People & Places

Best Harbingers of Doom 

Dick Goddard's Woolly Bears, WJW-TV, Channel 8

When a meteorologist begins to forecast the weather by looking at bugs, he usually ends up in a padded cell. Not Dick Goddard. He took a risk that needed to be taken, and we love him for it. For nearly 40 years, Goddard has been the chief weatherman at WJW, but somewhere in the '80s, he became infatuated with a creature called a woolly bear. These fuzzy little black-and-orange caterpillars may seem adorable, but they're rumored to predict cataclysm better than that creepy chick from Poltergeist. According to folklore, the larger the black bands on the caterpillar, the harsher the coming winter. Needless to say, local woolly bears tend to be blacker than a cup of coffee at midnight. And "they're more accurate than the almanac," says Goddard, who organizes a day of celebration for his pets every October in Vermilion. That's great, Dick, but what's that Dual Doppler thing for?
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