The KCBA Weather Dude
In the late 1980s, with my producer Tony Hill, I had a weekly half-hour show on KCBA Channel 35 called "In Your Backyard" that featured local and regional historical stuff. Then in 1989, KCBA decided to start up an evening news broadcast, and they asked if I wanted to be the weather anchor.
What? Are you kidding? I responded. Doesn't everybody? (Besides, what's to know about the weather around here besides "low clouds and fog burning off by noon?") I was able to get Cabrillo College to give me a leave of absence, and so it was that in September of 1989, after a month's rehearsing and learning the news business, we went on the air. There were just the three of us on-air anchors – Kirstie Wilde, a veteran of the TV news business in LA who acted as our den mother; Craig Kilbourne, young handsome mid-Westerner with no TV experience and me. Each evening we went into our respective bathrooms (brand-new studio, but no dressing rooms…), put on our make-up and raced out to get onto the set before the big hand hit the 12.
Eventually, the three founding anchors left (voluntarily) KCBA – Craig went on to ESPN and Big Time TV (ESPN, Daily Show, Late-Late show), Kirstie went home to raise a family in Pacific Grove, and I went back to the Cabrillo College classroom.
It was a crazy, exuberant, heady time and provided me with the mantra that has gotten me through tough times ever since: "I've done live television news; I can do anything."
50 Years in Harness
Recently I was startled to realize that September 2011 will be the 50th anniversary of walking onto the campus of Elk Grove Senior High School (Sacramento County) to begin my teaching career. Since then I have taught formally and informally in every imaginable situation from being Varsity Baseball Coach at Elk Grove to college and university classrooms, to the set of the KCBA evening news as a full-time weather anchor, to a bus careening across the Mongolian steppe. Every moment is a “teachable moment.”
My Life is a Field Trip
Since retiring from my full-time faculty position at Cabrillo College in the spring of 2000, I have been leading groups across Central California and occasionally across the world. My life has become a series of field trips, and through the good graces of Cabrillo College Extension and now our own fledgling company, Central Coast Secrets, I continue to delight in taking groups to places and hearing even the most informed laugh in surprise and say, “I didn’t know that!”
If not now? When?
I’ve decided to spend this 50th anniversary year indulging myself. Taking those trips both near and far that I’ve always wanted to. So, you’ll notice that the list of adventures coming is quite eclectic, ranging from the wilds of Swanton on Santa Cruz County’s North Coast, to Tibet. If it seems as if I’m in a hurry, trying to stuff the proverbial ten pounds of Jello into a one pound sack, I am. I’m a very lucky man to have been able to perform the most noble of professions – that of a teacher – and for 50 years. And I plan to continue.
Come Join Me
The world is a wondrous web of interconnectedness. Let me show you. And don’t count on any of these adventures coming around again. If you see something that interests you, grab it now.