Doug Hill Well Known Television Personality and Meteorologist
Now, I know many of you are familiar with my friend Doug, but were you aware that Doug and his wife Mary-Ann have called Calvert County “home” for more than 12 years now? They first moved to Huntingtown and just recently built a home in Owings for their children, their horse, their dog and their cats! And they have been very involved in our community since arriving here in 2002.
I have known of Doug since he started doing the weather in Washington, DC in 1984. I believe he came a few years after the retirement of ABC’s much loved weatherman, Louis Allen who highlighted his weather reports with “stick figure” drawings he would draw on the air to highlight his report.
Doug was born and raised in Towson, Maryland. He attended Towson State before deciding he wanted to try something else and decided to join the United States Air Force as his ticket to get out to see the world. And the Air Force, in showing great wisdom had the great audacity to give him orders to Andrews Air Force Base for 3 ½ years! He was assigned to the 1002nd Security Police Squadron there. Following his fulfillment of his military obligation, he chose to become a police officer in the Prince Georges County Police. For six years he served as a Patrol officer and the Department’s Public Information Officer. At this point, Doug began to realize that becoming a news reporter is what he really wanted to do. Former newscasters at WTOP [now WUSA] Channel 9, Mike Buchanan and John Harter were able to convince him to give broadcasting a try, but as Doug tells me, “the Lord had other plans for him”!
His big break came when applying for his first job at WWBT TV in Richmond, Virginia when the news director saw that Doug had a great presence on camera, however there were no news reporter spots available at the time. But he did notice Doug had indicated a lifelong hobby in weather forecasting so, following a quick audition, hired him on the spot for the weekend weather job! And, as Doug says, “the rest is history”! He spent a year in Richmond, 4 1/2 years in Detroit, and finally landed back here in Washington where he has now worked for more than 30 years.
I got to know Doug more than 10 years ago when he accepted my invitation to become “Dougette”, an honorary Washington Redskin Hogette and attend a Sunday afternoon game up at FedEx dressed in a “granny dress”, wig, big white hat, and a pig snout! He was a great sport about doing this for us, even putting us in a segment during one of his evening spots on ABC. And there was quite a bit of banter with the news anchors on WTOP radio during his morning weather reports that he also provides in addition to his daily broadcasts on Channel 7 at 4, 5, and 6. The Hogettes had several pictures taken with our friend, but when I reviewed them prior to writing this story, I couldn’t help but note Doug never smiled in any of the pictures, unlike the many other celebrities who have joined us in “drag” at the games! Deep down I think he was worried about the harassment we would endure during the coming week from his TV and Radio friends! I truly think he had a much better time than he let on and given the chance, I believe he would do it again! He has served as a guest moderator for Channel 7 and has always said great things about us when covering parades or any other charity events that we have appeared.
More to the point, Doug and Mary-Ann recently served as Honorary Chairmen of the Annual Calvert Hospice Fundraising Drive. They became involved following the passing of Mary-Ann’s mother; the care and treatment the Hospice folks provided her mom impressed them to the point they wanted to help this organization as a means to show their appreciation. Doug is very modest about their efforts in this regard, but I know that they played a significant role just in getting involved. And their support went a long way in publicizing this great service that is available to us here in Calvert County!
A few years back, Doug agreed to my request to come to my firm’s annual dinner and entertained us with some of the more humorous events of his life. I remember sitting close to the podium when he started to speak about lightning and the fact he has actually been struck at least two times! At that point I grabbed my chair and moved about 30 feet away drawing a great laugh from the crowd! You should have seen the look he gave me! EEeekk!
If you ever get the opportunity to hear him speak at a local function [he often does speeches here in the County], go listen as he is very entertaining and can be very comical!
But my best memories of Doug go back many years when he helped me raise money for Children’s Hospital. With the help of fellow Hogettes, we turned my 60th Birthday Party at the Holiday Inn in Solomons into a fundraiser and Doug agreed to be my Master of Ceremonies for the evening! In addition, my good band friends, “The Fabulous Hubcaps” provided the music and gave a portion of their costs back to us to give to Children’s Hospital. Doug was a superb MC and was always spot on with his comments to our crowd of nearly 300 family, friends and neighbors who attended! Several former Redskins and current Redskins Cheerleaders were there as well. My brother still can’t believe how we were able to attract 300 folks at $65 apiece to attend my Birthday Party! It was easy, just have a great purpose, find a super band, and get Doug Hill to host the event!!!! He went a long way to making it a truly fine evening and I am forever in his debt!!!
To say we have grown fond of Doug over the years is to put it very mildly. He is a complete jewel of a friend. And, despite his great celebrity, he remains very grounded and down to earth in both his public and private lives. He is man of great faith and he and Mary-Ann are very active with Chesapeake Church and its ministries in Huntingtown. I am very honored to be his friend and I can honestly say Doug, with his wonderful wife Mary-Ann, have done so much to make Calvert County this beautiful place we all call “home”! To both of you, thank you for all you do!!! Your bud in a dress! Spiggy
Dave Spigler resides in Lusby and has been a resident of Calvert County since 1979. He has been recognized many times for his years of community service. He received the “Calvert You Are Beautiful Award” for 2013 and recognized by the Knights of Columbus as the “Maryland Citizen of the Year” in 2011. He was a member of the HOGETTES, the Washington Redskins “Biggest Fans” for 22 years. If you know of an unsung citizen of Calvert County, please contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.