Sunday, December 11, 2016

OK, George. It's time for the story of the Christmas that Possum Riley made it snow. I promise, this is true and you can look up the climate data. In 1969, I was doing a midday show on WKGN as Christmas was coming on. The National Weather Service forecasts called for cold weather, but little or no precipitation. I took it as a challenge and started talking about how, even in the weather service didn't know it yet, we were going to have a white Christmas in Knoxville. I started doing "snow dances" in the studio. I called NWS and put a forecaster (who was really a hoot) on the air and he explained it would be cold enough for snow, but the little bit of moisture in the air would move out before the temperature dropped enough. I, of course, told him he was wrong and that it would snow on Christmas morning. That bit played out for three days on the air. I was dating a very sweet girl and her mother wanted me to come to dinner Christmas Eve night and then spend the night and open gifts with them the next morning. By bed time, the snow bit was forgotten. The next morning, though, I was awakened by this loud whoop and my girlfriend's younger brother burst into the guest room shouting, "Possum, you did it.!" I was trying to figure out what I'd done when he pulled the drapes open and big, fat snowflakes were falling. I looked at him and grinned and said, "See what happens when you hang with the Possum?" Check out the stats; seven inches of snow fell that Christmas Day. I had more fun than the law allowed the next time I got the forecaster on the air. He was a really good sport about it.

Possum Riley
Proud Wall of Famer at Ktown Radio 101