Dan Gross: John Bolaris' engagement of the century

IT'S THE ENGAGEMENT of the century. Meteorologist John Bolaris and Erica Smitheman, his girlfriend of a year-and-a-half, were engaged on Monday's Howard Stern Show.

Bolaris, 55, and Smitheman, 33, who works in flooring sales, were in-studio on Stern's SiriusXM satellite-radio program, on which Bolaris serves this week as the official meteorologist covering Hurricane Sandy.

After interviewing Smitheman about her relationship with Bolaris, including how long it took her to sleep with him after they met (her reply: "three hours"), Stern asked Bolaris whether he wanted to marry Smitheman, who, as we have reported, appeared in a few Playboy special- edition issues a decade ago.

When the former Fox 29 and NBC 10 meteorologist said yes, Stern suggested he propose on-air. He did so, and Smitheman immediately accepted. There was no ring because Bolaris had not been planning to propose, but he did tell Smitheman how much he loved her and how he planned to propose sooner than later anyway.

Friends of Bolaris say they have never seen him happier than he is with Smitheman, who has a good relationship with Reina Sofia, his daughter with former NBC 10 anchor Tiffany McElroy.

Stern made sure to tease Bolaris about the famous "Storm of the Century" prediction gone awry, but Bolaris insisted that the warnings about Sandy's devastation were spot-on and that it is a very serious storm.

Bolaris had been texting weather updates to Stern's wife, model and TV host Beth Ostrosky Stern, all weekend.

Bolaris was married once before, in his 20s, and was engaged twice, once to McElroy and once to singer Lauren Hart. Smitheman has never been married.

Your Humble Narrator wishes the happy couple the very best.


Nutter's urban adventure

After a stressful week of emergency preparations, Mayor Nutter is scheduled to rappel down 20 stories of the 1515 Market building on Friday in a charity fundraiser for the Outward Bound program. Building Adventure 2012 allows fundraisers who bring in $2,000 or more - Laurada Byers, founder of the Russell Byers Charter School, is another one - to rappel down the office building. All money raised will support Outward Bound's adventure-based education and leadership program. For info, visit outwardboundphiladelphia.org.


Film party draws Zemeckis

Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis hung out at Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar (40th & Walnut) during the Philadelphia Film Festival's closing-night party Saturday. The "Forrest Gump" and "Back to the Future" director's new film, "Flight," starring Denzel Washington, was the closing night feature at the festival.


Contact Dan Gross at grossd@phillynews.com or 215-854-5963. Follow him on Twitter @PhillyGossip or at Facebook.com/dangrossphillygossip. Read his blog at PhillyGossip.com, or for his latest columns see philly.com/dangross.