A special presenter at the Payson Book Festival will be Dave Munsey, a former weatherman for KSAZ Fox 10 in Phoenix.
Now retired, he served in the position for a record-breaking 42 years, is an Emmy Award winner and Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee.
He will have his autobiography, “Munsey Business,” a book about his life and career, at the festival this year.
Growing up in North Dakota is where he learned the way of speaking with a Midwest charm.
“I started my career working as a radio announcer while I was in high school in North Dakota. After attending college at the University of North Dakota, I spent two years in the Army. During that first year, I was a TV news anchor in Alaska,” he said.
“In the second year I went to Vietnam, where I was asked to emcee the Bob Hope Christmas Show and interpret the Latin Mass for Cardinal Cushing on Christmas Eve. That led to a spot on American Forces Radio and Television Service (which provides programs to service members and families overseas) for the rest of my tour in Vietnam.”
Over the years he met and interviewed many celebrities.
“My favorite celebrity of all time was Erma Bombeck. She was the funniest person on the face of the earth. I couldn’t wait to interview her and I was lucky enough to interview her three times, and meet her 12 times. She was a dream,” he said.
Scott Hanson, president of HMA Public Relations, said of Munsey, “He’s one of the funniest people and best storytellers I know.”
One of Munsey’s lifelong missions is to promote water safety after a friend lost a child in a drowning accident at a lake in Minnesota.
His long-running slogan began in 1980 when Munsey started ending every weather report with, “Watch your kids around water.”
He still devotes time to giving talks and handing out educational pamphlets and coloring books about water safety. Recently he partnered with Valley of the Sun YMCA.
“We’re dedicated to reversing the alarming statistics about our state’s youth drowning rates,” said Munsey, with Arizona having twice as many children drown compared to the national average.”
He will be tweaking his mantra to promote another layer of water safety protection, “Teach Your Kids to Swim.”
His wife, Bunny, kept a library of his career and when he retired in 2017, he looked that over and started writing “Munsey Business.”
You can talk to Munsey and get a book signed at the Payson Book Festival. The festival is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, July 20 at the Mazatzal Casino.
About the festival
The Rim Country Chapter of Arizona Professional Writers (APW) and Majestic Rim Retirement Living present the Payson Book Festival.
It features authors from Rim Country and around Arizona. The book festival also features book signings and booksellers, projects for the kids, presentations, live music and food.