Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Happens in Vegas: The Sad Story of John Fredericks

I've sort of fallen out of the local news habit. The only time I seem to watch are those nights when The Daily Show is in reruns, or if I just happen to have the TV on at the right time. I catch it often enough to know who the local personalities are for the most part, and to know one station from the other. John Fredericks was--to me--just another of the many locally recognized names. I knew he had a dog named Jordan, and that to his regular viewers, his dog was something of a celebrity.

John Fredericks with Jordan in 2008.
Image from LVRJ.
When his dog died, I was involved in making the grave marker, an elaborate and attractive monument. And after that, I didn't really follow what happened to John Fredericks. Until I caught a snippet about some alleged misconduct, and reported it here on my blog: What Happens in Vegas: Local Weatherman Accused of Stalking. I really only took notice because it seemed so out of character. His persona was rather sunny, the middle-aged reporter with his adorable--but manly--dog.

I knew that Fredericks was breaking in a new dog named LJ ("Little Jordan"), and later that he'd left Las Vegas for a different market. I didn't think about Fredericks after that, except for the odd time that the link to my post would randomly pop up on my page. Then today, there was activity at work about the original Jordan monument. There was going to be an addition to acknowledge the passing of John Fredericks. Huh?

He can't even be out of his fifties, I thought. Again, it just seemed unlikely. But it was true, he'd died. Worse, he was in hospice at the time, suffering from cirrhosis. Apparently, he'd never gotten over Jordan's death. Which is sad enough. But the more you read about it, the sadder it gets.  Here is an excerpt from a local Las Vegas paper, a year before Fredericks died:

[Excerpt]


"When Jordan died in August 2007, Fredericks struggled with depression and alcoholism.

During Christmas week 2008, he left the business shortly after his replacement dog, LJ (for Little Jordan), was banned from the station. . .

. . .But jobs were scarce and he ended up with a $9-an-hour job cleaning 150 cat litter boxes every morning. The owner allowed him to stay in a trailer. He slept in a sleeping bag, existing without water or heat. . ." Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

It just gets worse from there, and as I said, that was a year ago. I went into this story just to note the death of a moderate local celebrity, and came out depressed and a bit upset. And ask anyone, I'm all black-hearted and compassion free most of the time. But apparently, this guy led one of the most sad-sack, string-of-bad-luck, depressing lives you can almost imagine, buoyed briefly by a stetch of years where he simultaneously had a wonderful dog and a great job as a local celebrity. The rest is just. . .well, the poor guy. Obviously, a long-term healthy life can't be anchored to the life of an animal that only lives an average of 12-15 years. It's too bad somebody couldn't have helped him before his life took such a sad turn.

[Excerpt]

John Fredericks, 57, dies in hospice

Former Las Vegas weatherman John Fredericks, who never recovered from the 2007 death of his golden Lab, Jordan, his longtime on-air companion, died Friday. He had checked in Nathan Adelson Hospice on Tuesday. . .

Read more at: LVRJ

7 comments:

  1. wow I did not know that John had passed and that he sunk so deep into such dark places in his life. He was a great meteorologist when he was with Channel 3 , it was the reason I watched the news back in the late 90's and early 2's RIP John You are missed.

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  2. I recently had a strange but true experience at the cemetery where his beloved dog Jordan is buried and now John as well. I wrote a blog about what took place, "Visions at a Pet Cemetery" on Blogger. His last days were very tragic and I did meet him once when he still had Jordan.

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  3. I love watching fredericks fact on news 3 , I met him once at a station blood drive. He will be missed.

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  4. My husband and I met John and Jordan at the Casa Blanca in Mesquite around Christmas 2006. John was selling the Jordan calendar and we spent some time with the both of them and Ieven have a picture of the four of us. It is just terrible that some people suffer so much and have no one to turn to for help. Even though I have a family, the death of any of my pets has always brought me so much grief and I can well understand that John's grief was immense. There are NEVER replacement dogs. Each on of them is different, has a different peronality and while John needed to heal his heart, the depression was just too much for him. RIP John. Does anyone know what happened to LJ? I hope he has a good and loving home.

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  5. I want to the public memorial service for John Fredericks, and LJ was there. He had been adopted by a family and looked well.

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  6. Moved to Las Vegas in 2002. Tuned in daily to channel 3 especially at noon to see John do the weather around 12:37. His cool persona and wit will always be with me. He was cool Vegas. Saw him once in person in a retail store in 2007, and tipped a salute. Miss the dude. RIP John and Jordan!

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  7. Moved to Las Vegas in 2002. Tuned in daily to channel 3 especially at noon to see John do the weather around 12:37. His cool persona and wit will always be with me. He was cool Vegas. Saw him once in person in a retail store in 2007, and tipped a salute. Miss the dude. RIP John and Jordan!

    ReplyDelete

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