Although the title of his recently released book is “Six Inches of Partly Cloudy,” to those who know him and thousands more of his fans, Dick Goddard is nothing but sunshine and warmth with an occasional shower of mischief thrown in.
His book, written along with Tom Feran, is the latest in Gray & Company, Publishers, many volumes on Cleveland area news people and celebrities. A longtime Westshore resident with many years in Westlake as well as Bay Village, Lakewood and Rocky River, Goddard is beloved in those and countless other cities for many reasons. The book details not only his 50 years in television (almost all spent in Cleveland), but his countless efforts to aid animals, help others around Northeast Ohio, observing a nuclear bomb explosion and even sports stories from his many years of doing statistics at Cleveland Browns games.
To Goddard, who grew up in Green, Ohio, his success is more a matter of luck.
“I’ve always felt that I’ve been extremely lucky in a lot of areas,” he said. “My time on TV, how people react to me, all my work with animals, getting to spend almost my entire life in the area where I grew up, I think I’ve been very lucky in that regard.”
To others, it’s more Dick’s warm personality, ability to work with others and hard work that have enabled him to spend 50 years in a highly competitive industry as well as get people to aid him in his support of animals for many years.
“Dick is an incredibly nice man,” said former Channel 8 and current WOIO Channel 19 anchorwoman, Denise Dufala.
Recalling that he called her “Neeser” affectionately, Dufala said Goddard’s love of animals was always there, even when working hard on the job.
Dufala recalled that Goddard was always prepared to help animals, even at his desk in the TV station.
“He literally has his own pet store of dog food and cat food and treats,” she said.”At night when he leaves the station, he puts cat food way in the back of the parking lot for the strays in the area.”
Dufala also cited an example of how Goddard’s caring for animals goes beyond household pets.
“There was one time when there was a big wolf spider over by Martin Savidge’s desk,” she said. “He went and picked it up and took it outside, so nobody would kill it. He really is a kind soul.”
Goddard, himself, will readily acknowledge his love and efforts to aid the animals.
“Absolutely, the book certainly shows that,” he said. “And we’re putting the income from the sales of the book into various animal charities. And Discount Drug Mart is also kicking in with what they get from selling the book, I really appreciate that.”
Goddard also is working on plans for setting up at least one personal foundation to aid animals.
“We’re still getting details worked out but we will let you and other people know about it,” he said.
In the meantime, Goddard said if people are inspired to donate or help animals through other means, he suggested they give time or money to a local shelter near wherever they live.
“They all can use the additi0nal help,” he said.
Goddard many times refers to his tribute to the Woolybear, the annual festival in Vermilion and the good times had by thousands through the years there. He details his gift of a woolybear sticker to many famous and otherwise recipients through the years.
Other co-workers and friends detail other adventures through the years in the book as well as examples of how he works at the job but still has a humorous and mischievous side. Longtime friend and Channel 8 anchor Tim Taylor has many entries.
“I had so much fun with people like Tim, Big Chuck and lots of others,” Goddard said. “Again, I just feel lucky to have worked with people like them.”
He chuckles when recalling a recent time in the Browns press box which he recounts in the book in which he spotted legendary running back Jim Brown nearby by shortly after an operation.
“Sure, I beat the best football player of all time, Jim Brown in a race,” Goddard said. “Of course, it helped that he didn’t know we were racing.”
Other parts of the books detail how Goddard’s sense of humor and mischief could sometimes aid others and himself – or get them into trouble.
“Absolutely, you’ve got to have some fun in this life,” he said. “And in this TV business, sometimes you’re just going to get tongued-tied and make a mistake. Make the best of it, it happens to all of us.”
He promised a special goodbye whenever his last weathercast is – even for his few critics.
“I’ll suggest they look out the window if they want to see what the weather is doing,” he said.
In the meantime, Goddard promises to keep doing the weather and helping animals.
In the Westshore, Goddard will be signing his book July 23 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Borders in the Westlake Promenade. He also is scheduled for a signing from 2 to 3 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Bay Village branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
“I loved living in Westlake and the other parts of the Westshore, it’s a great area,” he said. “I’ve just gotten out to where it’s a little quieter right now.”
Fortunately for all his two and four-legged fans, that quiet doesn’t extend to his efforts on behalf of the rest of us.