In every city of any size (heck, even the little ones) there is someone that is a local celebrity. Whether it is the local Sheriff, or a AA Baseball Team player, or the local news team, people recognize and revere these people like none other. Here in Nashville, you'd think that I'd run into Country Music Stars as often as I run into a Starbucks. (You'd be right, I never go into Starbucks - but I digress.)
So, the other day, I'm headed out to the store to pick up something for the office and I run into the celebrity above. Anyone growing up in Nashville in the last 30 years (especially my daughter) will recognize this local Nashville Celebrity who paused in his Christmas donation gathering long enough for a fun photo with yours truly. That's him on the right, and me on the left, Bubba!)
He's Snowbird. (No last name, and it's just Snowbird, not The Snowbird or more correctly "Channel 4's Snowbird.") Originally just a cardboard cut out who squawked "No School! No School" during the weather reports on the Local Channel 4, snowbird has evolved into an entire personality. He's witty and fun-loving, but cares about the safety of kids when snow hits the streets. But Snowbird is more than a winter weather presence. During his long career, Snowbird has appeared in a year-long "Word from Snowbird" public service series, starred in three Christmas specials, and hosted children's programs about sportsmanship and self-esteem. These efforts have earned him numerous awards, including regional Emmy awards. Not many penguins can boast of a past like that.
So, go ahead and be jealous, Bubba! I''m standing in the freezing weather here in the South with a big goofy expression on my face while I stand next to Snowbird. Eat your heart out.