Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My favorite weather guy comes to Poteau

On Monday evening, a friend told my wife that Garrett Lewis was coming to Poteau.

I must admit, Lewis is by far my favorite weather forecaster. He is accurate and you can tell he cares about his job and the people of the Channel 5 viewing area.

Each year, Lewis makes a tour of the area on his bicycle. That was his reason for coming to Poteau. I thought it would be a good photo op and decided to be at the Chamber office when he arrived.

Whoa, I thought when I got to the office, there must be some kind of meeting going on. The parking lot was packed and several people were milling about inside.
No meeting. The people were there for Garrett. I talked to Karen Wages for a minute and listened as the crowd discussed where Garrett was and how soon he would arrive.

I went outside with my trusty camera to get a shot of Garrett. Several others soon joined me. We waited, and waited some more. Yes, more people showed up. Finally, we had a Garrett sighting!

And then, we saw Garrett turn down Dewey Avenue, a block north of the Chamber office. You could almost feel the worry! Garrett went the wrong way. He was preceded by the green Camaro courtesy of Hug Chevrolet in Van Buren, outfitted like a Nascar car.

The anticipation grew. Where was Garrett? Did he know where he was going? Our chamber manager went down the block looking for him.

More people gathered. You could cut the suspense with a butter knife. Alas, another Garrett sighting! The channel 5 news crew arrived to film Garrett’s arrival. I strategically moved behind the camera, but still had a good spot to take a picture of Garrett.

The semi-old Craigman has been on television before and the old tale of television adding a few pounds is not accurate in my case. It adds much more than a few pounds. Plus I was afraid the sun shining off the old dome might blind the people watching on television if we did have a shot of me.

Finally, Garrett and his entourage turned back on Broadway and came toward the chamber office. People started clapping. Honest. I snapped a few photographs and in this one, Garrett was smiling and waving at…ME!

Unfortunately I cut his arm off in the picture. Drats. Garrett pedaled into the back parking lot and got off his bike. The crowd did not rush him, but they did approach quickly to shake his hand and Garrett smiled, shook hands, hugged a few (eek, he had to have some sweat going, I thought). Several in the crowd told Garrett he was their favorite weather guy and welcomed him to Poteau.

They popped the trunk on the Camaro and were kind enough to hand out t-shirts. Garrett was about like you would expect. He seemed to be having as good of a time as the people did who came to see him.

I had to get back to work. But last night, I watched the 6 p.m. news to see how it turned out. My wife and I about had our first fight as I wanted to watch the news but she kept flipping over to King of Queens.

Finally, it was weather time and she switched off Doug and Carrie. Garrett did the weather and then they got to the story on Garrett’s trip to Poteau. It started with him at the Choctaw Travel Plaza.

He drove down Broadway and talked to the camera person, pointing out Cavanal.

Finally, they got Garrett turning into the chamber office. I thought all was safe when suddenly, the camera panned and ugh, Craig was on the television. At least the back of Craig. Double ugh. I looked like a bald whale. Luckily, the Craig sighting was brief. And I thought I had lost weight!

They showed Garrett visiting and signing t-shirts. Hmm, I didn’t think of that. I could have had a shirt signed by Garrett. It may seem a little odd, but I doubt most of those shirts won’t be washed very often.

They closed off with Garrett talking to the camera and the Garrett fans standing behind him, saying something I could not make out.

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