A REALITY CHECK (PART 5)!
Friday, May 15, 2009
A REALITY CHECK (PART 5)!
A few years back, I was in Los Angeles for 33 days on a grueling business trip. 13 hour days. But I found time to take in a concert by Lucinda Williams at The El Ray Theater. What grabbed my attention, however, was surprise guest Shelby Lynne who walked out on stage. Whatever else was going through my mind up to that point vanished and all I could focus on was this girl with the Southern accent and plenty of sass. She's very interesting to me in how she works--inside the recording studio or live in concert. After considerable persuasion to cover carefully chosen songs by the late Dusty Springfield, Shelby released the CD "Just A Little Lovin' " and it is amazing. Unique musical challenges like this are rare and involve risk. All of my Shelby Lynn CD's differ from Texas swing to spartan acoustic guitar arrangements and torch. She's a great composer and an incomparable singer who is at once a stylist and an enigma. I enjoy Shelby Lynn. Reality.
Having owned dogs and cats, my favorite happens to be dogs--Labrador Retrievers. They love people and provide tremendous love and loyalty. Of course, you better have a large back yard for them to get plenty of exercise too! As you'll note on the right margin of my BLOG, I support Canine Companions for Independence and ASPCA. Both organizations have had representatives appear as Guests on my feature, "THE INTERVIEW". Speaking of which...
I took a risk in inviting the lovely Annemarie Lucas of The Learning Channel's "Animal Precinct" to appear as a guest on "THE INTERVIEW". What a sweet lady! Even though her schedule was so demanding, Annemarie stayed committed to appearing on my BLOG feature. It took her a full year to get to my questions, but she came through and I am forever grateful. Her devotion to end animal abuse is her special calling and her work is incredible. Annemarie is the real deal!
When Annemarie felt as if she was holding me up (she wasn't), she enlisted the help of her work partner Joseph Pentagelo to assist with finishing up my interview with her. She would share her answers with Joe and he relayed them to me with some of his own thoughts and experiences. This retired Mounted Unit police officer is also an actor who has appeared on television's "Law & Order". I thoroughly enjoyed working with both Annemarie and Joe. Two down to earth people doing very important work with a true love for animals. They are terrific people who keep it real!
And try as I did, there was just no way to avoid including "the bikini photo" of Kelly Ripa as summer approaches! This is reality too. And if you were paying attention to my earlier BLOG Posts...I still refuse to apologize for including her here! She's fun, funny and it's just nice to see a career develop so nicely over the years as hers--with all best wishes!
I DO miss a good drive in my Mustang GT
My last full time television stint was in Ohio. Those hours! Up at 3 AM with a pot of coffee and a yellow paper pad with 80 fixed camera positions to schedule traffic updates with weather meteorologist Mark Massaro every 4 minutes ad libbing on the air. My commute was 88 miles a day as a Helicopter Television News Anchor with NBC working split shifts. How well I remember 6 degree winter weather, checking in with my pilot at a small airport weather room for briefings, running out to the heli-pad at 5:55 AM in pitch black darkness, helping police nab two felons, and meeting two fine soldiers who landed a Black Hawk helicopter to refuel at our FBO. They had just returned from Iraq. My 1996 Ford Mustang GT V-8 was a thrill to drive on those lonely commutes. It helped me cope with living in such a crummy town. I sold the car to a teenager on the condition that he bring his parents over to my house for me to sit down and talk to them about whether their son was mature enough to handle the car safely (It was a beast). After two meetings, the young man convinced me he would keep it for a year then sell it to go off to college. He kept his word. But I still love Ford Mustangs GT's. A delightful reality. Speaking of speed...
Gea Johnson (brakeman) and Jean Racine (driver), 2002 Olympics
I absolutely love Bobsledding (as we call it in the U.S.) and have since I was a young kid. Arizona State University Graduate Gea Johnson was the pusher for the Women's Two place Bobsled Competition in the 2002 Olympics in Utah. Today she is a terrific Bobsled Driver and an inspiration to anyone who has a dream in life to pursue--quite an inspirational lady!
Coming out of a turn as a driver at Lake Placid, New York---the world's most challenging track! Friends of mine who know Gea confirm that she is as kind as she is inspiring. She recovered from a very serious hamstring injury, then decided her next goal was to become a great Bobsled driver. Gea made 35 trips from the top of the track in just 6 weeks--an accomplishment that takes most people 2 years! An awesome reality that inspires each of us to "go for it" and be our best!...Let's see how I feel about continuing this series or shifting directions...straight ahead!