Amazing Men of ABC 7: John Scalzi

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SARASOTA - All this month we've been giving you a more personal side of the men you see on TV here every day on ABC 7. Now we're getting to know a little more about the always charismatic morning meterologist, John Scalzi.

It seemed like a normal day at work until I saw the email. What? An amazing man? What’s so amazing, I thought? Then I remembered...oh yeah, I am amazing.

That's right, I was into magic as a kid; got good at it too, and ended up on the Captain Kangaroo show. The captain retired shortly after I appeared.

Growing up in Ohio I showed to distinct personalities. This made me perfect for little theater. For years my parents would schlep me form one show to another.

Meanwhile I also devoured chemistry at the science center in St. Petersburg. It's a wonderful school for teaching advanced science to motivated kids. Even though my saintly parents were in medical professions, they never batted an eye when their pre-Med son said “I want to be an actor.”

For a decade I worked in professional theater after studying here and in England -- until life took a left turn.

It was 1985 and Hurricane Elena was forcing evacuations while my father recovered from heart surgery in a Gulf Coast intensive care unit. I was fascinated by this storm while glued to the television updates. I knew when our crisis was over I would study weather.

After undergraduate and graduate studies in atmospheric science and a few jobs in TV, I landed back home with WWSB.

In a few years, another hurricane was destined to influence my life. In 2004, Hurricane Charley would arrive on the Suncoast. “There will be major, major damage, and hopefully no loss of life.”

I have never been prouder than to be counted as a part of the team that covered Charley.

I met my wife in Sarasota. Linda Larsen is an internationally-known motivational speaker and best-selling author. She's cute too, don't you think?

All of our family lives here and the memory of my father lives here, too.

My wife, our videographer son Miles, and I own the family business Voting Matters. We provide video training to poll workers in every county in nine states. If you’re a poll worker in Florida you may remember friendly Deputy John.

To unwind, I build things; mostly inventive tinkering and home improvement. I've built docks and deck and outdoor kitchens, souped-up kayaks, souped-up lawnmowers, and for the last two years a souped-up boat.

And I enjoy gardening and cooking and stargazing.

Service to the community has always been a family value. "The kids were truly motivated and inspired, and really excited to meet a real scientist. It takes a village to raise a child and John truly is a good example of that for us," says Susan Scott, executive director of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.