With the passing of time, so go the passing of icons.
We’ve lost a few in the last year or two, but none more significant than our own Joe Cox.
How many of you, when you heard of the passing of Cap’n Sandy, started singing the jingle? It was infectious, and even if you couldn’t memorize the 50 states, you could sure memorize that song after one or two times.
Part of the fun of watching Cap’n Sandy was when he would open Davy Jones’ Locker and try to snatch that card out of Calamity Clam’s mouth without getting his hand pinched. It was an edge-of-your-seat moment. He got clapped a time or two, but it was always funny.
And Wilbur the Weatherbird, dropping out of the ceiling with a card in his beak ... all those props were at his beck and call, and if you were a little kid, it was your favorite part of evening television fare. I think he used to come on right before Andy Griffith ... I’ll have to check the font of trivia knowledge about that (i.e. “Little Brother”).
Mom and Pop would tune every night to see what was happening in Savannah even though we were miles away sitting in our military brig-like housing on Fort Stewart, and all of us kids would dance around Irish-jig fashion and sing the Cap’n Sandy song when it came on. What a bunch of fools.
Truth is, everyone we knew did it, too.
Pop would look at us over his reading glasses like he couldn’t believe he’d helped to create these bouncing idiots, and Mom would be suckin’ on a cig, laughing at us. Every night.
I remember coming home from work one night, years later, hoping to get there in time to see the news, and to my shock, no Cap’n Sandy.
“Where’s my Cap’n?” I shrieked.
The two little bros came in with long faces, kicking toys across the living room floor.
“He RETIRED!” they muttered, close to tears.
Not my icon. Not my mentor.
When I was in the sixth grade, we had to prepare a speech about what we wanted to be when we grew up.
I already knew.
I wanted to be Cap’n Sandy’s sidekick.
I wanted to be a weathergirl.
I wanted to know where the weather was happening. I wanted to announce that it “was gonna be another HOT one!” I wanted to wear the cap and the jacket. But mostly, I wanted to test Davy Jones’ Locker and see if I could beat
Calamity Clam at her game. I was determined to be a meteorologist, the new fangled term for a weatherman.
I knew that I was the only girl in the whole sixth grade across the United States that wanted to be a weathergirl, and I was determined to be the first.
Well, ya’ll know that didn’t happen.
I did think about becoming a weathergirl for quite a long time, but just never got around to getting educated about it.
Cap’n Sandy, however, was always there to tell us when the tides were high, when the tides were low, when the fishin’ was good, and when to leave the house with an umbrella. I only remember one time when he said there might be a chance of snow — and that was more excitement than that little military house could stand.
It was never quite the same after Joe left the scene. You can get the weather just about any time, any where now — but no one can deliver the props, the laid-back smile, or the deep sultry voice that our Cap’n Sandy had.
He’s been greatly missed from the small screen for some time, but his legend will be forever embedded in our hearts and minds.
God bless you Cap’n, I hope the weather’s nice up there.