Randy Mac’s Livin’ It Up: Weather forecasting is a slippery road

 

Randy Mac

Randy Mac

I’ve made mention in earlier articles of my radio work when we lived in Haskell, not far from Abilene.  (Abilene and the surrounding Rolling Plains area was our market.)  Live radio has its moments. So does recorded radio.

Case in point: I was doing live radio from 6 to 9 every Sunday morning, playing gospel music during those hours. KVRP was a country station and, though a small-town station, had owners who were keeping up with the “cutting edge” technology of the day.

Therefore, although no human was actually at the station from 6:00 in the p.m. to 6:00 in the a.m., those listening wouldn’t know that, thanks to “voice tracks” — recordings made during the day that the computer would play during the night, making it sound like a D.J. was actually sittin’ there, talkin’ into the mic and playing the music. There were many nights that I was “on-the-air” all night and home sleeping at the same time.

Every hour a recorded weather forecast would play at the :15 and :45 slot. Whoever was recording the night’s “trax” would take the late afternoon forecast and make two recordings with slight variations, making it a bit less obvious to the steady listener that it was a recording.

One winter day I was scheduled to record the overnight “trax.”  I was also leading worship in a revival in Sweetwater, a little over an hour from Haskell. In order to be to the church on time, I would have to leave Haskell before that late afternoon forecast came in.

So I took the 4 p.m. forecast into the production room.  The forecast was calling for an uneventful night, but warning that a strong norther would be coming in sometime after sunrise the next day, with moisture falling and temps plummeting quickly to well below freezing.

My recorded forecast went something like this: “Your KVRP weather forecast calling for clear skies tonight with a low of 38. Look for things to change dramatically tomorrow morning as a strong cold front makes its way through the Rolling Plains, bringing with it rain and freezing temperatures in the mid-20s.  Temperatures will not make it out of the 20s tomorrow. Travel could become treacherous.”

I loaded my recordings into the system, put the computer in charge and headed to Sweetwater.

That night when I walked outside after the revival service I found my old Chevy van…covered in ice, with more sleet and snow falling on top of it. All the way back to Glen Rose I kept my radio tuned to KVRP, hearing myself talking of the “clear skies and low of 38,” and hoping that someone would go to the station and record a new, updated version of the weather forecast.

They didn’t.

And so I just figured that everyone listening to KVRP that night and convinced I was really there, was hearing my forecast and thinking, “That goofball needs to take a look outside.”

Life’s an adventure. I’m livin’ it up!

Randy McLelland, known as “Randy Mac,” is pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and and entertainer. He can reached at randymac@randymac.com.

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