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Last call for Ben Abell

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By Tom Weber, KWMU

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kwmu/local-kwmu-583745.mp3

St. Louis, MO –

To hear an interview with Ben Abell as it aired nationally on All Things Considered, click here.

Today is the last day listeners of this station will hear weather forecasts from Ben Abell.

Ben started volunteering for KWMU the year it went on the air in 1972.

He's never been paid for any of those forecasts, but he has been paid to teach at Saint Louis University and he will continue that for a few more years.

KWMU's Tom Weber has this look at the man who just can't seem to rule things out.

To hear a skit that KWMU aired during pledge drives a few years ago, called "Able Ben Abell," click here. (Warning: This skit might be considered 'cheesy' by some listeners)

OTHER FACTS ABOUT BEN:
- Mayor Clarence Harmon declared Feb. 2, 2000 as "Ben Abell Day" in St. Louis City.
- Ben has been voicing his forecasts from his office at the 'Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Saint Louis University,' in O'Neil Hall, since 1997. Before that, Ben's office was at Parks College in Cahokia.
- Ben's four children are Ulga, Kathlene, Ben & Brian. (one of his daughters, Ulga, started college in pre-med and later earned a degree in meteorology. His other daughter, Kathlene, started in meteorology and later became a nurse)
- Ben was born on Tuesday, March 1, 1932, the same day the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped.
- When he writes, Ben usually holds pens & pencils between his second & third fingers.

- Ben "can't remember the last movie" he's been to. He much prefers stage performances.
- Ben lives near the Hill in St. Louis City and picked SLU as a school to attend and teach, in part, because if his own Jesuit upbringing.
- Ben was named to the St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame in 2006, joining the likes of Jack Buck and Haray Caray.
- Ben's radio forecasting hasn't only been on KWMU: He's also given forecasts for the Radio Information Service for the blind.
Other links:
Recent story on KSDK-Channel 5
Mention on Post-Dispatch op-ed page
One of Ben's final forecasts

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.