Dr. Mel Goldstein, who died on January 18, 2012, wrote for the Hartford Courant and Northeast Magazine. This is his final column for Northeast:
Can the weather rain upon a weatherman's parade?
Absolutely, and I have even come up with a line for these soggy occasions: ``I am in prediction, not production.'' And, just to prove the point, Arlene is planning a ``surprise'' 60th birthday party for me today.
Several years ago, I really did not expect to reach 60. So, around our house the fact that I am still here is a pretty big deal, and we have dozens of people coming to our house, which is not especially large. The deck is a good party size, but if the weather delivers its own surprise, well, it may get a little cozy indoors.
So, while Arlene has been doing all the planning this week, I have been working up a sweat by watching the weather computers, and they have been trying to cook up a huge ocean storm -- one of those equinoctial extravaganzas that happen during early fall. These can be as powerful as hurricanes. The ``perfect storm'' of
The machines haven't been able to agree if this storm will stay harmlessly offshore, or move slightly to the west. Actually, this storm would be quite the party crasher. It would rattle the windows, bring tall waves against the deck, and probably flood the street where our other guests were trying to park.
(Personally, secretly, I would love it. Actually, if it were true that I do have some control over the elements, I just might make the storm happen for the occasion, but I am not supposed to admit it.)
There is something else that I should admit: how much I have enjoyed writing for The Courant over the past twenty years -- actually nineteen and a half. I am not a writer by training, but during the early spring of 1986, Mike Jenner and Marty Petty, who ran The Courant at the time, thought I had a lot to say about the weather and related things, and they hired me to write a daily column.
Seventeen years later, new corporate gurus did not look favorably on a person who worked for a TV station that was not owned by them, so the daily column ended. But Jenifer Frank, who has been running Northeast, was somehow able to find a weekly spot for me in the magazine, and she encouraged me to write about people.
Today, the column ends -- more changes -- but I will continue to write in other forums about people and weather. I am writing a book with my doctor about some famous and not so famous myeloma survivors who have lived far better and far longer than anyone expected. I have written a screenplay about my obsession -- the 1938 hurricane -- and ``The Complete Idiot's Guide To Weather'' has not yet hit the bargain table.
Who would ever imagine that this weather fanatic was a writer, too? It all started here, although Arlene says it started with the letters that I wrote to her when we were college freshmen.