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O'Neill Outside
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O'Neill Outside

O'Neill Outside

O'Neill Outside

68 years old, born in Atlanta, Georgia under a falling barometer and wind out of the west. I’m 5’ 7” tall on a good dry day, shorter when it’s raining. Weigh in at 208 pounds... again, more when it’s wet. I know, I know, I’m fat but hide it well don’t you think?  I’m also bald headed and have been since age 23. I’m used to it. Having hair on my head would seem like a lot of trouble to me.

Married to Gail Olivia Williams (yes, her name was Williams before we married).  We went to high school together near Atlanta and were acquainted but not close friends. She sat across from me in home room for 4 years. I looked at her.  She didn’t look at me. Believe me, Gail Williams was the prettiest girl in high school bar none, was designated and awarded as such by her peers and, if you’ve seen her on the webpage, you know she still is the prettiest woman wherever she goes. 

We met again when I was a freshman at Emory and a fraternity brother had asked me to ask her for a blind date.  He had seen a photo in my yearbook. She said that she didn’t go out on blind dates but had wanted to date me for many years. Yea, sure, I just caught her in a weak moment.  For our very first date, we went to a baseball game in which I played shortstop going 0 for 3, flied out to right three times on pitches low and outside. That guy had a great curve. After 45 years, since our first date that night, I’m still performing and being coached from the sidelines. I asked her to marry me a few weeks later, obviously another weak moment on her part.  We did so three years later in June of 1965, the same week I graduated from Emory. We’ve been married for 47 years. Evidently I still have my act going strong.

In high school, I wrestled and played football (until the typical knee injury and operation ended all that), and was an All-State baseball player as a senior setting a record in the Georgia High School Baseball Association with a batting average of .567. That average is the second highest ever recorded for a high school player in the history of the State and lasted for 23 years. I was proud. In mid season of that remarkable year, I was batting a cool .818. OK, a few bloop doubles fell in and some ‘seeing-eye’ singles got through. I graduated from Emory University with a BA degree in Economics. I am a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.  At Emory I wrestled, played football (wasn’t supposed to), was a diver on the swim team, a sprinter in track (starting first and finishing last in the finals every meet) and the soccer goalie.  In my senior season, I was unscored on. I was an average student at best but boy did I have a good time.  WOW. Immediately after college, I worked in sales management in the food industry until finding that Television and Radio was more my style. Making up and telling stories about hunting and fishing is more interesting than those about hot dogs.

In the Spring of 1987, at 43 years old, I finished 3rd in the Atlanta Body Building Championship.  Don’t get excited, it was in the Masters’ Division and didn’t have much competition, more than 2 but not many. I’ll put the photos on the site one day when Gail will let me. I lost 43 pounds for that night on stage and never want to do that again. I damn near starved. I like to eat.  It’s one of my remaining passions.

Gail and I have two daughters that live nearby. Our oldest is married, helps me run the company and has two children; Travis is 19 and says he’s going to take over the TV and Radio show and Lorrie is 17 and will be an outstanding mother, the grandest and most rewarding profession on this earth. Our youngest daughter is married, is a beautician, and occasionally cuts the remaining hair I own. Gail and I spend part of our time at the “Lean-to Lodge”, a small cabin in the North Georgia Mountains often broadcasting “O’Neill Outside” radio from there. Maybe you’ve heard us doing that. I’m usually in my shorts. It’s a disgusting visual. Don’t try it.

Gail and I work every day. You think all this is easy? Every week on average, 52 weeks a year, over 1.4 million outdoorsmen and women either watch the television show, listen to the radio show, read articles by O’Neill in magazines or visit www.oneilloutside.com.

In 2013, the television show will witness its 32nd season. It began as “The Metro-Channel Sports Fishing Report”, a Thursday night 15-minute interview program on local Atlanta cable. The show expanded and changed from “Fishing in Georgia”, to “Southern Fishing”, “Reel Adventures”, “Adventures Afield” and finally “O’Neill Outside”. The program is on NBC Sports, Sport South, and Sun Sports Networks 52 weeks a year, reaches 80,000,000 households and has a weekly audience of more than 750,000 deeply disturbed outdoorsmen and women.

“O’Neill Outside” radio airs on from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday mornings on Atlanta’s WSB Radio and can be heard over 38 Southern and East Coast States. I’m told the weekly audience for our 20 plus year old radio program is over 400,000. I don’t believe it! Anyway Gail and I arise on Saturday mornings at 2:30 a.m. and drive to WSB in downtown Atlanta finishing at 6 a.m. Hope you listen and appreciate it.

So far it’s been quite a ride. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. After all, I’ve got a great partner. Gotta hold up my end of the deal.

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News

  • There is light at the end of the prolonged wet and/or cloudy spell we have been going through. As I’ve been advertising on the radio for a few days now a prolonged dry spell is expected to begin Sunday and last through next Thursday, with modest thunderstorm chances returning Friday and next weekend. By the way, from this long distance, 4th of July weather looks pretty typical for the Metro, very warm and humid with around a 30% chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm. But first things first. We are still in a warm very deep moist tropical air mass. And while we get to see some sun today and tomorrow, we are not done with rain just yet, nor the threat of an isolated severe storm or small, weak tornado. Listen for details on the weather today this weekend and next 5 days on the radio in my reports for updates. Or check wsbradio.com at Click on the MellishMeter on the WSB Radio homepage for my 5 day forecast in writing anytime on any digital device. Due to the tropical nature of the air in place, more heavy downpours are likely in spots late today and overnight into tomorrow and that’s on already saturated soils, so a FLASH FLOOD WATCH has been issued for all of Metro Atlanta north of Griffin. Take note that trees may fall in the wet root zones without new rain or without high wind. Also bear in mind that in tropical systems lightning and thunder is often at a minimum, even in storms capable of producing damaging straight line winds or a tornado, so you may get little or no warning. You can see what’s left of Tropical Storm Cindy and the approach of a front from the north. MID-DAY FRIDAY: FRIDAY END OF DAY: FRIDAY EVENING: SATURDAY AM: END OF DAY SATURDAY: SUNDAY MORNING: HIGHEST FLOODING RISK FRIDAY: Flash Flood Watch 2pm Friday-8pm Saturday FRIDAY SEVERE WEATHER RISK:   TORNADO WATCH UNTIL 9PM Atlanta time: The remnants of Cindy will push eastward, and interact with shear axis/weak convergence boundary through Saturday. This shear axis/weak convergence zone will slowly sag south across the metro area through Saturday, serving to focus areas of precipitation. As with any tropical system, the potential for severe weather will exist. Especially for isolated tornadoes within any rain-bands. Areas roughly along and west of the Interstate 85 corridor will have the best potential for any severe weather through tonight. However, if good heating occurs across southern areas today, an isolated severe thunderstorm is not out of the question there, too. End of day Friday predicted (simulated) radar from a couple models: A welcome change is headed our way in the long term as drier air moves into the region, with lower than normal temperatures continuing and lower than normal humidity moving in with a less than normal rain odds Sunday through next Thursday. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @MellishMeterWSB
  • Family and friends are preparing for the funeral for a 16-year-old killed in a crash in Cherokee County. Police said a 17-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel on Hightower Road and traveled into an embankment and hit a tree. Mahlon Thornton died at the scene. The driver has a broken arm. Family members said Mahlon and his friend had been up all night fishing Sunday into Monday. 'They stayed up all night fishing. They were tired and they were probably going pretty fast,' said Cynthia Decker, Mahlon's guardian. Mahlon moved in with Decker three years ago. TRENDING STORIES: Sheriff reduces jail time for Georgia inmates who saved officer Police: Woman attacked at gas pump, turns tables on would-be robbers Homeowner stabbed to death during home invasion 'I'm going to miss that hug in the morning and that hug at night and that hug before he left,' she said. Deputies are still investigating the crash. 'I just want these kids to understand they're not invincible. They gotta rest. They gotta take care of themselves,' Decker said. Mahlon's parents said they forgive the driver. 'No blame, no blame. It could have easily been Mahlon driving,' said the victim's mother, Jenelle Thornton. Mahlon's funeral is Saturday in West Cobb. His family said they are finding comfort through faith. 'Our ministry has just begun because of this event. This will reshape us. We have no idea how to comprehend,' the victim's father, Wayne Thornton said.
  • A mother wanted on child cruelty charges out of Snellville has been arrested in Tennessee.  Savion Piotter already had DFCS cases pending against her in New York and DeKalb County. Snellville Police Det. Deann Green took out arrest warrants against her last week for drugging her four kids with Benadryl in an effort to control them, keeping them out of school for the last year and refusing to seek medical care for them.  When an officer showed up at her Snellville duplex with a caseworker, a 3-year-old answered the door and an 8-year-old subsequently shut and locked it in the officer’s face. Piotter skipped town with the kids before police could return with the warrant.  “I was able to ping her cell phone… and located it in Tennessee. I coordinated with Knoxville Police Department and they were able to locate her in the hotel in that area and make an arrest,” Green tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.  The four children were placed in DFCS custody and will be brought back to Georgia along with Piotter who Green plans to extradite.  Asked why Green was able to locate Piotter when others haven’t been able to, “My big thing is to keep track of kids and make sure they’re safe and in good condition. So, I wanted to make sure they didn’t slip through the cracks,” she says.
  • Two giant pandas from China have landed safely in Berlin where they are being welcomed by the German capital's mayor and the Chinese ambassador. Men Meng and Jiao Qing were treated like royalty on their 12-hour-flight from Chengdu in southwestern China — their entourage included a Berlin veterinarian, two Chinese zookeepers and traveling press. 'They slept a bit, munched on their bamboo and nibbled on some cookies,' veterinarian Andreas Ochs told reporters at Berlin's Schoenefeld airport shortly after the arrival on Saturday. The German capital is going nuts over the cute bears, which will first be presented to the public at the zoo on July 6. Berlin's last panda, Bao Bao, was sent in 1980 as a gift from then-Chinese leader Hua Guofeng to West Germany's chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. Bao Bao died in 2012.
  • Lauren Hutton is going to be this year's honoree at the 20th annual Maine International Film Festival. The 73-year-old actress, model and producer will be awarded the Mid-Life Achievement Award next month in Waterville, Maine. Festival programmer Ken Eisen told the Morning Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2u03TZ6) that Hutton was part of what he described as a golden age of American filmmaking in the 1970s and that she broke the rules for aging by modeling nude at age 61. She'll receive the award July 20 at the Waterville Opera House where her movie 'American Gigolo,' also starring Richard Gere, will be shown. ___ Information from: Morning Sentinel, http://www.onlinesentinel.com/
  • Artifacts connected to some of the nation's most notorious gangsters are being auctioned this weekend. A handwritten musical composition by Al Capone, a letter written by John Gotti, and jewelry that belonged to Bonnie and Clyde are among the items up for bid Saturday in the 'Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen' auction in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Boston-based RR Auction. The musical piece entitled 'Humoresque' shows Capone's softer side. Written when Capone was in Alcatraz in the 1930s, it contains the lines: 'You thrill and fill this heart of mine, with gladness like a soothing symphony, over the air, you gently float, and in my soul, you strike a note.' Gotti's letter, written about 1998 to the daughter of a mob associate, urges the recipient to tell her father 'to keep the martinis cold.