KBTX Names that Live On: Roger Barry – They Still Blame You
Hardly a week passes that I don’t run into someone somewhere that asks about a former KBTX employee. Most requested is information about Orelon Sidney, Tony Cornett and Laura Wilson, and Michelle Peltier among others. But especially around the time we SHOULD be getting rain, people say, “whatever happened to Roger Barry?” Actually, in Texas talk, they say “whatever happened to ‘OLD’ Roger Barry.” Like Roger, I don’t get offended by that. “Old” is an endearing term for these parts.Roger gets blamed by our friends at WTAW with coining the phrase “Aggiedome” which means a storm can come blowing through central Texas, get just past Hearne, and as if to say,”hmmm, nope – not going there today!” – the storm goes around us and continues on its merry way to other parts of the state. It may turn right around and head back toward Franklin, but it isn’t coming here. People blame Roger for that. “Had it not been for Roger coming up with that Aggiedome, we’d have rain by now!”
Often when asked to speak to area groups I use Roger and a couple of other people at KBTX as examples of how wrong I can really be. When Orelon first left Brazos Valley This Morning to begin her stint at KPRC-Houston, the powers that be at KBTX told me they were planning to move Roger Barry to take her place. As the co-host of that show, I remember saying one of the ugliest things I could say about a human being with whom I worked. I’m confessing that I said, “Please no. Roger Barry can’t forecast his way out of a sack.” That was based on seeing Roger on air. By Roger’s own admission, he may have been the worst when he first started!
To his defense and all weather guys, that mysterious green wall they use is a challenge. Point left, your arm goes right. It is reverse of what you think it could be. So, Roger was challenged to say the least. Luckily for all involved, Jim Baronet and Jeff Braun moved Roger to that position.
I was never more wrong about a person than I was about Roger Barry. In fact, Roger’s last day on air was without a doubt the toughest day of my on-air career with KBTX – the day he left to join Belo Corporation in Dallas at Texas Cable News. His wife’s career as a pilot necessitated a move to Dallas for the good of their family. I just got used to knowing that for about 9-years or so Roger would be there. Female anchors changed from time to time, but Roger and I stayed with it for a long time. We laughed a lot and enjoyed that early morning hour.
I think I took for granted the chemistry you can develop with people without even knowing it.
We remain friends today, enjoy visiting each other when in Dallas, and are like two emotional basket cases at times when we first get together. But I thank Roger for the lesson learned in passing judgment too quickly. It was humbling.
And like any good friend when people blame Roger for the lack of rain, I simply say, “you are right,” just like any good friend would do. I got your back on most things, but the Aggiedome issue? I think it is your fault, Roger!