Connecticut Association of Schools

I did the weather live from the AquaTurf Club in Southington, site of the Connecticut Association of Schools Program Recognition Banquet. That’s a mouthful. Basically, schools from across the state are cited for specific programs they devise. Then, all the ideas are presented in a booklet so each school can adopt the best ideas.

It’s good to see these teachers and principals let their hair down for an evening.

The AquaTurf is well suited for this kind of affair. It is huge and the service is excellent. I’ve been doing this particular program for 10 years and the banquet hall looks as fresh and well kept as the first day I went there.

The specialty of the house is a Fred Flinstone sized piece of prime rib. It’s an Atkins orgy on a plate! Some day, I expect to arrive only to see cows marching in a picket line out front.

The first few weather hits were easy, out on the porch behind the dining room. The setting is beautiful with a small lake on one side and a waterfall on the other.

I’m sure there have been dozens… more like hundreds of brides photographed here.

Though the weather featured thunderstorms, I was in tight contact with the station, knew what was on the radar, and had no trouble keeping up. In a more volatile situation, I would have handed the weather duties to someone standing by at the station.

For 6:00, we moved inside. This is probably the strangest live shot I do all year, because I am doing the weather and emceeing the ceremony, all at the same time!

I start on the dais and then, as the time draws near (wearing a wireless microphone) walk to the camera position… but I’m still emceeing. I try my best to keep the audience attuned to what’s going on and in a good mood… and then, we’re on-the-air.

When the weather is finished, it’s back to the dais and on with the show.

It doesn’t sound like it should work, and maybe it doesn’t. I’m in a bad position to make that judgment. But, they ask me to do it that way every year, and I’m glad to oblige. It is as close as I come to juggling on TV.

On my drive up, I called my mom and asked her what she remembered about my elementary school days. I was expecting to hear about disappointing parent-teacher conferences, or the time the principal of P.S. 163Q, Mary M. Leddy, called my mom in because I was telling dirty jokes. Instead, she remembered the book I wrote while I was in first grade and how the principal and my teacher made a big deal of it – going so far as to hold my book up in front of the assembly. I actually remember that too.

I told that story to the assembled crowd tonight. My point to them was, nearly 50 years after the fact, my mom remembers, as do I, the encouragement I received in the first grade. Teachers have incredible impact on our lives, and I’m glad I helped celebrate them tonight.

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