Ahh ... My local morning news program. Some of you have forgotten why I love to watch it Monday through Friday from the wee hour of 5 until 7. I've written about them before, but it's been years.
There's John Beard--he's a hoot. Been a newscaster forever, sometimes appears on tv comedies as himself, tells us stories about Gracie, his cat and teases his co-anchors until they (and all of us) laugh until we cry.
There's Melissa, who's young, funny and currently pregnant with her first child. Last month a story showing a boy thanking his doctor was aired and Melissa, tears in her voice, said, "What a sweet little boy!" Which made me cry, too. Then she giggled, brushed tears away and said, "These pregnancy hormones are ridiculous!" And we all laughed along with her.
There's Andy the weather guy who, monthly, holds weather contests for our elementary schools. He shows us their artwork (extra credit), even, and the two winners get to have Andy and his weather team come and put on an unforgettable weather show in their auditoriums, then he later shows us funny clips of those. The kids scream and treat him like a rock star--it's awesome.
Andy also shows us two viewers' pets photos each morning, the pets often being dressed up or just adorable-looking. He also shares the occasional humorous YouTube video.
Kevin is one of the funniest guys, ever, and his job is to visit local businesses, farms and destination sites in our area so we can learn about their history, what they make, what they do, etc. He visits cozy cafes, family-owned petting zoos, people with wild collections--such a variety of places! I've enjoyed Kevin for probably 15 years, way back when he was part of the competing network.
Kevin also, each Monday, shares Great Kid Stories, filming our area kids who help the community in creative, sacrificing ways or who have overcome handicaps to do amazing things. Inspiring stuff, enough to renew your whole spirit. On Thursdays he films from the local animal shelter and shows us who's available for adoption.
There's young Matt who daily gives us links to super deals online or tells us which stores have the best sales on certain items. Matt recently married and he's like everybody's sweet, hilarious little brother.
Each day Mary does a product test, visiting the homes of my fellow Western New Yorkers, to try-out anything from slippers to waffle irons to kids' toys so to discover if their televised claims are real or not. Mary is a mom of three, shows us photos of her daughters and did a special story recently of her daughter who was seriously sick a couple years ago.
The traffic guy, new to the morning team, is clever and says surprising things which get us and the whole team chuckling, not to mention that he shows Tom the roads to avoid when driving to work.
The team works with local groups to gather school supplies and coats for kids each September, food for the needy at Thanksgiving, toys for kids at Christmas. If a home burns, we're shown how to help the family. We get to see and contribute to all of this.
These people are my 'other family' and every morning I hug my robe and coffee mug and feel incredibly blessed to spend time with them. They begin my day with laughter, grateful tears sometimes, even, endearing themselves to me over the years. They're a huge blessing to me, even though some of you won't understand that. Western New Yorkers are different than people I've ever known anywhere else and these folks represent the best.
We can pray for anyone. We can appreciate anybody and learn and reap huge blessings from God's gifts through them. And oh my.... I feel so grateful that I did not miss any of this. That I live where I do and that my local morning news show is what it is.
"And be ye thankful...."