Over the weekend, the papers were full of tributes to Sonny Eliot, the wisecracking weatherman who was a television icon for a few million baby boomers and their parents.
To someone new to Michigan, or anyone younger than forty, this may have seemed a trifle odd. Sonny, who died Friday, hadn’t been on TV on a regular basis since the 1980’s.
True, his twice-daily zany weather forecasts were a beloved part of all-news AM radio until a couple years ago. But why all this fuss over a guy who broadcast the weather?
Well, he was, indeed, one-of-a-kind; a statewide celebrity before there were such things as cable networks, or 24 hour news. But I think the answer may have as much to do with ourselves as Sonny Eliot. Sonny did deserve to be recognized. He was certainly the last person on the air who was actually present at the creation of TV broadcasting in Detroit.