From the World of Parks and Recreation
By Doug Comer
Many of you know that when the weather gets bad, that means games are normally cancelled for the day.
Weather it is baseball, softball or even lacrosse, we have to face the elements and the cards that are dealt. Also, travel can be affected by weather as snow and icy conditions can cause slippery conditions on the highways and rural routes.
And with the surge of the storm making its way across the United States last week, our old pal Ernie Brown, or popularly known as the Turtle Man, had to stall his trip to the Mountain State another week. And with the warmer and safer conditions, our old friend made it to the Recreation Complex for a visit with the first grade students from Norwood Elementary, as well as a meet and greet with the friends of Harrison County.
“It is just great getting to come here and talk to the kids about our “Live Action” turtle activities and to teach them about the environment and how to keep them safe for all the wildlife in the water,” said Brown. “This is the second time that I have been here and it’s all about having a good time and teaching the kids a thing or two about turtles.”
What is great about interviewing this guy is his patent call. If I could describe how the call is I guess I would say that it is fast, high pitched and can be heard for miles if in the right valley. Spelling it would be something like this – Yaayaayaayaayaa. I hope that gives an adequate idea of what it is like to be in his presence when he echoes the call.
“The kids really gravitate to him when he comes in the room,” said Director Mike Book. “He definitely fills an empty room with his personality and his ability to keep the kids intrigued with his knowledge of turtles and other species in the lakes, rivers and oceans is something special.”
Brown’s resume has gone beyond the show as he has some big plans coming in the near future as he explains.
“We are out promoting our Turtle Man Live Action on YouTube as well as our Facebook page. We have been shooting a ton of videos comparable to what you saw on Animal Planet and we are hoping to keep this ride going.”
Also, the Turtle Man has dipped his toe into the music world as he has an album coming out next month. With plans to attend the County Music Awards, his record will have a full slate of songs that tells the stories of Brown and the roads he has traveled.
Through some promotion on social media and the help of our friends at WDTV, WKKW and Sky 106.5, we were able to promote the free evening session of meeting the Turtle Man and things could not have been better. With crowds of people on hand, Brown shakes hands, talks to folks and tells stories about his brushes with other celebrities. But, do not think that his popularity has gone to his head, as he is as grounded as they come. As they say, he is the salt of the earth kind of guy.
And this time, he brought a tag-a-long as Turtle Mom made the trek with him. She may be a little long in the tooth but she brings the energy just like her son does as he explains.
“It’s great to have her around with me on these trips. When I tell the story about how I got interested in turtles, she is right there to back the stories up. She has as much fun as I do and we have a lot of stories between the both of us.”
Again, we really appreciate the visit to our facility and look forward to seeing him again, real soon.