Richard Hendrickson, a Bridgehampton resident who turned 100 in September, warned the Southampton Town board Tuesday that global warming was real, and that “the Atlantic in time will creep up and take a majority of what we enjoy.”
And when Richard Hendrickson talks about weather, people listen.
Hendrickson -- one of the longest-serving volunteer weather watchers in the history of the weather bureau -- has been measuring temperature and rainfall and wind speed for decades. He passed the previous volunteer with the longest record in service -- 78 years -- in 2006.
Hendrickson, a retired farmer, was presented with a special recognition award from the New York State Assembly by Sag Harbor Assemb. Fred W. Thiele, and another award from the Southampton Town board.
In a gentle reminder of his past, Hendrickson looked around Town Hall -- it was once an elementary school building -- and reflected, “This is a little different than when I went to school here.”
Herbert Hoover was president when Hendrickson, then 18, began measuring rainfall for a neighbor who had set up a weather station on Hendrickson’s father’s farm.
And he had another weather memory to share. He measured the temperature one day this summer at 100 degrees in the shade. “This is where you used to come to get cool in the summertime,” he said.
Photo: Southampton Town Hall