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Dave Roberts: A Tribute by Phil Andrews

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By Phil Andrews   Phil Andrews

“Don’t worry,” he wrote, “I know it feels like the end of the world, but you will land on your feet again.” At the time those words of encouragement meant the world to me, because at the time, I really did feel like my world was ending.

It was my former Channel 6 colleague Dave Roberts  who took the time to write those words and send that card four years ago. The card coming just a few short weeks after receiving word that my services were no longer required at the station and that my contract would not be renewed. The gesture would have been no surprise to anyone who knows Dave, because it’s who he is: a kind, sensitive and caring person who genuinely never has a bad thing to say about anyone. Come to think of it, I can’t remember a time during my 15 years at Channel 6 when I ever saw Dave not smile.

I’m sure by now most of you know that Dave is also the father of actor David Boreanaz  of Buffy and the Vampire Slayer  and Bones fame, but Dave Dave Roberts also has two other children and three grand children. I mention this, because once or twice a week I would wander into the Action News Weather department to ask if the weather would be good enough on my days off to play golf and I remember how he always had numerous photos of his family on display.

In addition to his demeanor and personality, the thing that also amazed me was how youthful he always looked. Even as he said good-bye to his TV family this week, the 73 year old Roberts still looked years younger than his birth certificate. I often wondered if Dave was tapped into the same fountain of youth as “America’s Oldest Living Teenager “ Dick Clark, who was born seven years before Dave.

Spreading the love came easy for Dave, after-all he was born on Valentines Day. In addition to his on air work, he was well-regarded for his community service. Active with numerous charities in the Delaware Valley, he received the "Man of the Year Achievement Award" from the Sons of Italy Central Delco Lodge #2438, and was also selected as "Person of the Year" by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

I think it's safe to say that Dave’s toughest challenge during his 31-year tenure at 4100 City Avenue, was playing straight man for both Jim Gardner and the late Gary Papa. You just never knew what those three were going to throw your way every night. Or should I say, Dave never knew what Jim and Gary were going to throw at him. Whatever the scenario, Dave handled it like the true professional he was. Even during the celebration of life ceremony for Papa, Roberts was able to take the emotion of the moment and put a smile on our face. Like Gary, Dave too will be missed. I can only imagine how tough it is for Jim Gardner, now that he is without two of his closest friends.

Good luck Dave, not only in retirement but also with that "Honey Do List" I’m sure your wife Patti has waiting for you.

Note: Prior to his arrival at Action News in 1978, television viewers in Buffalo knew him as Dave Thomas (Thomas is Roberts' real middle name.) He was a weatherman at Buffalo’s WKBW-TV  and host of its "Rocketship 7" show, a children's program. When Dave came to Philadelphia, he changed his name to Dave Roberts to avoid confusion with viewers since WPVI-TV already had Lisa Thomas-Laury.

Very special thanks to Phil Andrews and David Brunner at DB & Associates 

You can check out Phil's site at www.philandrews.tv

 

Phil Andrews photo: http://www.philandrews.tv/images/Drive1a.png

Dave Roberts photos: http://images.townnews.com/delcotimes.com/content/articles/2009/11/19/entertainment/doc4b0521f435d85966381016.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_K7rgxm4bdVc/SwU3havGReI/AAAAAAAAK6o/cTDDQGJ8akg/s1600/Screen+shot+2009-11-19+at+7.17.44+AM.png

http://phillytalk.com/awards/2007-awards/dave-roberts-nice-guy.html