Remembering my mentor Bud Kraehling

“Paul, you have to assume that everything is going to go to black and you have to tap dance up there for 3 minutes.” -- Bud Kraehling to Paul Huttner in the WCCO Weather Center in the late 1980s.

Bud said those words with a knowing smile to me one day early in my WCCO-TV weather career. It may have been the best career advice I ever received.

It was always a pleasure to watch Bud Kraehling do the weather on TV growing up in the Twin Cities. It was a distinct honor to work alongside Bud in the WCCO-TV Weather Center.

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Bud was a mentor in my weather career as I worked along side him at WCCO-TV from 1988 to 1994. My first live TV appearance ever was on WCCO-TV News at Noon doing a live shot from the National Weather Service booth at the Minnesota State Fair next to Bud's weathercast.

I filled in for Bud many times over the years before getting a regular slot on the newly created WCCO Morning News following the 1991 Halloween Mega Storm.

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Image courtesy WCCO-TV

Every day before his noon weathercast, Bud would sit at his desk and scan the New York Times for some weather related tidbit he could use on the air. He used to scribble his notes at the corner desk in the Weather Center on one of those big yellow legal pads before his weathercasts. He called Rapid City, South Dakota "The Banana Belt" on the air because it was often so much warmer than Minnesota.  His grace, sense of humor and steadiness set a great example for all of us.

I had just arrived at WCCO from my first real weather job in Chicago. Bud and I talked about Galesburg, Ill., and small market radio. Talking to Bud about anything is good tonic for the soul. He teaches you about the richness of life without even trying.

Thank you Bud for all you have done for me, and for Minnesota. The world is a much better place because of you.