KSDK - In the middle of St. Louis at the back of his house Howard Demere, his voice matured by eight and a half decades, is still very much the modern man. "You probably know this, Mike, but you can get everything the National Weather Service has to offer on this little computer."
He still loves weather and forecasting and is quite adept at tracking it all on his computer. "Very, very handy gadget for people who have any interest in weather."
Howard Demere was not the first weatherman in St. Louis...that was Jack Garrison who did it briefly then took a job in sales. But because Channel 5 was the only TV station on the air from the late 1940s to the early '50s Howard was the only weatherman.
In both style and substance he literally put television weather here on the map.
"The weather and the weather set. It started as a simple frame...wooden and covered with a piece of Plexiglass. Write on it with a china marking pencil then you went back over it with a pen and talked about it as you did so..."
As other stations signed on the air in the 1950s competition, inevitably, increased. But so did Howard's understanding of the need to be unique. "Everybody in those days had a slogan. "Listen to Murrow tomorrow" and "Ladies and gentleman, glad we could get together, John Cameron Swayze...good night..." and so when I got "that's all from here" the next day the stage hands kidded me relentlessly.......so I said it, instead of shyly, proudly."
Over time Clif St. James and Diane White would team with Howard as newscasts and the weather segments within them evolved. But through it all Howard always made it a point to stay current and, although he retired nearly 30 years ago, that hasn't changed. In fact, he marvels at the way weather is done today. "Now, Doppler radar...what a discovery that was. Not only direction, where it is. But how fast it's moving...in which direction...the storm should be here in about 20 minutes. Doppler radar."
While the radar revolution may have occurred after he left KSDK this elder statesman of local weather uses it now and is still watching the skies.
Not that he doesn't have other things to do!
Howard may be retired but he's still a busy man. When he's not visiting his daughter in Texas he's working with the North Texas history museum in Wichita Falls where he grew up and, of course, keeping track of the weather.