Yesterday I read a news story that Dick Goddard, a “weather man” for one of the Cleveland-area TV stations, has announced that he will be retiring in November after having been on the air for 55 years. Goddard, a long-time advocate for animal rights, plans to continue to speak out on animal welfare issues.
It was kind of weird to read the article, because ever-smiling Goddard was one of the local TV personalities I remember from my childhood, growing up in Akron and watching the Cleveland channels. When we moved to Columbus in 1971, we stopped getting the Cleveland stations and my Goddard-watching days ended. I would have guessed that Goddard had stopped broadcasting long before now, so reading that this link to my long-ago childhood is only now getting ready to retire was a bit jarring. It was like learning that, unbeknownst to me, Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans were still doing their show, getting tricked by Mr. Moose and bombarded by ping pong balls, somewhere out in the remote regions of broadcast TV land.
55 years! Five and a half decades in front of the cameras, gesturing at maps and standing in front of Doppler radar screens, filling people in on annual rainfall and the cold front that’s moving in and then engaging in the mindless, cheery chit-chat that makes local TV broadcasts so annoying. That’s just an incredibly long time to be doing the same job. You have to give Dick Goddard credit for sticking it out and establishing a workplace longevity record that most of us can’t even imagine approaching.