Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Watching The News

When I was a child, we used to watch the news on TV from the stations in Savannah. They were the nearest stations to my home town.

Back then, they only had two stations: WSAV (channel 3) was the NBC affiliate, who also carried some ABC stuff. WTOC (channel 11) was the CBS affiliate.

I liked WSAV better. After all, they carried Star Trek and Get Smart. Of course, WTOC carried Gilligan's Island and Green Acres. So, I did watch WTOC sometimes.

Yes, both had shows I liked, but when it came to the news, it was WSAV hands-down.

Remember (if you're old enough, that is) that NBC (WSAV) had the Huntley-Brinkley Report. The one that had the intro from the second movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as the theme song. And ended with "Good night, David." "Good night, Chet. And good night from NBC News."

I liked the Huntley-Brinkely Report. Much, much better than Walter Cronkite. My dislike for Cronkite is not new, nor even recent.

Anyway, I liked the news on WSAV.

I also liked the local news on WSAV. Well, I watched it. It came on at 6:00 PM. And it was one of the old-style newscasts with a block of three programs making up the 30-minute news block.

At 6:00 PM, it was Dateline Savannah. And I don't remember anything about the news anchors. But, since it was what channel 3 carried, it's what we watched.

I don't remember much about the sports show. Other than the theme was something like "Heeeeeyyyyy, sports! It's time for sports..." or something.

But the weather program was Cap'n Sandy. The weatherman was a fellow named Joe Cox, although we didn't know that for like years later when they re-did the news block and made him dress different.

Cap'n Sandy was dressed as a sailor and had a theme song:
"Yo-ho! Yo-ho! What's the weather going to be?
Here's the man who knows; let's take a look and see!
Here is Captain Sandy with the weather he has found
For Savannah and for Chatham and the counties all around."

Yes, it's scary that I remember that.

Anyway, Cap'n Sandy did his little weather shtik that involved him standing in front of a map of the US (just the outlines of the 48 contiguous states) drawing "warm fronts" and "cold fronts" and "stationary fronts" before writing down all the temperatures from the various cities across the country. He always ended with Caribou, Maine. I don't know why. Maybe he had a love child up there.

He'd go over to the big thermometer and Wilbur the Weatherbird would come down with the next day's forecast in his mouth. He'd shake or nod his head based on Cap'n Sandy's questions. Of course, you could see the strings on Wilbur. We didn't care.

Cap'n Sandy would head over to Davy Jones' Locker, open the door, and there'd be Calamity Clam. I am not making any of this up. There was a clam in there that had the tide information in it's mouth. And the idea was that Cap'n Sandy would try to grab it out of Calamity Clam's mouth without his hand getting bitten. He usually made it. But not always.

You just don't see newscasts like that anymore. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, or a bad thing.

So, what brought this up? Well, from my window yesterday, I could see rescue crews across the river in Alabama putting boats into the water to search for a body. They found the man. Both the news crews in Columbus had the information: WTVM and WRBL.

It's fascinating to watch news unfold. In a previous career as a news director at a radio station, I saw news unfold.

Fascinating, yes. But sometimes, it's more comforting to watch Cap'n Sandy *.

Update: Thank you, thank you, thank you to tybeebum for the following:

[The YouTube]


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  2. I just can't believe you remember all of that!

  3. OMG! I hadn't thought of the Cap'n Sandy jingle in... decades! Savannah is my childhood home... the tune to the words immediately came to mind.

    There used to be a weekday show for the preschoolers called Romper Room that was sponsored by Starland Daries. I would be having breakfast and getting ready for school when this show came on with another jingle... it was a reminder for me that I was running late...

    Do be a doobee...

    I imagine we share a lot of the same memories... unfortunately, that is the only place where we'll ever again find the Savannah we knew.

    Thanks for the recall!

  4. I can remember watching Cronkite...I used to love watching the news when I was a kid. In high school I was the only one who knew who Paul Volcker was.

    Savannah??? Can you send Paula Deen to me? I just love her!

  5. Don't quite recall Cap'n Sandy. I have a vague recollection. Do remember those "Ac-centuate The Positive" commercials that all the Savannah stations ran in the 1970s.
    I like hokie, though

  6. hope your comments are still open for this old post. Savannah native here as well. Here's Cap'n Sandy with the weather he found in 1964:

  7. Thank you! I really appreciate your sharing the YouTube link. It brings back so many memories.


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