WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Dr. Dave Walker, chief meteorologist at WTRF, is retiring at the end of the week.
Of course, we’re not letting him go without a lot of fanfare.
Every day this week, 7News will do a special report on different Dr. Dave moments, and we begin with a look back at his career.
Doc has worked in Wisconsin, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Ohio and of course in Wheeling.
At each station, he eventually became chief meteorologist.
At the first two, he covered tornadoes.
In Wheeling, he covered the derecho, quite a few snowstorms and some major floods.
He recalls with a smile that when he began in 1980, TV weather technology was early, and delays happened often.
The anchors would ask him if any rain was on the way, and he would stand outside, unable to hear them and unsure when to start talking.
In one shot, his anchors threw him a ball in the middle of his weather forecast, and he caught it and tossed it back.
Doc was always a good sport.
At one point, a viewer sent in a yard-long zucchini he had grown in his garden, and Dr. Dave and his co-anchors admired the shockingly large vegetable and complimented the 91-year-old gardener who sent it.
In Wheeling, Doc—an excellent gardener himself—became a major part of a community garden.
“I’ve got strawberries and beans and potatoes,” he noted, as he pointed to various beds in the Frank McNeil Memorial Community Garden on Wheeling Island.
What do I love most about the Ohio Valley? It’s the people. I’ve never met a stranger. No matter what position that person might have in society, I’m open to all.Dr. Dave Walker, WTRF Chief Meteorologist
We will miss his straight forward no-drama weather forecasts.
We’ll also miss him in the garden.
No doubt you will! I’m going to be moving to a warmer climate where you can grow tomatoes 12 months a year.Dr. Dave Walker, WTRF Chief Meteorologist
The next chapter—where he’s going and why—is a story for Tuesday.