Page 9 - Discover Winter 2021
P. 9

Weather Man

                                                                         By Kate Hofstetter

           Like the weather, Jamey Singleton’s life as a        himself, especially at first. Early into the conversation,
        meteorologist has been changeable - cloudy at times     he explains that he suffers from anxiety attacks
        with a chance of rain or sleet, and at other times hot   brought-on, he believes, by shyness that he has dealt
        with no relief in sight. But also like the weather, it has   with his entire life. He is, in fact, painfully shy about
        been mostly interesting, and at times exciting.         meeting people. Dining out, he says, is a nightmare.
                                                                He is so recognizable locally that he frequently
               To understand the man and get a true
                                                                attracts stares when out in public. To a shy person,
        picture of him, we need to expose some parts of his
                                                                even friendly stares are intimidating.
        life that he’d rather forget but has agreed to share.
        Twice he’s had to fight for his life, and he’s only 42         It’s hard to believe that anyone so shy can
        years old. Once to escape drug addiction, which was     appear to be so comfortable and at ease in front of a
        the underlying reason why he lost his dream job in      TV camera. It’s not an act. He really is comfortable in
        television… and again when a head-on collision on       front of a camera, and that’s because he’s talking about
        Route 122 in Bedford left him pinned against the        the weather, a subject he loves and with which he’s
        dashboard of his car.                                   completely confident.

               Today, Jamey is “back home” on Channel 12,              “Weather forecasting,” he says, “is my passion.
        where his career in television first began. His head is   It’s not just a job – it’s life.”
        “still in the clouds”, he likes to say, and his eyes are
                                                                       Anxiety is a fear that grips most of us at one
        generally on the colorful weather maps that blink
                                                                time or another - the fear of rejection or failure, or
        continually from a collection of computer screens. He
                                                                that you might embarrass yourself. It causes butterflies
        sits in front of a large desk next to a picture window
                                                                in the stomach and can make your voice quiver when
        that reveals a beautiful view of the Franklin County
                                                                you try to speak. Or perhaps you can’t speak at all. In
                                                                some cases, you even begin to sweat.
               Born and reared in Rocky Mount, you get
                                                                       “I can only describe it as the feeling you get
        a strong impression that Jamey has never even
                                                                when you have to face your teacher at school and you
        considered leaving. He loves his hometown and is
                                                                haven’t done your homework. Or when you are being
        comfortable here. He has a sizable fan base; both of
                                                                interviewed for a job,” Jamey said. “It’s a voice inside
        his parents live here, and one sassy cat who shares his
                                                                you saying you’ll fail.”
        home has claimed him as her owner. Her name is Dot
        The Weather Cat. He also proudly tells you that he’s
                                                                        Such anxiety, he explained, can lead to
        a “Funcle” - a “fun uncle” to niece, Tyler (“12 years   panic attacks, which can be physically debilitating,
        old going on 27”) and her brother Alex, the children    depending upon the severity of the attack. A panic
        of his younger sister who lives in the West Virginia    attack can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket and
                                                                your heart to race. It leads to profuse sweating such
                                                                as an athlete experiences from physical exertion, and
               Not surprisingly, Jamey’s a little heavier than
                                                                causes your arms and finger to go numb.
        he was 20 years ago, but he still has a boyish face and
        youthful appearance. He has a gentle, timid way about          During one such attack Jamey called for an
        him and seems a little uncomfortable talking about

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