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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Long-time South Florida weatherman Bob Weaver Dead at 77.

Bob passed away from cancer yesterday. He was the weatherman at Channel 4 in Miami for over fifty years and one of the most recognizable faces in South Florida television. Known for making jokes(some of which I've borrowed) and if I recall bad hair pieces. Someone feel free to correct me. I won't forget Bob Weaver as will many other South Floridians. RIP.

Open Post- Bright & Early, Assorted Babble,

Bob Weaver, the South Florida TV pioneer known as Weaver the Weatherman, died Saturday of cancer. He was 77.

"This is very unexpected. He only became ill about four or five weeks ago," said Myra Weaver, his wife of 32 years. "He'll be missed forever."

A graduate of the University of Miami, Mr. Weaver was a close friend of fellow Hurricane Ralph Renick, the legend who was Miami's first news anchor, and Bernie Rosen, WTVJ-Ch. 6's longtime sports director and still a contributor to the station.

Mr. Weaver joined WTVJ, the market's first TV station, as an intern shortly after graduating in 1949. Those were the days when everyone chipped in by doing a little extra. Mr. Weaver read commercials and station identifications from the announcer's booth, pasted photos on cardboard so that they could be displayed on screen, filled in on sports updates and did other odd jobs around the studio. Within a year he became the station's weatherman, a position he held until 2003.

Myra Weaver said her husband remained busy since retiring, doing charity work, voiceovers and commercials.

As often happens with weather forecasters, Mr. Weaver became one of the station's highest profile and most popular figures, perhaps second only to Renick. Rosen recalled an event in 1966. The University of Miami was playing a Friday night football game against Iowa and the weather conditions were horrific all day. Mr. Weaver went on the air, according to Rosen, and assured the audience that the worst would be over by game time, so football fans should not change plans to attend the game.

How generously Mr. Weaver was shading reality is a matter of conjecture, Rosen said.

As Mr. Weaver and Rosen made their way into the Orange Bowl, it was still pouring. "When people saw us, they started booing," Rosen said. "Bob stopped and talked to anyone who wanted to talk to him. He told them he was trying to make them feel better about going to the game with his forecast. By the time he finished, they were all applauding us, even though it was still raining."

Mr. Weaver also was a big fan of greyhound racing during the sport's heyday in the '70s and '80s. He was only a $2 player but he enjoyed the camaraderie at the track, particularly at the now defunct Biscayne, which had a small lounge for the media and dogmen. He struck up a friendship with the late dog owner Dick Andrews, who promised to name a promising greyhound for him. Andrews kept his word, dubbing a well-bred dog Weaver the Weatherman. It didn't turn out to be a champion and Mr. Weaver's involvement was solely emotional, but he was as proud as the owner of a Kentucky Derby winner whenever the dog won.

He also had an avocation as an auctioneer at local charity events. Even after his health took a turn for the worse, he kept promises previously made to host events. "He did one about a month ago," WTVJ colleague and longtime friend Bob Mayer said. "He had to be brought in in a wheelchair but when the time came for the auction, he got out of the chair and stood at the podium like nothing was wrong. That's the kind of guy Bob was. He was the finest, sweetest gentleman I've ever known."

Mr. Weaver is survived by Myra, their sons Jason and Shane, his son Robert by a previous marriage, and a 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter.

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