What's your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is 'When Harry Met Sally'. I watch it over and over. In my opinion, it's the best example of a romantic comedy. Billy Crystal is hysterical and I could totally relate to Meg Ryan's character Sally when I was younger. Also, there's dozens of lines I could quote you but I will spare you and share my favorite, “…when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. #swoon
What's the song you keep playing over and over and over again?
According to my iTunes playlist, Peter Gabriel's 'Solsbury Hill' is the song I've played the most. Random? Not if you know me. I could have Eminem, George Strait and Celine Dion on one playlist but 1980's soft rock (yacht rock) is by far my favorite. I'm a huge Chicago fan, Peter Cetera etc. maybe it's because my mom always listened to it in the car and it brings back good memories but crank up Fleetwood Mac any day.
Talk about an interview you've done that you'll never forget
In 2015, I had the opportunity to interview Werner Coppel, a Holocaust survivor, and I will never forget his story about escaping Nazis on the infamous 'Death March' after leaving Auschwitz. Coppel spoke for years about his survival and the importance of society being free of hate and prejudice. But when he described HOW he escaped it felt like my heart stopped. He, along with others simply ran and soldiers shot at anyone who did. He told me he could hear bullets whizzing by his head but he kept running. People running alongside him were shot and those who weren't nearly froze to death because they were practically wearing pajamas and clog-like shoes in below freezing temperatures. He was discovered by allied soldiers the following day. I won't forget his words or how he made me feel; despite losing most of his family and friends his spirit was not broken. He had so much joy and happiness and like any grandfather wanted to tell me about his grandkids. He passed away about a year later and I count myself fortunate I was able to meet him.
What charitable organization has a special place in your heart?
'Night to Shine' was started by the Tim Tebow Foundation and I had the opportunity to participate as a host during this one-of-a-kind prom for people with special needs. Every person who attends is a Prom King or Queen, they get a special entrance, pictures and dance the night away. I've also supported Visionaries & Voices, a nonprofit in Cincinnati, who helps people with a disability express themselves through artwork. My aunt Penny was special needs so I've always been tender-hearted toward people who needed that kind of support. She passed away in 2016 and I hope to continue working with organizations that support people like my Aunt Penny.
Talk about a brush with celebrity moment you've had
My best brush with a celebrity happened recently. I attended a fundraiser for Film Cincinnati with my husband who is a huge Emilio Estevez fan. We heard a rumor he might attend the event so we had our eyes peeled. We were standing in line to get a drink and turned around – BAM – Emilio Estevez is right behind us! And I screamed, Emilio! There was no one around him; he was just standing there like the rest of us. He refused to cut in line and we struck up a quick conversation about his latest movie, etc. But the kicker, three days later we were eating outside at a restaurant and there he was again! Before I could even say anything my husband was already like, 'Hey we met you the other night…' I doubt he remembered us but he sure played it off like he did. We had a longer conversation this second time, he shook our hands then took our suggestion and had lunch inside. So, we're practically friends with him now. Ha!
Dogs or cats?
I'm a dog person; I have an 8-year-old Pomeranian named Bailey with more personality than I know what to do with. I came home from work the other day and my husband was walking her around the house on her leash. Why you ask? Because she's skiddish on our hardwood floors and he says he refuses to keep carrying her from rug to rug. I don't blame him. Quirky is the best way to describe her and I have a long list of bizarre behavior she's shown off since she was a puppy. But she's friendly, looks like a stuffed animal and likes me best so I'm 'Team Dog' all the way.
Who should play you in the film about your life?
I think Candace Cameron would play me in a movie about myself but only because I've been told we look alike. I know Morgan Freeman and I don't resemble each other at all but if he could narrate the movie that would be ideal. If you've watched Shawshank Redemption you understand why. That man's voice is amazing!
If you could have dinner with one person, who would that be?
It would be my grandfather, Papa Rusty. I never had an opportunity to meet him; he died three years before I was born. I understand he had a great sense of humor, a very close relationship with my mom and inspired my dad. I would love to ask him about his time serving during WWII, what it was like to be a tour bus driver and how he fell in love with my grandfather. It would be one LONG lunch!
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