I actually found the time this past weekend to visit WFMY News 2 Meteorologist Rachel Peterson while she did her job. I have been meaning to do it for some time and suddenly, the time was there and the wild hair was planted firmly in my backside.
I got to see her put together a forecast on a computer for the green screen. You know what I’m talking about, where she stands in front of weather maps and puts her lovely hands on high pressure systems. Mmmmmm, very hot.
She led me into the studio where the news is broadcast. The last time that I was in that studio was probably in the early to mid 70’s. I was frequently on a kids show called ‘The Ol’ Rebel Show’. I remember being in the studio sitting on bleachers with all the other kids, drinking Coke and eating peanuts while we watched cartoons on the monitors. I remember the big clocks under those monitors. I remember the set where we were led through one door in a single file line to go through another where the Ol’ Rebel sat and asked your name. It was especially exciting when you were there on your birthday. Then you tune in the next day and there you were on TV. Those were good times.
I remember sitting on the bleachers and looking up into the broadcast booth through the thick glass. The mothers and some fathers were up there watching everything from above. I found it especially fun when some kid would make an embarrassing comment and you could look up into the booth and know exactly which one was the parent.
Now that window belongs to the salespeople at WFMY.
It had been at least 30 years since I’ve been in that studio. I looked for traces of masonry work because the studio seemed a lot bigger back then. Of course, I’m larger now and I take up a hell of a lot more space these days. So, I’ve come to terms with the studio square footage not being decreased over the years.
I also remember the studio being hotter than Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion parties. The lighting technology has most definitely changed over the years. It was actually very pleasant under the lights.
Rachel was roasting pumpkins seeds in the oven of the kitchen set while Greg Kerr taped his sports thing for the morning show. I sat next to a guy named “Crisco”. I’m not sure if I got the spelling right, but that’s the way I’ve always spelled it. Crisco was putting all the robotic cameras into place and pressing buttons on a flat screen. We talked about his job and the difficulty involved. We even talked about his desire to move on and direct films. He’s leaving soon to follow that dream and I wish him luck.
The main thing that surprised me was the ease in which the staff and crew pulled off the news broadcast. It was very smooth and not at all as chaotic as I thought that it would be. Tanya Rivera wasn’t screaming at anyone, Rachel didn’t utter one curse word, and Greg didn’t punch anyone.
As a matter of fact, Tanya and I discussed one of our favorite subjects, wings. I sang the praises of Mango Habanera and Santa Fe that can be found at East Coast Wings while she proclaimed her love for simply the “hot wings”.
It was a fun visit and I wanted to get out of Rachel’s hair ASAP. She had had a very long week and I could see in her beautiful eyes just how tired she was. I went home and watched ‘Medium’ that I had on tape from last Monday.