Recent Tributes to Percy
Our guest book feature captured many notes upon hearing of Percy's passing. Below we have included a selection of the letters. The letters have been edited to keep people's identities confidential. Many thanks to those who wrote.
Jackie - January 16, 2007:
I loved watching you toss that great big piece of chalk into the air at the end of every weather show...I loved it! And all the talk...and jokes. You were the best weatherman. No one has such flare and style. Thanks! xxx
John - January 16, 2007:
As a child I got into trouble for writing on the walls. My parents always watched your weather reports and one night I was watching it with them. When I say you writing on your chalkboard I turned to my parents and announced "Percy a bad boy". I hope that where you are now you are continuing to be a bad boy.
Marshall - January 17, 2007:
Condolences to the family and may God bless Percy. Enjoyed his weather forecast and met him one time. I remember when as he always finished the weather broadcast he always threw the chalk up in the air and always caught it. One night through popular demand he dropped it and of all his forecasts I never forgot that one. Good one Percy and rest it peace.
Crowe - January 17, 2007:
I just heard of your passing. I remember your "call of the Kee bird" joke.
KEEEEEEEEEEEEEErist it's cold!
You will be missed, sir.
Chris - January 17, 2007:
First of all, my condolences to Mr Saltzman's family and friends.
I grew up in and live in Montreal and my first memories about watching TV (in the early 1960's) was Mr Saltzman's energetic use of chalk on the map of Canada on CBMT.
I was so excited about the arrows and big "Ls" or "Hs" that when was around 7 or 8, my brother and I did the same thing with our crayolas on the wall of my parents' apartment.....needless to say my parents were not happy at having to spend a couple of hours washing off arrows and Ls and Hs.
Just to say I enjoyed watching Mr Saltzman and to offer my condolences.
Michael - January 17, 2007:
I heard on CBC One in Toronto with Andy Barrie this morning that you've left this earth. Should I call you Percy? Even as a six year old watching you do the weather in 1960 with all your trademark energy, depth of information and upbeat attitude I never thought of you as Mr. Saltzman. Weather for the common man and child. You made the weather report, educational, entertaining and upbeat. Not something to complain or get frustrated about. But something we could take the time to learn more about. I've not since read or heard any one else mention it but Percy you where a big picture man. The weather reports you gave did not happen in a vacuum. I now deeply appreciate you depth of talent in delivery skills, meteorology knowledge and media savvy you had and used on every one of your reports. I used to love the chalk toss! Wow.... talk about a great ending. So low tech, high impact and fun all rolled into one. You where decades ahead of so many others on air at the time and still so many today.
Thank you Mr. Saltzman for being an educator, entertainer, risk taker, innovator and over all upbeat human being.
Blessings to you and your family.
Tim - January 17, 2007:
I am sorry to read of Mr. Saltzman's passing. I spent a few years as a university lecturer and occasionally 'tossed the chalk' after a lecture (usually in the air, and sometimes at a student). Then the blackboards disappeared, to be replaced by whiteboards and PowerPoints. Tossing a remote or a marker in the air isn't quite the same. God Speed Sir - Tossing the chalk rules!
Laurence - January 17, 2007:
I'm 44 years and I remember as a youngster watching the weather in glorious B/W and seeing you toss the chalk. You will be missed!
Hank & Fay - January 17, 2007:
Bon voyage! We've enjoyed every minute of your broadcasts.
Peter - January 17, 2007:
Good-bye and God speed on your next voyage into eternity!
Jacquie - January 17, 2007:
I came to Canada with my parent sin 1951 and one of my clearest childhood memories was watching Percy Saltzman each night. I wanted to be a weatherman...so I started collecting and measuring rain, recording temperature and sketching clouds. As a girl I was discouraged from studying Science unless it was nursing....but to this day I still record the weather and 'enjoy' science....you had a very positive affect on my life and I thank you for that. God Bless.
Mary - January 18, 2007:
I wish I had known about this site earlier - I would have loved to have told Mr. Saltzman himself how much I loved his weather forecasts as a child.
After all these years, it isn't the newscasts I remember, which would have been so dull to a child, but the anticipation every night of watching Percy Saltzman's chalk swiftly and energetically swooping and arcing over the map of Canada, bringing us rain, wind, snow, sun, high-pressure systems, low-pressure systems all with his own finesse, capped by the moment I waited for every night - when he would throw his chalk into the air, and amazingly to me, catch it every time without fail. I was breathless, sure that one night he'd drop it. But he never did.
No weather forecast since has ever lived up to the enjoyment afforded by the showmanship and knowledge of Percy Saltzman. He is missed - and he will always be missed.
Cathy - January 18, 2007:
Only now, after Percy's death, did I learn he has/had a website. Over the years, I have frequently thought of Percy, often reminded of him while watching Dave Devall give his weather report on CTV, and always wondering whatever became of Percy. I enjoy Dave's reports, but Percy's will always be tops and I truly miss the old broadcasts. Now I feel I've missed out on his truly enjoyable site. Missing Percy for now and forever. My thoughts to all his family. Many thanks,
Robin - January 18, 2007:
We will miss him. As a kid, I was fascinated by the size of that massive piece of chalk as it went up and came down, landing perfectly. I think (but am not sure) that I saw him drop it once...
David - January 19, 2007:
Sorry to hear of Percy's passing. As a youngster I watched him on the CBC, with the chalk and blackboard, which we thought was so cool. Set the standard for others in the business.
Sounds like he enjoyed a good life.
Bruce - January 19, 2007:
Rest in Peace Percy. A Canadian Legend
Allan - January 23, 2007:
The first true TV "personality" I ever saw on TV--loved him dearly. Also loved Michelle Finney, but have changed mind. All best to family. Honest, better than Garroway on Buffalo channels.
Percy's Fan Letters
We are working on collecting some of the written-on-paper fan letters.
In the meantime, some folks have been kind enough to put comments on the Guest Book.
David on January 13, 2006:
I'm glad to see you are still going strong. Seeing the "Weather Summit" on CBS's "Sunday Morning", talking about the need for gimmicks in weather reporting, made me recall your broadcasts fondly.
Yours were the first weather broadcasts I remember, and watching you build the weather map each day on your chalkboard of North America gave me more understanding of how the weather works than any of the Weather Channel / Weather Network / Accu-Weather forecasts and their "specials".
Those "weather summit" folks need a presentation from you to show how it REALLY ought to be done.
Kathy on November 25, 2006:
So happy to find this site. As a small child in Toronto's West End, I was always fascinated by your toss of the chalk! The whole family would wait for it. Perhaps that's why I am a teacher today: the chalk!
Pete on November 20, 2006:
Percy: Congratulations on the website. I recall the early days of CBLT, the CBC flagship station, when Uncle Chichimus was your bet noir. (Remember the time he was "abducted" and it took a couple of days to make a new puppet?)
One summer, when CBC had a tent at the Canadian National Exhibition, and I was but a youth, I was fortunate to receive a composite photo of the personalities from CBC Toronto. Most of them were autographed, including yours. Being something of a history buff, I treasure that one above all, since you were the "first" on Canadian television.
Very best wishes.