CREEDMOOR — Monday morning, there was a light knock at an office door and a man, wearing layers of clothes and reflective gear, entered the office. He said he just traveled on N.C. Hwy 56 from Louisburg to Creedmoor, but his bicycle was edged off the road and onto a soft shoulder.
He introduced himself as William Minor, weather tracker. Minor, 80, a former reporter for the Miami Herald newspaper, now spends his time tracking weather patterns and talking with local firefighters to gather information from across the country.
Minor said he has spent about 10 years on the West Coast with the drought and heat, which often led to fires.
That led him to spend the next 10 years in the middle of the country studying tornadoes and erratic storms.
He is working his way down the East Coast and through North Carolina. Minor said that flooding has been one of the major weather events he has seen in the East.
“I didn’t do as much traveling during COVID, so I lost a couple of years of research time, but I am back on the bike traveling and taking notes.
While in Creedmoor, Minor spent time with members of the Creedmoor Volunteer Fire Department and gathered weather information from department members.
After meeting with the fire department, Minor had the opportunity to meet with members of the Creedmoor Police Department and with Pastor Eric Mann of First Baptist Church of Creedmoor.
Minor returned to the newspaper office, to grab a quick meal and share a few more stories about journalism in the 1970’s in Florida, where President Richard Nixon had a compound.
“I had this golf ball I placed on a table and it would fall off if a helicopter flew over to the Nixon compound,” he said. “I woke up one morning and the ball was on the floor. I knew something was up and was able to get an inside track before Nixon went to China.”
Minor said he as spent quite a few years living near an Amish community. “I learned a lot about weather patterns and how they affected their farms.”
Minor pulled out a stack of maps and documents that tracked his every move over the past few months.
“I’m not much with computers, but there is a need to collect this research,” Minor said. “Something I’ve learned about journalism, you have to have integrity and you have to write to educate and inform, not just entertain.”
Minor said he would be heading out the next morning, to wherever the wind blows.