I believe in Terry Gross. Perhaps this sounds strange, but it’s the magic of radio. After a painful divorce, and completing graduate school at mid-life, I found myself in a situation I hadn’t experienced for years. I was unemployed, isolated, and suffering from various stress induced physical ailments, keeping me home-bound far too much, leading to, let’s just say, underproductive mental meandering. I needed any anchor I could get, and Terry Gross came to my rescue. When I first heard her on the radio again I said aloud, “You’re still around?” because I had listened to her in Philadelphia over twenty years ago. It felt like meeting up with an old friend. Soon I was hooked. I found myself coaching Terry along in her interviews. “Great question!” I’d yell. Or, “Why did you skip over that comment?” But it is the end I like the best. When people say it has been a pleasure after she thanks them for the interview I imagine I am in that very spot. I imagine she has been interviewing me about the book I am writing. I imagine it actually comes to fruition and gets published, and is, I think, wacky enough for her tastes, and causes her to ask me many penetrating and intriguing questions. When it comes time to say “It’s been a pleasure being here today,” I want to grab her hand and kiss it and say, “You or my role model of role models!” or “You saved my life,” or “Can you be my best friend?” I want to thank her for her efforts. I want to ask her does she know how inspiring she is? How kind? How brilliant? How diplomatic? And how much damn fun it is to listen to her? The best part is when she sort of stutters, or sometimes even messes up a phrase and starts over. She also mutters at times. I like this best of all. It’s like we’re college freshman together and she is leaning over and whispering to me, offering her opinion on the professor’s latest dumb statement. It’s so chummy! Is this well-timed showmanship? I want to believe NOT. I want to believe Terry is as sincere and as authentic as her voice is. Her voice is a balm. It’s medicine. It’s the voice of Feminine Wisdom. I’m her diehard fan. I believe in her so much I never want to see a photograph of her. (Which is why I couldn’t buy her book, afraid her photo would be on the back flap.) And that made me sad, but The Voice is my anchor. I only want to see her if someday she interviews me. There are rough days when that fanatasy keeps me going. I believe in Terry Gross because she is a woman among women. She’s superlative. She has grace and finesse. She has a lovely laugh. She works hard. And I hope she never, never, never, never retires. That’s so selfish of me, but some people you just want to live on, forever entertaining you, like Harry Potter, and Terry Gross.
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