.... Everybody who has heard of Ken Garff's Keys to Success program, raise their hands. Ok, those of you who don't, read the first comment on this post so you'll be up to date. Go ahead. Yeah, go ahead, we'll wait.
....Back already? Ok, today was the Key-Off for the smaller high schools. One of our counselors and I drove the two students from our school down there for the Channel 2 News spot. One of them had already won a $500 scholarship and the other was going to get to try a key to win the car (2004 Dodge Stratus - little bland but a really nice first car for a teen).
....We got there about 10:50 and waited around the lobby for 20 minutes or so, until the Ken Garff people led us all into the room where they do the cooking spots. There we waited even longer, got briefed on what was going to happen and were fed lunch.
....While we were waiting for lunch I went off into the corner where the kitchen was and started looking around, looked at the camera, said something about how now we'll check on our finished product and opened up the oven (nothing but a dirty pan in there). When I was going through the freezer I said something about getting hungry and maybe I'll just microwave this Lean Cuisine Shrimp Scampi here. Right about this time some guy came through the door from the newsroom, so I quickly covered my butt with "ahh, I wouldn't deprive these hardworking newscasters of their lunch." The guy came back with "That's got to be Rod Decker's, go ahead and eat it." We laughed.
....Finally around noon we went outside and they told us where to stand for the little teaser. About 10 past they introduced the Keys for Success program and talked to the students that were awarded the scholarships. The girl from my school, who speaks little English, didn't really want to talk on camera, so guess who Casey went to first? Yeah. She did great. Then we sat around for another half hour until it was time for the teaser for the second segment - the starting of the car.
....Name drop #1: During that half hour they interviewed the comedian Sinbad, who is in town doing a few concerts. He was even in the first segment, so I figured I go over, thanks him and be able to say I met him. when i went over he was talking to a group from the Army, which had helped raise funds for the program. Unfortunatley he was particularly interested in the one female in the group, took 10 minutes to even acknowledge I was there, said thanks and turned away to rekindle the conversation with the Army lady. Thanks, dude.
....Name Drop #2: Druing this same half hour I got to talk to Dan, Dan, the Laptop Man - the guy from those really annoying P.C. Laptops TV commercials. He was actually a really nice guy. We talked for about 5 minutes about his commercial with his daughter (she thought up the concept) and about the Funriture Warehouse Road Redwood commercials. Now I have to rethink my determination never to go to his stores because of the annoying commercials.
....Numero 3: Right after that Debbie Worthen, the Channel 2 morning weather person, came walking around the corner and I decided to say HI to her. She was really nice too, despite the fact that I started the conversation with "I wake up every morning to you." Yes, I did. Despite that, we had a great conversation and she even remembered the picture I sent in with my friend Adele on the hood of my convertible up at a ski resort in the middle of winter. (LINK)
....4th and last: Not too long after that Mary Nichols, the morning news anchor, came by and I said HI to her too. And, yes, I said something stupid here too. After saying Hi, telling her I watched her newscast every morning and her sweet response, I said..uh, well, yea, I said "Yup, every morning a cup of coffee and Mary wakes me up." I'm not making this up. Anyway, my demeanor must have not been very stalkeresque, because afterwards they agreed, and even seemed willing, to have their picture taken with me.
....Finally came the final segment. They had the finalists from the 7 small schools lined up at the front of the car and Casey called out to the audience for a number between 1 and 7. They went for 4. The student from Granite Peaks went first, got his key, sat in the car and turned the key. Nothing. Good, that meant my student now had a 1 in 6 chance. I can't remember the next number, or what school they were from, but they too didn't get the key to turn. The third one was a student from Horizonte, she got her key, sat in the car, turned the key and all hell broke loose. Well, except for her. She didn't realize she had won the car until she noticed her mother jumping up and down and screaming and everything else. The student from my school was a little bummed that she didn't win the car, but she did walk away with a brand new laptop from Dan, Dan the Laptop Man.
....All in all, it was a great afternoon.