Friday, July 01, 2005

Weathermen At WICS For 100, Alex

JeromeProphet has an amusing tale today about WICS-TV Weatherman Gus Gordon. It's funny how Ch. 20 weather people are probably the best known broadcasters in town. In fact, the most famous broadcaster of all time in Springfield was probably Flip Spiceland (and his hair) back in the 1970s. Maybe it's because we can all relate to the weather. I don't know. Flip, of course, went on to fame and fortune on CNN as a weatherman for many years (see link for picture). I think he still works in the Atlanta area.

Does anyone have a Flip Spiceland story? The only time I saw him in person was when I was in high school working at the mall. Flip was out shopping one day and I caught a glimpse of the man and his hair.

And here's a trivia question: Who was the Ch. 20 weatherman who left and was replaced by Gus Gordon? This would have been late 1980s, I believe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike McClelland?

12:21 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Ding, ding, ding...Russ wins.

Mike McClelland indeed. Nice guy. The only time I met Mike was on an occasion when I had no idea who he was. It was about 1985 and I was living/working in Northern Illinois and back in town for a visit. A close friend of mine was a Ch. 20 reporter and we were out at Norb Andy's drinking with some of his WICS coworkers. I found myself sitting across from some unassuming guy and I stuck up a conversation.

"So what do you do at Ch. 20?"

"I do the weather."

"Oh, sorry I don't recognize you. I don't live in town anymore."

And we proceeded to have a nice conversation over a beer.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I had the privilege of working with Mike McClellan for several years at Channel 20. His nickname was "Maps," for obvious reasons. One of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet, and even though he was something of a weather dork (I mean that in the nicest possible way), he had the Hottest. Wife. Ever.

Truly a great guy.

I never really knew Flip, but I heard stories from other Channel 20 staffers over the years. Nothing I can verify, and not suitable for a family blog anyway. Ah, back when we were young and carefree -- and the warm fronts we were most interested in weren't on a weather map.

1:54 PM  
Blogger BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Dish the Flip scoop Jim. We are men of action, discretion does not become us.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flip Spiceland directed (?) "The Music Man" at Muni Opera one summer. This was late 70's, early 80's. I remember thinking that was pretty odd.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flip Spiceland is now out here in LA, CA! I cracked up the first time I saw him, it really brought back memories of Springfield.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only saw Flip once in public. in a quiet corner of some downtown bar. He was with a strikingly good-looking young woman......not his wife. It was pobably a business meeting, you know those TV personnalities.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Ann said...

I go waaaaaay back to the 40's when I believe the radio station (no TV yet) was called WCBS and the main announcer was Stretch Miller (very tall guy) and I believe he did the radio broadcast for the home baseball team The Springfield Brownies which was the farm team for the St Louis Cardinals, I think. The station was located downstairs of a men's clothing store on Fifth Street, across from the Court House. We would go there to watch him do his broadcasting.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite memory or Flip Spiceland is when he opened his evening weather-cast with: "For all of you who are blaming me for the 4 inches of 'partly cloudy' I predicted last night - you should know that I just read this stuff folks!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Couple of comments. First, I lived in Springfield during HS (64-68). I knew Flip Spiceland in college (Illinois State University). He was, as you expect, a Mass Communications major. As people said, he had a face for TV. Good looking kid. I was always sort of jealous of him. He got all the good looking girls. In addition, Stretch Miller went to ISNU (at the time) and was a broadcaster for ISNU sports and as you note, later the St. Cardinals. There's an award here at ISU Athletics as part of the Hall of Fame called the Stretch Miller Award for meritorious service to ISU athletics for those who did not compete. I was actually lucky enough to win that award several years back. I do PA announcing. Never knew Stretch, but now have a life-long connection with him. Great memories! Thanks to all.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Scot said...

I remember Flip forecasting "occasional snow" one night at 6PM. It was occasional, all right. It was occasionally up to your ass to the tune of about 2 feet of snow! Don Hickman and whoever was the sportscaster at the time were riding him unmercifully on the next newscast.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mike McClellan went to WMBD in Peoria for several years. I think he left there in the late 90s. Now he owns his own weather service, and I think he's a weatherman for the PGA tour

5:41 PM  

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