Brush With Local Greatness, Vol. 5 : Troy Dungan

It was Parent’s Weekend at Baylor, probably around 1993. The big hullabaloo was going on over at Founders Mall – parents meeting teachers, kids introducing their moms and dads to Professor So-And-So, and there I was just ambling through without my parents, who hadn’t come this time around. If you’d seen me then on that warm early October day, you’d probably have said, “Why is that dirty hippie walking through here?” I was not the clean cut person I became later. That’s the trouble with people; they change.

And so that dirty hippie was loping through the hordes, probably going somewhere in a slow and “keep on truckin'” kinda way, when I saw him. He was the weatherman that I’d grown up with, and I knew his daughter was attending his alma mater at the same time that I was. His trademark bow ties were legendary around Dallas from the first time I remember him and he wore them every newscast, no matter what. He’d always been short, you could tell that by comparing him to the other news anchors on the channel 8 sound stage, but I didn’t know he’d be that short. I’m talking like Danny Devito height, no kidding, the man was SHORT. Like 5′ 2″ or something.

As I brushed by him (literally) he seemed startled. I mumbled, “Hi there.” He didn’t say anything, just sorta glared.

I thought, “Man, what a jerk.”

And that was my close encounter of the weather kind with Troy Dungan. He’d started working for WFAA on July 19, 1976, and he’s retiring tomorrow, July 18, 2007. From what his collegues say he’s a swell guy. I’m sure he is and was just probably scared of that dirty hippie kid way back when. So long, Troy. Happy trails.

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