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.


  1. I know she was thrilled just to be on tv...a great memory for her!

  2. Oh, Laura! What fun! I know Leslie--and you and Karen--will never forget this day. ; )

  3. Beth and Zan Marie, we truly will never forget this day. Yes, because Leslie had her fifteen seconds of fame, but more importantly, God gave one of His sweet, little princesses the desires of her heart. :)

  4. That's our God!!! What a testimony of His Goodness!

  5. Laura,
    You asked me how all the platform building stuff worked--well, I tagged you so you can try it out. Go to my blog to find out what's up. ; )