Canyon Lakers remember Dr. George

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Many Canyon Lake residents were saddened last month to learn of the death of Dr. George Fischbeck – and it reminded many longtime residents of the day the celebrity meteorologist visited the community in the early ‘90s.

It was 1992 when the exuberant weatherman arrived in a KABC helicopter, which touched down on the Golf Course to the cheers of local men, women and children. He was on hand to accept a check dedicated to a burn center that was one of his favorite charities.

It had all begun when Mrs. Cindy Metheny invited a young, badly burned boy to speak to her combination 2nd-3rd grade class at Railroad Canyon Elementary School. He told his traumatic story and demonstrated the stop, drop and roll method of putting out a fire if someone’s clothes or body encounters flames. It made an immense impression on one student, Tara Miller-Abell, who decided to undertake a fundraising campaign for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.

Tara enlisted the help of all the students in her classroom and the school, and encouraged each of them to spread the word to their relatives and friends. Through bake sales, penny drives and other modest activities, several hundred dollars were raised – and thus a call to KABC to see if they were interested in a “feel good” feature on their news channel.

The answer was yes, and thus another Canyon Lake memory was born.

Known for his bow tie, big smile and exuberant personality, Dr. George brought the weather forecast to Southern California audiences for nearly 20 years, starting in 1972.

According to an article in the LA Times, “Fischbeck handled the weather chores at KABC until the early 1990s, then joined KCBS-TV in 1994 and spent a few years doing feature stories. Well into his 80s, he volunteered as a docent at the L.A. Zoo, bringing animals to cheer rest-home patients. He raised money for firefighter charities and regularly participated in late-night stakeouts with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Volunteer Surveillance Team.”

He died of natural causes at the age of 92 on March 25, 2015 at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills.

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Sharon Rice