Paul Douglas’ recent reference on TPT2 to his “new in-laws” had some viewers speculating.

The Star Tribune chief meteorologist heard what I’ve been hearing. “Is Paul getting a divorce?” He repeated the question that has been circulating. When readers tried to get me to write about the divorce announcement, I told them I was almost certain the reference was to one of his sons getting married and I was confident Paul was still with his architect wife, Laurie.

Walter is getting married in October,” Douglas said. “His and Tracy’s wedding is at the Grand View Lodge. He loves the North Woods, and so does she, even though she grew up in Boston.” Walter, the eldest son, is a digital media specialist for Tornier, based in Bloomington.

“They met at Penn State, just like his old man and mom. She was a cheerleader and I was a linebacker,” said Douglas. “We had a couple of down years when I played football for Penn State.”

YOU WERE NEVER A LINEBACKER, I interrupted Douglas, who’s not exactly beefy enough for the line.

“I am so sorry,” said Douglas. “I misremembered that. My bad. I wasn’t a linebacker. Laurie wasn’t a cheerleader, she was an architecture student. She felt sorry for me being in meteorology.”

That, boys and girls, is why Brian Williams’ return to the NBC news desk is not looking promising. He’s a running gag. This is also a reminder that I need to book Douglas for a Q&A. Have you got a question for the weather field innovator, longtime Twin Cities meteorologist who is an alum of KARE 11 and WCCO-TV?

Don’t forget Toni Hughes

Jeff Edmondson may be the first black meteorologist on Twin Cities TV, but he is not the first one to be at a TV weather map here.

“You don’t need to do anything with this, just thought you’d be interested per your column,” wrote KARE 11 news director Jane Helmke, who hired Edmondson. “Toni Hughes was a black weathercaster at WTCN long ago. As I recall, she may still have relatives in the area. You can see her at 17:00” on this link:

A 1976 Minneapolis Star clip suggests that Hughes may have been too busy to upgrade herself from weathercaster to meteorologist. She was a full-time nurse and part-time model who was going to medical school at the U. According to the clips, she had been at Channel 11 six years as of 1976, where her status was “freelance,” and was terminated in 1979 when the station hired a meteorologist. She, understandably, was “not very happy” about losing her job, noting that a five-nights-a-week news show is not “too free-lancy.”

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Bobby “The Voice” Edmondson, aka Jeff’s dad, Bobby, being a one-man PR firm on behalf of his son’s new job. Bobby told me Jeff has wanted to be a weather forecaster since he was at Minnewashta Elementary. “I did a little research, and my son is the first person of color to be an accredited meteorologist doing the weather on any TV station in the Twin Cities,” Bobby told me.

Apparently it’s a gray area, the difference between a weathercaster and meteorologist notwithstanding.

Tough act to follow (but he did it)

Soul Asylum frontman and songwriter Dave Pirner was very funny both times he took the stage Saturday at the Dakota following Minnesota vocalist extraordinaire Robert Robinson.

They were two of the performers in Larry Long’s “American Roots Revue.”

Robinson had just finished tearing up “Eyes on the Prize” (in the highly complimentary sense), when it was Pirner’s turn to take the stage. “I want to thank Robert for being an impossible act to follow,” quipped Pirner as the packed audience responded with laughter.

Pirner made a similar comment later when Robinson sang “Higher and Higher” and Pirner returned to sing “Eyes of a Child.”

After hearing Pirner sing, it’s clear the group’s success as well as his are well justified.

I was at singer, songwriter and activist Larry Long’s show to hear Guy Davis, son of late actors and civil rights activists Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

Davis, on the harmonica and guitar, sang a song inspired by the passing of both his mother and Peter Seeger, “I Wish I Hadn’t Stayed Away so Long.”

Davis also applied his distinctively bluesy style to Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay,” while having some fun with the Minnesotan’s hometown. The “Hibbing inhibitors” seemed to be what Davis was saying.


C.J. can be reached at and seen on FOX 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.