The Duncan Banner
Working at a job for 55 years is a great accomplishment and enjoying that job throughout the years is just as much an accomplishment. Ernest Muncrief was presented with the Benjamin Franklin Award, a 55-year length of service award by the National Weather Service during the Marlow Lions Club meeting May 5.
“I started back in February of 1955 and I have always enjoyed what I do,” Muncrief said. “I have always joked that it does not take much for my job. I just look out the door and if it is raining I can tell.”
Muncrief said that the volunteer position came open and just fell in his lap by accident.
“The supervisor at the time came down when the position became open and we couldn’t find anyone to take it over,” Muncrief said. “When they were unable to find anyone I took it over for the time and have been doing it ever since.”
Checking the weather is an important job and does not take too much time out of Muncrief day.
“I check the temperature about once a day unless it is extreme temperatures,” Muncrief said. “When it is raining I am checking the gauge about three times a day.”
Muncrief said that he records the temperatures and the amount of precipitation and gives his report to the City of Marlow and mails three copies to the National Weather Service once a month.
Being at a job for 55 years a person can make many memories through the years both good and bad. Muncrief said that one of his fondest memories was in 1956.
“That was the year that there was a really big rain in the area, it was 6.14 inches in the 24-hour period,” Muncrief said. “As I was out at Beaver Creek the bridge went out from underneath me. As I was trying to get my truck out the bridge had came down and hit the tail end of it and I looked to see if anyone was riding with me cause I should not have made it out of that creek.”
Muncrief said that in all of the time that he has spent with the weather service he said that his worst problem happened most recently.
“The worst problem had to have been the ice storm that we just had,” Muncrief said. “I had to check back in every day and bring the gauge in and thaw it out. I had enough hot water to thaw it out but on the last call I ran out so I had to estimate.”
Darryl Williams Supervisor for the National Weather Service said that it does not get any better than having a volunteer like Muncrief.
“I can not say enough good things about Ernest he is an outstanding person,” Williams said. “I never have to remind him or ask him to anything and I never have to wait on anything it is always on time.
“Having someone who logs weather for us for a few months is a nice thing to have, but to have someone like Ernest for 55 years is amazing.”
Williams also noted that Muncrief has received each of the top awards that a volunteer can receive.
“He has received both the John Campanius Holm Award and the Thomas Jefferson Award,” Williams said. “The Jefferson award is the most prestigious honor given by the National Weather Service Cooperative Program and only five people a year receive that nationally.”
—Matt Tillson is a reporter for the Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354 Ext. 142 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.