Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Oprah Six

I've started a novel. It should be fun. So, in a great marathon exercise of getting way ahead of myself, I started pondering who would be the six people I invite to dinner when Oprah picks my novel for her book club. The novel doesn't have a name yet. I'm really trying to get a grasp of the guest list. For Oprah's Book Club Party. Hey, if you don't dream big, why dream at all?  But dreaming big often leads to grander avenues of contemplation - like why. Why do I want to hear what this person wants to say? What do I want to say to this person?

Maya Anjelou - I want to hear everything she has to say. I want to say thank you. I want to say there's lots of caged birds out there. There's lots of ways to sing. I'm guessing she knows that. I want to thank her personally and for all black mothers everywhere who raised me, who brought me up, all while my world tried to hold them down.

Michelle Obama - Ditto.  She should run for president.

That's where I am with it now. I can't really imagine letting anyone get a word in edgewise if either of those women start talking, and don't forget that Oprah will be there because it's her party, so she can.

I met Oprah once. We are the same age. She was auditioning at WSB-TV in Atlanta for Monica's job. It was a tough call. They were both great choices. Everybody loved both of them. It was 1976, maybe early 1977, not sure. Everybody at the station had something to say about it. I'm not sure what the deciding vote (or reasons) were, but Monica fit the job perfectly, and Oprah certainly didn't suffer any for the loss. I was so jealous. There we were, the exact same age, same basic college, and I stood no chance in hell of even getting a tape accepted, much less for actually getting such a job. I was schlepping as a stage hand in the studio. It was a lot of fun, but even then, Oprah's career was way ahead of mine. It's okay. I couldn't handle being Oprah. Oprah couldn't handle being me.  It's not easy being me, either.

Still, I would like to hear some suggestions - who would you like to hear, what would you like to say?  Of course, the people have to be alive. More later, ya'll.