Sunday, April 19, 2015

Shienelle Jones of NBC Today Show
Weekend Today Show hits Richmond ...

On Wednesday last, promptly at nine o'clock a 4-person team consisting of producer Caroline Gottlieb and NBC news anchor Shienelle Jones who flew out from NY,  plus a cameraman and audio tech from the local NBC Affiliate in San Francisco arrived at the Visitor Center to spend the day filming my bus tour for airing next Sunday, April 26, sometime between eight and nine o'clock.

It turned out to be a full 8-hour day for what will probably be two minutes of air time, but that's the way of these things.  Before day's end we would film at Lucretia Edwards park as the group boarded the bus for our 2 and-a-half-hour tour; then for a meet-up at the SS Red Oak Victory where we went aboard and -- with a glorious spring day with a cloudless blue sky we walked on the top deck and spoke of the ships history; then I continued the bus tour while the crew headed for the Rosie the Riveter Memorial to cover that moving site; then back to the Visitor Center for viewing of the film and my talk in our little theater.  It would be another adventure to remember. 

Surprise for me was that I had no idea that a Weekend Today Show even existed, or that its news anchor was a lovely young African American journalist, and that it would be she with whom I would interact on camera.

This would be Shienelle's first visit to the West Coast, and from her arrival at the Visitor Center with its sweeping views of the entire San Francisco Bay shoreline; with the grandeur of the Ford Assembly Plant, she was blown away!  From the first moments of the shoot it was clear that this team was totally into their assignment -- and that we would be shown in our best light.

However, had they been present in the hour leading up to this day, it would have been quite a different story:

At about 8:30 -- just a half-hour before I was due to present myself at that Visitor Center to meet with the 22 folks who'd signed up for my bus tour -- I was putting the final touches on my appearance, and, remembering that I needed to apply Polygrip before the lip gloss, and nowhere in sight was my
lower denture!

The next 20 minutes were spent frantically searching my bedroom;  on my hands and knees searching under the beds, stripping the blankets and sheets, the pillow cases, dumping wastebaskets as I tried to recall whether I'd thrown anything out; frantically going through pockets of yesterday's uniform and today's bathrobe, all to no avail!  Suddenly that defensive something that kicks in at such times, that provides the resilience -- and that allows you to view yourself in the third person -- and suddenly I was lying on my back on the bedroom rug giggling hysterically as I thought that I might have to call in to explain that the whole thing had to be shelved because Betty couldn't find her teeth!

In the middle of that spasm of laughter my eye caught something lying just under the edge of the bed near the nightstand where there lay a box that was tilted awkwardly.  It was the Walgreens vanilla caramel package with my lower stuck to the bottom! It had fallen from the nightstand where I'd absently set it while watching the Daily Show the night before.  Phew!  That was close.

With what dignity there was left, I finished dressing and headed for my big shoot.  They'd never know, right?  But it was a reminder that Life has a way of humbling the best of us and that the next time I might not be so lucky.

Yesterday there was a call in my voice mail waiting for a callback from KQED-FM in San Francisco.  I'm being invited to do an interview sometime this upcoming week for their Forum show with Michael Krasney.