Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

My Photo
Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Remembering Peter Jennings

In case you haven't heard, Peter Jennings, the ABC Anchor lost his battle with Lung Cancer last week. I felt sort of worse then most about this, because you see, I knew him, and I even worked with him once..... sort of.

You see, I'm signed up with this local company, that does "Focus Groups" and "Market Research". Apparently, I must fall smack dab in the middle of many manufacturers target audience, because these guys call me up all the time, to come down and..... taste their new breakfast cereal, watch there new commercials, yada yada yada, then afterwards, There's a recorded round table discussion. Why do I bother to do it? Well, the place is only a 10 minute drive from my house, they usually feed you a deli plate, and they pay you. $25.00/hr, for usually 2 hours..... cash, if you get my drift :-)

So anyway (I'm getting to it, patience) I was also doing this stuff when I was in CA, and a bunch of years ago, just before the Clinton/Bush Senior Debates, they call me up, ask me a bunch of political questions, and then say "We're having a political round table discussion at Stanford University with Peter Jennings of ABC News, do you want to participate?"


Do I want to participate? shoot, who the heck, doing this type of marketing "work", wouldn't want to meet the top ABC Newsman. So I say..... "Ummmmm sure, That would be OK". HA! WAS I MR. COOL AND COLLECTED, OR WHAT! So then she says, OK, OH, and "By The Way", they're going to be taping it for showing Nationally on ABC News!

I dropped the phone.

Mr Cool, huh? Anyway, I go up there, and there's like 10 of us plus Peter, we do the 1 hour roundtable discussion, which gets shown on Nightline, blah blah blah, I'd be more specific about it all, but this is not about me, or the real Peter Jennings Story I'm telling. Bear with me, it's worth it.

After the "Show was in the can", so to speak, ABC News served us a deli spread, and you figure that ole Peter would run off to converse with world leaders or some such thing, but instead, ole Peter came over and joined us for the food. I kid you not, then he spent his time, telling us stories about his Canadian origins, his early days in the news business, and things in general, to a starry eyed 10 person fan club, and it was during that conversation that I think I got to see the man beyond the "News Face" that most people get to see.

Afterwards, the Market Research Person comes up to me, and says "We think you had some great opinions tonight". "Thanks", says I. "And Peter Jennings thinks that you had some good opinions too". "He DOES?", says I. WOW, tell I'm I said thanks. "Well, you can tell him yourself, because Peter and ABC want you to come up to SFO , watch the upcoming Presidential debates, and give Peter your opinions again". CAN.... YOU..... BELIEVE..... IT? Wait, there's more.

I say (Mr Cool) SURE, and, so, are they going to tape it again? Because of course, I was hoping for "More 15 seconds of fame", and she says, "Ummmmm, no, they want to do a live Nationwide Satellite Hookup. You watch the Debate, then give your opinions to Peter..... and the Nation".

WHAT? Millions Of People Watching Me? Probably. :-)

So I go up there, and they treat myself and the other lady selected, like royalty. I ALMOST actually asked them to physically kiss my butt (just kidding), Peter remembers my name, tells me he likes my tie, and everybody remains cool, clam, and collected, when my microphone dies ~ 15 seconds before going on air. Peter ad libs over to the people set up in Atlanta, and the local crew races around to fix it before they come back to us. (WHEW) and bottom line, it all turned out to be a big success. But the thing I remember most, is that once again, it felt like Peter went the extra step, to make us TV "Newbies" feel comfortable, and self assured.

I have to say, the whole experience, the back slapping and high fiving of my friends, the admiration of millions of TV viewers, (smirk), and the congratulatory love fest, that went around my family, served to really show me, how stars can get "Big Heads". It was easier then I thought. Plus, because I did The First, and The Third debates, my "15 seconds of fame" actually lasted 2 weeks, and looking back, I have to say, that it was, all in all one of the GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE, and I figure I owe it all, to Peter Jennings. The best thing of all, I still have The Video Tape :-)

So Peter, wherever you are, up there, Anchoring that Great Anchor Desk up above, I have to tell ya, Thanks very very very much, for what you did for me. I'm gonna miss ya man. RIP


Post a Comment

<< Home

My Datanet
My Datanet