Dr. Mel Goldstein, the constantly smiling, wise-cracking
television meteorologist, may be one of the most recognized people
Luckily for Western Connecticut State University, he is an
institution on campus, too.
Dr. Mel, as he is known by many, was a professor at Western long
before he stood in front of a television camera, and he created the
weather center, the first of its kind on a college campus in New
He retired from WCSU in 1986 after 27 years of teaching and became
the chief meteorologist at WTNH-TV, where he continues to work. Dr.
Mel maintained his ties with the university, though, and returned
this spring to present the annual President’s Lecture to a full
house in the Science Building.
Dr. Mel focused his talk on his early years, when he lived on the
coast of Massachusetts and watched storms developed over the ocean.
He dedicated the lecture to his mother, who had died that week at
93. She cultivated a happy atmosphere in their house, where laughter
was the norm.
Sometimes, the love of laughter and weather came together.
“In 1954 I was waiting for my dad to get home and Hurricane Carol
came along,” the meteorologist said. “Mom and I watched the roof of
our house fly off – and we were still laughing. We asked ourselves:
Do you think Dad will be able to get home?
“The next year, 1955, we had two storms, Hurricane Connie and Diane.
I’m down in the basement with my grandfather and we were bailing out
the basement. We didn’t know if the ocean was coming in or it was
rain. Granddad gave it the taste test.” He demonstrated the dipping
of his finger into the water. “Nope, it’s not the ocean! Pretty
soon, the fire department came to evacuate us.”
And here he laughed heartily.
Dr. Mel said that weather, with all its unpredictability and
occasional devastation, taught him to keep an even temperament.
“In the face of so many things that happen to us in our lives, it’s
taught me to not be brought down by, oh, I don’t know, things like
multiple myeloma,” said Dr. Mel, who was diagnosed in 1996 with
incurable cancer. “I didn’t know what multiple myeloma was so I
looked it up and it said the average survival rate is 33 months. I
said, ‘Well, it’s better than three.’”
His wife Arlene and daughter Laura attended the lecture, and he gave
them credit for his outlook, along with his mother.
“I’ve been fortunate with a wonderful family,” Dr. Mel said. “I’ve
been fortunate with wonderful colleagues. I’ve had wonderful cancer
care. How could I not smile?“
And I’ll tell you,” he added, “I’m not going to stop.”