John Edd broadcasts live from Atmore

Published 3:02 am Monday, May 11, 2009

By By Adam Prestridge
It was fitting that a sudden downpour would rain on FOX10 Chief Meteorologist John Edd Thompson’s parade at Atmore’s Heritage Park Wednesday afternoon.
Thompson, who is retiring in June after 32 years on the television screens of Gulf Coast residents, visited Atmore as part of his month-long Farewell Forecast Tour, which began April 29 at Lulu’s in Gulf Shores and will conclude May 20 in Cathedral Square in Mobile.
Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sheryl Vickery, who helped promote the event in Atmore, thought it went well despite the rain.
Chamber President Cindy Lee agreed with Vickery, adding that Thompson’s visit drew residents of Atmore and neighboring towns, young and old alike.
Vickery and Lee both estimated that 200 people turned out for Thompson’s farewell.
“It went real well, I think everybody enjoyed it,” Vickery said. “I think he was surprised by the turnout. He seemed in awe all night with people wanting his autograph and photo taken with him to one man even having him sign his guitar. He seemed surprised that everybody was so over the top with him. He was just very appreciative. He was so happy to see people come out.”
FOX10 executives announced Thompson’s retirement in early April, but did so with heavy hearts.
Although he looks forward to retirement, Thompson said he would miss going on-air each day.
Thompson worked part-time at WATM in Atmore before making his fulltime debut as a disc jockey with WABB, which Lee said he spoke of to her during his visit.
While working at WABB, his on-air name was “Buddy Starr.” Thompson also has several other interests including song writing, which he says he plans on doing a lot of during retirement. One of his most notable songs is a fight song written for the University of South Alabama.
One fun fact about Thompson is that he was an extra in the Steven Spielberg film, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
As for events such as the Farewell Forecast, Lee believes it benefits the city in many ways.
Thompson will visit the Casino Beach Pavilion in Pensacola, Fla. Wednesday before ending his tour in Mobile.

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