I wrote most of a book once. It was spring of my senior year of college, and it was for my independent media study. I was a 20-year-old intern at CBS This Morning (nowadays known as The Early Show), and I wrote about 200 pages of a memoir. It's somewhere on a hard drive in my parents' basement, and I'm kicking myself for not trying to get it published then. It's a bit outdated now, but back in the late 1990's -- before the wild success "The Nanny Diaries" and countless other 20-something memoirs -- it might have been innovative. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that file is lost, which might be for the best because who likes reading what you wrote 10 years ago. Recently, however, I found the journal I kept during that internship, which contains pages and pages of anecdotes of this 20-year-old Kentucky girl's encounter with all kinds of celebrities, big and microscopic.
Since I'm not feeling creative today, and since the original manuscript is long-since gone, I thought I'd share with you a straight-up, unedited journal entry from the day I hung out with Walter Cronkite:
October 13, 1998
You never know who you're going to meet. That's one of my favorite parts of this internship. Sometimes you have no idea who these people coming on the show are -- and those people usually go crazy when you ask their name, as if I should have had a 3x5 and a sharpie in hand when we were introduced -- and sometimes they are the most important figures in history.
Walter Cronkite came in this morning with his Chief-of-Staff, a very friendly lady named Marlene.
Mr. Cronkite was enjoying the green room, and I was keeping him company. CBS doesn't have a particularly impressive green room spread -- just a fruit basket and a tray of bagels, of which I have sampled every flavor and determined to stick with plain bagel, plain cream cheese, with the bagel-innards intact. (Eleanor [Mondale] and most of the celebrity guests scoop out the bagel innards to save carbs, but I just can't do that to a bagel.)
I'm talking with hard-of-hearing Mr. Cronkite, when he bites into his intact bagel and comes out with a huge wad of cream cheese on his mustache. So here I am, still starstruck and not believing I'm having a conversation with Walter Cronkite and he's talking about NASA and John Glenn and the traffic at his appointment at UN Plaza, and he's got this massive blob of cream cheese on his face. How do you tell the most trusted man in America that his mustache is dirty and he's about to go on national television? You don't. After we sat there uncomfortably for a while, he grinned, and wiped his face clean. That must be why he is the most trusted man. Maybe he was just checking to see if he could trust anyone else to tell him. Obviously, he can't.
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