Heralding Harold Taft anew -- in video of a 1982 weathercast
05/22/09 11:59 AM
By ED BARK
The May "sweeps" ratings period at long last is over. So let's cleanse the palate with this look at former D-FW weather giant Harold Taft, who began at Fort Worth-based WBAP-TV (later to become KXAS/NBC5) on Oct. 31, 1949 and endured all the way until his last forecast on Aug. 30, 1991. He died less than a month later -- of cancer -- on Sept. 28, 1991.
The above photo is from the 1970s, when Taft teamed with (left to right) Boyd Matson (still wanted in these parts for killing a tablecloth), Chip Moody, Ward Andrews and Russ Bloxom.
The below video, the best I've seen of a full Taft forecast, is from 1982. His deskmates are Jane Jayroe and Dave Layman.
Taft's famed hand-drawn weather maps are still in play here. Watch for them at the 2:25 mark after he first grudgingly uses an electronic map and some black-and-white satellite pictures.
"I will not guarantee you that you will not have some rain at your house tomorrow. Or wherever you might be," Taft says earlier. You could take it to the bank.
Current NBC5 chief meteorologist David Finfrock was hand-picked by Taft and learned at the feet of the master. He's been at the station since 1975. But as Finfrock would readily agree, there was only one Harold Taft.
And here he is: