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    In the 1980’s and 1990’s, radio talk shows were very popular. Those were the days when people listened and talked. During the seven years when my seven books were published, the publicity folks, at my two publishing houses, would book interviews all over the U.S. and Canada. I did hundreds of these dog and pony shows.  Later, when my husband, Warren had his oxymoron books published, his publishing house would do the same for him.

    Many of these interviews were broadcast from home hook-ups, and that was fun, because I could do them from my house, and in my jammies, and no one would know. In those days, we had one phone line and no cell phones, so to avoid conflicting appointments, we posted our scheduled interviews  on our refrigerator. When we took a trip, the publicity folks would book us wherever we traveled, and often Warren and I could do shows together.  However, sometimes, we got booked into studios that were unknown to our publicity folks. That came from the— “Any port in the storm”— mentality.  So, I thought, You, my dear readers, would enjoy some of those “off the wall” experiences.

    It was assumed that hosts of these radio shows would have read (or at least browsed) the books, before an interview. However, in some cases this was too much to hope for. But, then, a producer would usually give a host an inkling of what he or she was supposed to talk about.

    One dark and stormy night (Don’t all good stories start this way?) I had a scheduled interview with a station in Philadelphia. The phone rang. I picked it up, and the voice on the other end of the line said, “I’m the newscaster. The host of the show was in an automobile accident. I know nothing about you or your book.  We are on the air!” He then said, “Hello, Esther. Tell my listeners something about yourself and your book.” I got through that until the first commercial, and then I said to him. “I will tell you what questions to ask during the commercials, and we can get through this.” It worked. Happily, the radio host recovered from his accident, but I’m not so sure about the newscaster.

    One Thanksgiving, I was scheduled for a one-hour, call-in show in Buffalo, NY.  Most people were watching football on television, and the folks who did call in wanted tips on how to cook a turkey. Desperate times, call for desperate measures. Finally, the host shouted into the phone, “You’ll never guess who’s on the line!  It’s your Aunt Ruth!” My dear Aunt lived in Buffalo, so we had a really nice, really long, long chat. So it went. Then another person called in and said, “I’ll bet you don’t know who this is.” I faked it! You can do that with distant relatives.

    The next week I gave a talk in Knoxville, TN and was scheduled into a small radio station. One man called in and said, “My cows have a sense of humor.” All I could come up with was, “I’ll bet they do!”

     Doing a radio show, in a studio, is usually a very unsanitary experience. People and their desks and waste baskets are usually extremely grungy. After all, no one can see them. It’s not like being interviewed on a television show. So, when Warren and I were invited to be interviewed on a radio show in Phoenix, we didn’t dress up. Warren wore shorts and flip flops. When we entered the studio, we were surprised to see men in suits and women in dresses, wearing sensible shoes.

    We were seated in the sound booth, when the engineer came out, and before clamping earphones on our heads, he said, “Are you talking about your Ministry?” I replied, “No.” “We just minister to each other.”  He didn’t laugh. I suspected this was going to be sort of a religious experience. The woman interviewer came into the booth. She was a pleasant older woman with white hair, braided on top of her head. She wore tiny eye glasses, and a black skirt. Her white blouse had a Peter Pan collar tied at the neck with a bow.

    She had obviously read our books. Her questions were quite insightful, and the interview went well. However, when Warren was asked a question, he would start his answer with a little, “Whoop!” When we left the building, I said, “Warren, what were the little “Whoops” all about?
    He replied, “She had her hand on my knee!”

    Is that called, “Sacrificing for your art”…or what!”

    Esther Blumenfeld

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