Saturday, June 4, 2011

New York, New York!

This is a photo of my daughter, Leslie, and Al Roker.  With Bible School, Big Apple Adventure, coming up this week, I decided to relive a very fun trip by looking through the many pictures we snapped during our four-day vaca to New York.

Karen Jones, Leslie and I boarded a plane at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in July of 2006 at 7:00 am. Excited does not even begin to cover Leslie’s mood.

If she told us once, she told us a hundred times that she was going to be on the Today Show.  And, that she was going to talk to Al Roker.

Karen and I humored her. Karen quipping, “Okay… just don’t get too carried away when you get in front of those cameras.”

We were at best skeptical. But we didn’t want to break her positive cheer, so we put on our hopeful faces and thoroughly enjoyed our first day in the big city.

I awoke at 2:00 am the following morning and had us all in one of those famous, yellow cabs by 4:00 am.  We arrived on the plaza a few minutes later to embark on a very long wait.  I can confidently say, hands down, that is the longest line in which I have ever stood!

If you want to call it a line. It was actually us three plus two or three others scattered out amongst the plaza. Plus a very bored police bobby, dressed appropriately, who ordered us to stand and not sit.

As the morning wore on, we were advised to migrate to the appropriate location (evidently we were wrongfully directed upon arrival) and took our place in line.  Finding ourselves ten or so people back caused us some fret, to say the least, since we had been there three hours before those ahead of us.

Reminding ourselves that it was going to take a miracle to pull off Leslie’s prediction, we decided that every event that morning was to be guided by the Almighty hand of God.

So just before we were tempted to announce to the group ahead of us that we had been there since 4:00 am! Karen said, “Evidently, God wants us to be right where we are.” Thanks again to Karen we were spared unnecessary embarrassment.

We watched the crew come out and set up the stage (they were shooting the show outside during that time due to studio remodeling), our excitement building by the minute.

At last, the gate was moved and we poured into what resembled a cattle loading chute. When the pushing and shoving slowed to only a few still attempting to poke their heads through our shoulders, Karen and I stood looking astonished that we were indeed front and center.

And the intrigue only grew as two chairs were positioned for the on-air talent. Leslie’s precious, smiling face would fall precisely in the nucleus of the morning’s interviews. If you saw Ann Curry, you saw Leslie Kirk.

Yep, it gets better. As many of you Today Show watchers already know, the cast of the show periodically peruses the gathered, outside audience to chat and interact. During commercials, they walk back and forth along the temporary, metal fence setting prompts, reviewing news copy and having their faces occasionally dusted.

During this time, Leslie began to call out, “hey” to Al Roker. He eventually stopped by to chat with us off-camera. It was at that time we snapped shots of Leslie with Al and each of the other cast members, Ann Curry taking special time to speak intimately with Leslie. I was very impressed with her kindness.

A little later we were advised that Al Roker would be chatting on-air with Leslie.

Back home my husband, Walter, recorded the event.

Gone with the Wind

What is it about us modern Americans that we must know the outcome of everything right now?  We fail to see the value in the journey. What might happen – what could happen.  The mystery and intrigue of the adventure tempts us no longer. Its what you could say… gone with the wind.

Exercising thoughtful planning and wise maneuvers seems unattainable to our otherwise focused brains.

Indiana Jones jumps to mind. Now, that’s my dream of adventure. My husband fails to see the reason behind my obsession in these classic adventure flicks. I don’t understand it really; I just know it sparks something within me.

Several years ago some of the “off” stations ran a very exciting missions oriented show. The title eludes me, but it was something like Radical Missions. It was Christian based, and followed the journeys of two twenty-something missionaries as they foraged the jungles of Africa, Brazil, and other such exotic places in search of an isolate tribe in need of the gospel.

My heart of hearts yearned to be a part of their quest into the unknown. Searching, praying, and then finding the forgotten people. Sharing the rich inheritance of God’s chosen, thereby planting a seed that would be watered by succeeding groups until at last… a conversion. Woo Hoo!

Granted these types of lifestyle patterns require patience and, yes, sometimes longsuffering… and, dare I say, sacrifice. Yet, I would be amiss not to mention the most important element we continue to jilt ourselves of – reward!

The concept of hard work reaping a reward has long been deleted from the pages of Vogue. But maybe, just maybe it could soon make a comeback.

Some of you are saying, “Hey! Wait a minute! I work hard.” And I wholeheartedly agree. Yet, I have to personally admit that my idea of working hard falls just short of my grandparent’s philosophy on the subject.

How I’m going to tie this all into my latest interest is a mystery even to me. But let me try it a whirl.

My husband informed me of an upcoming special on PBS in which he felt sure I would be highly interested. Margaret Mitchell’s 75th anniversary of her book Gone with the Wind. It will air June 30th, and will include adaptations of her life story.

As I devoured all the details of the upcoming event – benefit gala at the Georgia Terrace and a Margaret Mitchell Tour, I was reminded of the years of hard work put into her one and only manuscript. Yep, she sure reaped the reward - the book has sold over thirty million copies to date and continues to be a great American classic. Refreshingly, she used her success to fund many great charities.

The information on the website gave me a sense of pride in our state and the city of Atlanta, but I also took note of the story. Even though Mitchell portrayed African Americans in an undesirable light, it was real. It was not meant to degrade but to provide a springboard for change. She later funded the education for Georgia’s first African American doctors.

Then, the long-awaited, red carpet portion of this blog… Rhett and Scarlett. Their tumultuous relationship’s dips and curves, snaking around the ever-adored Ashley Wilkes. Only to culminate into the literary industry’s greatest cliffhanger.

And we all remember the famous, final line in the movie – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a ___.”

Can you believe it?  We rose from our theatre seats, laid down the book and walked away fulfilled.

We did not have need of a complete resolution to their relationship. We were satisfied to give full license to our imaginations. We ended it the way we so chose. No one needed to make that decision for us. Wow!

Just my musings…

Until Next Time,
Love and Blessings, Laura K.