A STORY ABOUT JAMES SPANN: He has been around a long time and totally immersed in weather. I first met him right after he came to Birmingham to be the meteorologist at one of the TV stations on Red Mountain. It so happened that the National Weather Service Office at that time was located not far away at 11 West Oxmoor Road. Our meteorologist in charge at the time invited him to come down and meet our staff. It was only about a seven minute drive for him and I happened to be on duty. From that moment on we became good friends because we instantly recognized that we were both very interested in severe weather.
But this is about a story many years later. James has spent many years taking almost daily trips to a school to present a weather program. It did not have to be a school, but the majority of them were schools and he especially enjoyed the younger age students. It could also be a business or church group or anybody. He traveled over much of the state. In fact today he is Calhoun County speaking to a group. He does not let that interfere with him getting back to 33/40 in time to do the afternoon and evening weather segments.
Way back when, I used to ride with him on some of those trips and they were so interesting. He wasted no time getting there or back to the station. Translation: he was a fast driver, but a very careful one. I never heard of him having an accident. Recently I got to thinking—I wondered how many miles he has traveled over the state doing the programs for the schools or whoever and how many BBQ joints he had stopped at. James is a fanatic about BBQ restaurants and he knows them anywhere in the state. I asked him recently to give me some figures on those and this is what he said.
…”My estimate is that I have traveled over one million miles going to schools and other groups doing weather programs since 1978. “
…James continued, ” No doubt I have enjoyed over 100 BBQ joints in Alabama and maybe more than that.”
This is JB talking now. I believe he has traveled more than one million miles and I believe he knows where every good BBQ place is all over the state. One final note from me: I have been around him many times and I have never heard James say a bad word or even get mad. I wonder if he learned that from all my early years in Havana Junction. Our only main difference is that I am not a huge fan of BBQ.
…I feel like James has saved hundreds and hundreds of lives being on TV during tornado threats. That is the end of my story. He is one fine gentleman. –JBE