Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Almost-Meeting with Anderson Cooper

I've written before about how I'm a big fan of Anderson Cooper. I think he is a great journalist, and is always really fair when reporting the news. I thought I'd write about my almost-meeting with him. Several years ago he did a talk show called Anderson. Sadly, it only lasted two seasons. I'm really embarrassed to admit this, but when Anderson had his afternoon talk show, I contacted the show. I suppose you could say that I wrote a fan letter. I know that makes me sound a little pathetic, but I did. I told him a little bit about myself and let him know how much I enjoyed watching the show. 
A few weeks later one of the show's producers called to talk to me. I was shocked. I got on speaker phone and talked to the producer, who interviewed me for probably 45 minutes. (She actually called me three different times, and asked me about all sorts of different things.) Long story short, I was invited to be on the show. I was excited and terrified at the same time. Things obviously didn't work out or I would've already written about the experience. When the opportunity was presented to me, I was supposed to be in New York City to do the show in just over a week's time, which didn't leave Mom and me much time to work out all the logistics.

I had no idea how I would get to NYC. Traveling is not easy when you're as disabled as I am. If we drove, it would've taken about 20 hours to get there, and we would've had to make the drive in two days, stopping overnight in a hotel (which isn't easy since it's hard to maneuver in a room with such cramped quarters). Flying would've been even more difficult, since I would've had to transfer out of my wheelchair to get on the airplane, and then I would've had to transfer again to a regular seat once on the plane. While this might work for some people in wheelchairs, it wouldn't have worked for me. I think it would be really tricky for people to transfer me once on the plane, knowing how small most airplanes are. I also don't think I would've been very comfortable, since the seats on airplanes don't recline back very far, and I can't hold my head up if I'm sitting up too straight. Though the flight would've only been a few hours, it would've been a real pain in the neck for multiple reasons!

I know the trip would've been pretty expensive, too, whether we drove or flew, in addition to paying for a hotel in NYC for a couple of nights, plus a hotel room on the drive to and from New York. I know some talk shows pay for the guests travel and lodging expenses, but the show's producer didn't mention paying for it, and I wasn't going to ask! I try to be careful with my money since I'm not rolling in dough, so I didn't want to spend tons of money just to be a guest on a TV show.

SO, meeting Anderson never worked out. So close, yet still so far. Actually, I'm kind of relieved since the thought of being on TV makes me want to throw up a little! I don't like being the center of attention, and knowing that potentially thousands of eyes would've been on me in all of my inept and broken glory would've almost been too much! Still, I would've liked to meet Anderson to tell him how much I like watching him and why. I would much rather have a one-on-one chat with him at my house, instead of in front of cameras in a big studio, especially since my soft voice doesn't carry and would be drowned out. What would've softened the disappointment of not getting to meet Anderson was if I would've known that he would've read the letter I wrote, and would've known for at least a few minutes that I, a long-time and loyal fan of his, existed. However, I doubt my letter ever made it all the way to Anderson.

Last year when there was all of that unrest in Ferguson, MO, following the shooting of Michael Brown, I was tempted to go track Anderson down, since he was there reporting for CNN, and was a mere 30 minutes from my home. I wouldn't really go roaming the streets of Ferguson in search of Anderson, but it certainly was tempting. :) 


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