April 2007 Issue
Author, TV Personality
Photo by Jerry Mann
Personal: The father of three lives in Bay Village with his wife Bonnie and son Craig. Background: Zurcher has authored five books, including his latest, Ohio Road Trips with Neil Zurcher; and writes about his travels for AAA's Ohio Motorist magazine. For 25 years, Zurcher hosted "One Tank Trips" on Cleveland's Fox 8 TV, criss-crossing the state and beyond in his 1959 red and white Nash Metropolitan.
How it began: Zurcher joined Channel 8 as a reporter in 1967 and, in response to the gasoline shortage of 1980, created "One Tank Trips" segments for the news, spotlighting travel destinations in Ohio. Over the years, he added one-tank-there-one-tank-back destinations. "[For one story], we got all the way to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee," Zurcher says with a laugh. "We had to push the last mile, but we got there."
Most memorable excursion: A nudist camp called Whispering Winds, once located near New Philadelphia. "It was quite a shock," Zurcher recalls. "The lady who ran it was 79 years old, and I stood there trying to look any place except at her."
Why there's no place like home: "We've got so much here -- lakes, rivers, mountains, plains. I never understand people spending thousands and thousands of dollars to go to some other state or country to vacation when they haven't seen all their own state has to offer."
His favorite trip: "The next one I go on."