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Monday, January 18, 2016

Recorded the Weather for 85 Years

Richard G. Hendrickson near his weather station, 2014
photo: Nicole Bengiveno for NY Times
no copyright infringement intended

He served as a volunteer weather watcher for 85 years. He did his first reading of the meteorological data on July 1st, 1930. He was by then 17 years old. He retired from this service on his 103rd birthday, in September 2015. During all these years he kept on going twice a day to the small weather station situated near his farmhouse, reading the instruments there, then calling on his ancient rotary phone the local meteorological bureau and reporting them the recorded data. There were days when he needed to do this hourly, when weather was playing harder than usual. Monthly he was sending written reports where he knew how to add a touch of poetry and mild humor to the dry data. During all these years he rarely took vacations: it was one big in 1959, a trip to New Zealand that he had gained just by buying a can of meat - it happened that he had been the one to one day exactly the one billionth can! All the rest of these years he stayed there, at his weather station, gathering the data (as Margalit Fox put it in NY Times) "on brash weather and benign, through drought, flood and fog, during rainstorms and blizzards, through the devastating hurricane of 1938, as well as through Hurricane Sandy in 2012."

This was Richard G. Hendrickson: a farmer, an author, a collector, a poet and a sailor, a fisherman and a hunter, and, above all, a passionate meteorologist. He passed away last week, at 103.

Here is the obituary authored by Margalit Fox from NY Times:

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