various phenomenoms involved with forecasting. I don't know if Dr. Shocker ever followed through and got the tour he was interested in at AccuWeather, but just a fyi here that if anyone is interested in something like that, it is available, upon request through their offices in State College. Joel is very proud - and rightfully so too - of his organization, the work/service they perform and especially too of the building he had built to house all their many services.
Back to my extending much deserved congratulations to Joel though - the award was in recognition of his knowledge and entrepreneurship in founding AccuWeather. Not quite as simplistic as "Forecaster of the Year" exactly - much more involved than that and as I said earlier in this post, I will put in the exact details as soon as I receive them!
Although I must confess there were times when I grumped and grumbled a bit about the work place there - it can be very demanding to try to keep up with the sheer volume of weather data that comes flying at all levels of employees in that place. But, who doesn't from time to time growl about various issues with any job too. However, overall, I'd have to say that I really did enjoy working at AccuWeather, met a lot of terrific individuals while there and maybe even learned a couple of things about the weather as well.
So - here's a big hearty congratulations to Dr. Joel Myers, President of AccuWeather and meteorologist extrodinaire! Job well done, Joel!
Now, will Eliot Abrams be the next in line to enter the Weather Forecaster's Hall of Fame? His puns alone should work to get him some type of honor in that respect.