Monday, December 08, 2008

"Yo ho, yo ho, what's the weather goning to be?"

Savannah is kind of gloomy today as former local TV weather man Joe Cox has died at the age of 80.  Some of you may remember his stint at WJCL for many years in the eighties, but everyone here in town over the age of forty knew him best as Captain Sandy, the seafaring weather man. He actually wasn't the first guy to play the Cap'n, but he was the one folks remembered the most. What made him cool was the entertaining way he presented the weather with his puppet sidekicks Wilbur the Weatherbird, Calamity Clam (who always snapped the Cap'n's hand when he reached for the time and tide card in the clam's mouth) and Arthur Mometer, which I guess you could figure out what he was. Captain Sandy made the weather fun for kids to understand and yet he never hosted a kid's show, loads of them like myself tuned in every night to see what the weather was going to be the next day, just like in his theme song, which I cribbed from Wikipedia...

"Yo ho, yo ho, what's the weather gonna be?/
Here's the man who knows, let's take a look and see.
Here is Captain Sandy with the weather he has found,/
for Savannah and for Chatham and the counties all around."

After Joe left TV, he continued to do radio for WJCL FM, which was Easy Listening at the time and retired when it became Kix 96 and went Country in the mid-nineties. You'd still see around town going to the bank  or shopping for groceries at the Publix in Twelve Oaks, which is where I saw him at both places. At the bank, I just kinda looked at him like I was a kid again. He looked back at me and smiled, ever saying a word to each other. But I think he knew that I knew who he was and even though we were both much older now, I hoped that he knew that he made me learn what high tides and low tides were. Thanks, Cap'n.

 UPDATE Just one more thing: Here's The Captain in 1964. It's not Joe Cox, but another man named Tom Even, who was a Production Director at WSAV. Still, it gives you an idea of what the weather was like when I was a kid. A whole lot of fun.


Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

R.I.P, Cap' will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Damn Sam, you're killing me with all these childhood memories. One of my greatest thrills as an eight-year old was meeting the Cap'n on Broughton St in the mid 60's.

HouseT said...

I admit that I knew the man more from the 80s (I'd have no choice in the matter, really). If I recall correctly, didn't someone attempt to revive Joe's bit as Cap'n Sandy at some point during that decade? I seem to recall my kid mind wondering what the big deal was supposed to be.

Still, if that clip is any indicator of how cool a wetherman can be (and they can if they really apply themselves), then I'll take everyone's word for it that I missed out. But I still remember enough of Joe to feel a sense of loss.

Anonymous said...

I only watched WJCL for Joe Cox's weather report because he was always so reassuring. Sad to know he has passed on, but there are always memories. He was a cool guy, for sure!

Check out Streeter's tribute to him.