Mom and I watched the broadcast while I got ready for work this morning. It was a touching tribute to a true professional. Meredith is such a class act, and Mom and I were both sorry we hadn't watched her more often when we had the chance.
It was after 9 when I got to Rockefeller Plaza, but I didn't have a meeting until 10. So, I thought I'd see what was going on with the crowd outside the studio. Most people had left, but I stood there for a minute or two watching the crew break down the lights in their "Crew Loves Meredith" t-shirts.
Between interviews, people would scream, "Meredith! Over here!" She yelled to the crowd a couple of times, "I'll get there! I promise."
Not sure if you could see this on the set today, but she was wearing a pair of incredibly tall Christian Louboutins.
All the other reporters and cameramen covering the story wanted their picture taken with Meredith, so this went on for quite a while. Meredith beckoned to the Inside Edition field producer to get in the photo, and then Nancy hopped out to snap the picture.
Figuring I'd gotten my jollies for the day, I exited the barricaded area and walked toward my office. That was closer to where Meredith was standing, so I got an even better view.
I realized there was a small opening in the barricade, so I slipped through and got into the photo line. "Close that gate!" one security guard called to another. "Meredith will never get out of here!"
But lucky me, I was one of the last ones in. I babbled some sort of congratulatory compliment and thanked Meredith for taking the time to stay out there so long. "Oh, no, it's the least I can do," she said. "Thank all of you for being out here!"
A security guard took my camera, and voila!
Not bad for a Wednesday morning at work, huh? Sometimes the late bird gets the worm!
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Part 2: I wrote the above this morning and then met my mom for lunch. We went down to the Rink Cafe in Rockfeller Plaza. Tourist trap, right?
I'd shown Mom my prized photo from this morning and shared that my only regret was she hadn't been with me. Shortly after we sat down at our table, Mom leaned over her menu and whispered to me: "Isn't that her? Over there?"
Sure enough, Meredith and three colleagues were out to lunch. She'd traded the green dress and heels for a black t-shirt and jeans. Mom and I tried not to stare too hard as we split a giant turkey sandwich. (I'd learned the hard way the sandwiches at this joint are ginormous -- and should be, at $19 each.)
Mom tried to get a picture of me with the fountain in the background, but the shade wasn't quite cooperating.
Meredith's teammates surprised her with a cake, and it was fun to have a window on what was really just the same kind of "last day at work" lunch we've all had with our work buddies.
On our way out, Mom stopped to tell Meredith how much she'd enjoyed the show this morning and that she, too, had just retired after 28 years in the classroom. Meredith could not have been any more friendly and personable and suggested I take a photo of them.
"Let's get one with you, too!" she suggested.
"Actually, I already got my picture with you this morning," I admitted.
"I thought you looked familiar! Here, let's get one with your mom," she insisted.