Long before I got a bobblehead, grocery bags with his name on them, worked with him, spoke with him on the phone, or trained to be a meteorologist, Tim Hedrick did something for me that put the pendulum in motion. When you help or speak with someone today, you’ll never know who you’ll inspire over 20 years later.
When I learned of his death, I immediately went looking for photos of or with him. I only found one with him, and I found several of him. A few hours later, I realized I had one memory of him that I have had for over 25 years.
I was at my mother’s house a day later, looking through bookshelves and bins in my old room. I couldn’t find that memory. A few days later, my mother thought I might have it at my home. I went through my bookshelves, and I found it.
The memory of him is from when I was a young child, approximate 5 to 8 years old (I can’t remember exactly). I went to the Blue Ash branch of the Hamilton County Public Library one morning during the summer for a short weather presentation Tim was giving; Tim was just starting a career in Cincinnati. I remember my mother taking me there, but I don’t remember the presentation. Before the presentation, my mother encouraged me to bring something for me to get Tim’s autograph. I brought a book my mother had gotten for me through the Scholastic school catalog (remember those)? Because I was young, it was simple and appropriate for an early grade school student.
After days of searching, I found that book today:
The book is very fragile. The book is intact, but it wouldn’t take much to get pages falling out of the book. Inside of the book’s front cover is a special message:
In an ironic twist as I read these words today, rays of sunlight started pouring from behind the clouds through my window.
As I have mentioned an earlier blog post on April 9, 1999, my love of meteorology was strong as a young child, waned some through grade school (mainly by the amount and other types of school work), and developed again in the wake of the Blue Ash/Montgomery/Symmes Township tornado.
I suppose things end about where they begin. My time with Tim began with sun, had days of turbulence, days of storms, days with bumps, but ended with sunshine. No bobblehead will inspire you to follow a dream, but words of inspiration early in the game seemed to do the trick for me.