Meeting A Spokane Icon

On Saturday night, Sidney and I met a person from my childhood past. Throughout my time growing up in Spokane, the local news was constantly on at our house. My parents made it a priority to tune in because of community connectedness, the ability to follow our local sports teams, and sometimes just for background noise.

We also tuned in for the weather. Whether we needed an update on the latest snowstorm, info on what to wear for Bloomsday, or just a general outlook on what the unpredictable and diverse weekly weather would bring to the Inland Northwest, we turned to the local news.

Growing up in Spokane during the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a power player on the local weather scene: Tom Sherry.

On Saturday night at the St. Mary Gala, Sidney and I met Tom Sherry.

Sherry’s name was synonymous with Spokane weather—and, if I dare say—Spokane celebrity in general. If you know anything about how the local news works, you are aware that a typical newscast consists of multiple throwbacks to the meteorologist for weather updates. Watch an hour of local news and you will most likely see the weather person a handful of different times.

With so much exposure, you better believe a sense of pressure exists: either develop rapport and trust with your audience or find a different job.

Well, given those two options, there was a reason why Tom was comfortably installed at KREM for decades. I believe Sherry’s success and longevity went way beyond his command of the weather. He was charismatic, relatable, and deeply ingrained within the community. The man’s legendary charitable work alone gained him the respect of Spokane local news viewers.

I remember the feeling of peace, comfort, and normalcy I felt upon returning to Spokane in 2020. After leaving the community in 2005 to go to college and eventually start my career, I returned 15 years later to find a familiar presence on the news.

Re-connecting with Sherry via the airwaves gave me the opportunity to introduce him to my wife and children before his retirement in 2022. Then, on Saturday night, I had my first ever chance to connect with him in-person.

Over the weekend, St. Mary Catholic School held its fundraising gala. None other than Tom Sherry graciously agreed to emcee the event. The dad of two children who attended St. Mary, Tom holds the school in very high esteem.

After telling our friends, Ryan and Allyson Andrade, of my family’s history with Sherry, Allyson took it upon herself to flag down Sherry during a gala break. Tom came over to our table and talked with us for several moments and graciously took a photo with Sidney and me.

When I told him I was part of a KREM family growing up, he quipped, “Thanks for keeping me employed.” He then talked to Sidney about living in South Carolina and mentioned his connection to Charleston. We also discussed what makes St. Mary so special and other topics. The conversation was just as warm as Tom came across all those nights on KREM.

Thanks for emceeing the St. Mary Gala, Mr. Sherry, it was a pleasure to meet you. Don’t Blink.

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