No School, All Schools, All Day

Don Kent, 1963 (Boston Herald)

When those words came out of Don Kent’s mouth, you knew two things:  the weather was really bad, and you had been freed by the voice of The Weather God.

Don Kent was New England’s first and foremost broadcast meteorologist.  He worked for Boston’s WBZ radio and television for 34 years. 

He was 92 when he died early yesterday morning in New Hampshire.  And I was 9 again as I read his obituary.  Every day started on Channel 4 with Don Kent’s forecast.  You didn’t ask what the forecast was, you asked, “What did Don Kent say?”

How times have changed.  A regular reader of this blog dropped me a note to pass along the sad news.  I immediately walked across the room to share the news with a colleague, another Boston boy.  Because if Don Kent had made an impression on me growing up, he had certainly made an impression on my friend.

Brad Field and I shared a moment to reminisce.  This was, after all, a death in the family.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in It's all about me, Living in the Past, Noticed, People, TV Stuff, Weather and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to No School, All Schools, All Day

  1. Wendy says:

    I remember Don Kent, too. Living in Framingham and Natick for four years, WBZ remains a favorite station whenever I’m driving through MA on the way to ME. We would hoot and holler whenever he announced school being closed. You’re right; it is like losing a family member.

  2. Kent was in the same league as Springfield’s John Quill, who was in his 90s, I believe, when he died a few years ago. Years ago, when Quill was still doing the weather, he started rating days on a 1-10 scale. I think it was right after that Bo Derek movie. ” Perfect 10 ” was in the language. I wrote Quill a letter. Said I’d been watching him since I was a kid and was surprised to see him using something I was sure thousands of other local weathermen were doing. Said I’d always thought he was an original. Didn’t need to resort to the 1-10 scale thing. I got home from work one day and the phone rang. I picked it up. It was John Quill. He felt bad that I wasn’t too happy about what he was doing. He also said it was the first letter he’d received in years.

    I hear he’s doing the weather in that big studio in the sky. No need to rate the days up there. They’re all to die for.

    Rest in peace, Don Kent. And say hello to John while you’re at it.

  3. Wow!
    Don Kent was a ‘God’ in our family! My Dad’s parents lived in Medford and my Mom’s lived in Bourne. We visited them often. All conversation stopped when Don Kent was “on the air”.

  4. Beckie says:

    I wonder if listening to Mr. Kent as a child influenced Brad’s career choice.

    For generations in this area, the “no school god” was Bob Steele. Even as a teenager, when I refused to listen to WTIC-AM (or AM in general), the night before a storm, I always set my clock radio for the Bob Steele show. If Bob Steele said there was no school, then there was no school. Otherwise, you went, regardless of what other stations said, even if there was a sheet of ice and puppies falling from the sky.

  5. TonyC says:

    Very sad, he was the voice of Cape Cod… We’ll miss him. Thanks, Gerry.

  6. Brad says:

    Hi Beckie & all Brooks File Fans…
    Oh definitely…Don Kent impacted me in a big way…as a youngster growing up in southeastern Massachusetts (in a tiny town called Assonet), we were between the Boston / Providence markets…I got to watch the Boston stations (& idolize) Don Kent & Bob Copeland (former WHDH then WCVB) & in the Providence market (a legend also) John Ghiorse WJAR/WLNE/WJAR)…
    These people were the pioneers…they were the “Daniel Boone’s” blazing the Cumberland Trail…they made it much easier for all those who followed…
    It’s funny, I only met Don once (and I liked him very much)…but his death hit me hard…harder than you would think…
    I think, like Gerry said…he was such a big part of our youth, and now he’s gone…part of our youth has gone with him…
    It does feel like a death in the family, but I do know I’ve learned many good things from observing Don Kent. His friend & colleague, Barry Burbank, said his only piece of advice to him ever was “be nice to everyone”. Eternal peace Don Kent, and thank you!
    Brad Field
    NBC Connecticut Chief Meteorologist

  7. 6079smithw says:

    I lived in Cambridge in the early 70’s and workedan all-night delivery route out of Watertown. Don Kent and Larry Glick were on my truck radio every shift. I just know they’re back together again working the Big Station In The Sky….

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