Brains, Brawn and Beauty, and an Incredible Heart
Three VERY different women were our focus last week, taking us from the bucolic and cerebral to the sweaty and physical, and finally to the heartrending and life affirming. A veritable roller coaster, with a brief drenching downpour thrown in for good measure! Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, graduate and later Dean of the Harvard Law School, has maintained a close friendship with two former classmates and housemates who married and are now living in New York’s Nassau County. Their memories of Kagan’s scholarship and later leadership at Harvard Law painted a portrait of an engaging, inquisitive, thoughtful scholar with interests far beyond just jurisprudence. A diehard Mets fan, for instance! In other words, someone Americans should be proud of having sit on the nation’s highest court. The interview was conducted by ABC News’ Claire Shipman, who is truly one of the sweetest, nicest correspondents in the business. Always a smile and a warm greeting when she arrives, and a sincere thanks when she leaves. If only she wasn’t based in D.C.!
A few days later we were carrying load after load of gear down three flights of stairs to a dark, hot gym in downtown Manhattan, setting up for an HBO Sports interview with professional female bodybuilder Colette Nelson http://www.colettenelson.com/ Despite the difficult location and uncomfortable temperature, and some VERY personal questions by Bryant Gumbel, we rolled for almost two hours on an interview that was among the most fascinating and humorous exchanges that I can recall. Colette was gracious and honest in her answers, and I went away impressed not just by her candor, but with the psychic strength she shows in living a lifestyle misunderstood by many, and reviled by some. Just another example of scratching the surface to see the treasure hidden behind the public facade.
Finally, ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition’s new fall season will include a family from New York’s Suffolk County as the lucky recipient of a new, fully furnished home. Good Morning America was on hand Sunday at Yankee Stadium to cover the behind-the-scenes as Ty, Paul, Paige, and Tracy surprised the family with the news that their lives were about to be fundamentally changed for the better. Details will have to be few at this time, but suffice it to say that being present during the reveal was heartwarming, especially as several Yankee players, and Manager Joe Girardi, came out to meet the family, posed for photos with them, talked a little baseball, and presented them with some very cool swag! Just being out on the infield, where a few hours later the Yankees would beat the Mets in the last of a three game weekend subway series, was exciting! Not that we had time to watch Mark Teixeira’s grand slam homer that sealed that victory; we had to hightail it sixty miles out to East Setauket to set up for an interview with two of the family members. It being a typical New York hot and humid summer day, the threat of an afternoon thunderstorm was not far away. But the skies were mostly clear when we arrived, and expediency dictated that we set up on the front lawn. Sure enough, and skies then darkened and thunder rumbled, and soon the skies opened up and the rains came. Heavy, and then heavier still. Luckily the EMHE crew had left a large pop-up tent with us just in case, and we had set it up and pulled all the gear under it before we could be drenched. True to form it was a brief downpour, and we managed to get the interview done without too much delay. Fourteen hours after I left my place, I dragged myself home and hit the shower, spent from the day but with a good feeling of a good day’s work done. (www.abc.go.com/shows/extreme-makeover-home-edition)