When my road trip this summer was over, I didn't think anything more would come of it. But when I saw an invitation from my local PBS station to share memories of the National Parks, I thought that it was speaking directly to me. I mean, I just came back from two and had the videos and photos to prove it. I sent an email with my story, a link to my blog and to the photos and videos I took along the way. That was a few weeks ago and didn't think too much about it since.
Last week, I was reminded of my submission when I got a phone call from a journalist from Channel Thirteen wanting to talk to me about my post. Wow!
Dan, the journalist had read my blog and was interested in my story. He liked how I took my job loss as an opportunity and recorded my experience of traveling across the country and stopping in a few National parks along the way. "Do you think you would be able to come into Manhattan for an on camera interview for the segment they were creating?" he asked.
Um, duh. Of course.
So I waited to hear back from him.
The date was finally set for my interview and I cleared my calendar for my fifteen minutes of fame.
Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in Penn Station from NJ Transit and since it was such a nice day, I walked north to W. 57th street where I was supposed to meet Dan. I made it there with 30 minutes to spare, which is good because I hated being late. I checked my iPhone again just to confirm the location when CRAP. I wasn't supposed to be at W. 57th St, I was supposed to be at W. 67th St. I checked the map to see if I could still make it in time, it was only 10 blocks, right?
No. I had to walk to the west side of Central Park, then walk up 10 blocks. And I was already sweaty. Cab? I need you now.
Finally I made it to my destination, the right one this time.
I met Dan and his colleague Cathy as the interview before me was finishing up. They were telling me about the cute couple who had gotten married in 1970 and went traveling around the National Parks out west for their honeymoon. Then 25 years later they recreated their honeymoon, even recreating the photos that they had taken the first time around. They were naturals in telling their story. They knew when to pause in the story to allow the other one to finish a thought or to elaborate. After years of marriage, they had their storytelling down to an art.
Dan also told me about other people they had interviewed: one woman who traveled to the Redwood Forrest to scatter her father's ashes; another man who went rockclimbing in the parks and was sponsored by Red Bull.
These stories seemed so amazing to me. And that got me nervous. What did I do? I just drove to California and back. It suddenly seemed so pale in comparison.
Soon it was my time to go on. I sat in the hot seat and waited as they adjusted the lighting, put on my lavilear microphones and I touched up my makeup. Then Dan took his seat off camera and told me to relax.
I talked about the reason for my road trip; my blog, tweets and the virtual company I had from my friends' comments; my impressions of the parks; what was going through my mind as I was on the road.
I also talked about my parents and how they we would always take road trips for our vacations. I remembered sitting in the back of our station wagon, waving to truckers and playing those road trip games where you had to find words on signs starting with each letter of the alphabet. I inherited their spirit of adventure and now love to just get in the car and drive.
I think I did pretty good. I answered Dan's questions succinctly. I was animated. For the most part, I was pretty relaxed. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking "Please God, don't make me look or sound like an idiot."
After the interview was over, I gave Dan copies of my videos of Arches and Joshua Tree and my link to all the photos I took. I signed my release forms and said my goodbyes.
So that's it. Now I wait until it airs on Channel Thirteen, Sunday, September 27 after the Ken Burns documentary "National Parks: America's Best Idea". Check your New York TV schedule. Set your DVRs.
Hope that I don't wind up on the cutting room floor.