“If it hadn’t been for my love of southern storms, I might have ended up on the Grand Ole Opry,” says Leigh Glaser, veteran meteorologist at KGO-TV. Her late father, Jerry Glaser, cofounded the Country Music Association and owned country music radio stations throughout the South. “I remember Tammy Wynette and Johnny Cash coming to the house and singing in the backyard. That’s what it was like growing up in Nashville,” she says. Like her father, Glaser went into broadcasting—but a fascination with the weather, not warbling, wound up shaping this southern gal’s media career.
Glaser had already worked as a weather forecaster and reporter in Durham, North Carolina, Seattle and Los Angeles before landing at KGO-TV in 1991. (Along with her weather forecasting, these days she’s also a live reporter for KGO-TV’s new afternoon show View from the Bay.) An early champion of the environmental movement, Glaser and her producer Penelope Dunham tackled topics like emission controls, Superfund cleanup sites and the spotted owl, efforts that earned her a spot on the Washington, D.C.–based Environmental Advisory Board for the National Radio and Television News Directors Association.
A full career meant little time for a personal life, but that changed in 1999, when her boss set her up on a blind dinner date. At Servino’s in Tiburon, she met Napa native Ashton Wolfson; the connection blossomed into a marriage, and now they have a beautiful two-year-old daughter, Alexandra Leigh Wolfson, aka “Lexi Leigh.”
All in all, it’s probably best predicting storms won out over country crooning, she says—especially since “I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”
You could live anywhere. Why Marin?
I love Marin—the views, open space, rolling hills, and patchwork of quaint little towns . . . it reminds me of my grandmother’s quilt.
What makes you happy in Marin?
I am happy that we get a little taste of all four seasons here. Rainy winters, warm springs, fog sometimes and hot spells in the summer—it is a perfect climate.
What bothers you here?
Traffic, traffic, traffic! I’ve lived in Marin for ten years and lately there has been a traffic explosion. If you don’t get errands done before 2 p.m., you’re stuck in traffic. And don’t get me started about the morning commute.
What do you value every day?
My family and friends. My husband makes me laugh and my daughter is such a treasure.
What is your personal idea of luxury?
My idea of luxury isn’t really material. To me having your health, a loving home and close friends is priceless. Although a personal shopper wouldn’t be bad.
What person has influenced you the most?
My mother: a true southern woman. She has taught me grace and humility through her warmth and compassion as well as manners and the importance of nice stationery. E-mails will never take the place of thank-you notes.
What has been the most fulfilling moment in your work?
Now. I can truly say after all this time I still love my job.
What’s your desert island book or album?
Right now I am trying to get through How to Deal with the Terrible Twos and How to Potty-Train in One Day—so if I’m successful with these books I might find time for a little light reading for myself. By the way, any advice in those areas would be appreciated.
What’s your favorite place to unwind?
Well, if you ask my husband he’d say, “Leigh never unwinds.” I love being at home with family and friends or just by myself. I am away from home so much that when I get the chance to “hang” around the house . . . I hang. And love it.
Do you have a favorite Marin view?
Atop the Miwok Trail on Mount Tam, looking down over the Pacific Ocean. It takes a while to hike to the top but the view is worth it. It takes my breath away.
What do you like about yourself?
That no matter the situation . . . I have a plan. Since I’m a working mother, plan B or C is often the course I take. I’ve learned to be flexible.
How do you want to be remembered?
As a loving wife and mother. I hope my daughter will cherish our time together as I have with my mother.