Monday, July 30, 2007

No more SLIME in our ice machines!

If you've lived in Houston any amount of time, or managed to travel our way and catch the local news, chances are you caught a few of our more "colorful" Texas on-air personalities. The first thing I noticed about this city is that it has its share of interesting locally famous people. But, two big characters catch your attention right away--and that's our own "Mattress" Mack of mecca furniture store land, and our ABC news affliate's, Marvin Zindler.

Zindler with his strange glasses, shocking white hair and Cheshire smile, spent the past 35 years known as the "Slime in the Ice Machine" guy, thanks to his sometimes scathing and shocking restaurant inspection reports. But, he was also a very giving man who did a lot for our community. While he was quirky and strange, I instantly liked the fact that this guy was rather out there--and not afraid to break the normal newscaster mold with his own interesting flavor.

Many jokes have been made, even by Zindler himself, about the number of plastic surgeries the reporter had undergone over the years, as well as his over-the-top reporting of under-rating food establishments. But, those of us who are fairly new to Houston, may not know that he was also the inspiration behind a very memorable musical about the Lone Star State. (
Read on, if you are interested here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20028197/ and http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=action13&id=5478841). And, for that, he holds a little spot in Texas history and most Houstonians hearts.

Zindler died of pancreatic cancer today at age 85. Just last week, I was shocked to turn on his channel and find him delivering his restaurant reviews from his hospital bed still with the same vigor and spunk has he has for three decades. I was amazed that he was still determined to put on his show, even when cancer had obviously gotten the best of him.

And it is certain that one of the best parts of our community has left us as well with his passing. Marvin, you will be missed!

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Angela said...

Wow, what a fascinating life he led! You know, that's one musical I never have seen--now that I have a more personal connection to it though, I'm curious!

This was a lovely tribute.

1:56 AM, July 30, 2007  
Blogger Dipu said...

To be honest, his on-air mannerisms annoyed me when I was a kid (and yet somehow I enjoyed Mattress Mack). But it's hard to imagine Dave Ward at Channel 13 without Marvin Zindler shouting, "AYYEEwitness NEWS!" And of course you quote his most memorable line of all in your title. I didn't know about all his charitable work; I guess he earned the right to be who he was on TV ... and then some.

12:49 AM, August 01, 2007  

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