Cold Weather, Warm Reception
Dear Friends of "FOX & Friends,"
This is sure to be a gigantic news week if you're interested in politics, with the midterm elections on Tuesday. I hope you all vote (if you don't, you can't complain) and for those of you in Chicago, I hope you vote early, vote often.
The past week ended with a bang, as "FOX & Friends" traveled to Birmingham, Alabama. That city has the distinction of having more "FOX & Friends" viewers than some of the network morning shows, and it was our chance to say thanks.
The day started at 3 a.m., and as soon as I hit the morning air, I knew I'd made a big mistake. It was cold — really cold — and my gloves were about a thousand miles away. And yet if you saw me shake hands with Governor Bill Riley, I was wearing black gloves. Where did they come from? One of our New York-based coordinating producers, Jaime Ball, had a spare pair. That's right — I was wearing girl's gloves. It was 39 degrees! Girls gloves versus frostbite? Girls gloves win.
Our program originated from the studios of Rick & Bubba, one of the most popular radio duos in America, and just to prove how much their listeners love them, many of them showed up, pre-dawn, in almost freezing temperatures to hold up signs and cheer like crazy. They had on-air contests for the best sign, most dynamic, etc., with $500 cash for the winners, selected in part by viewers who'd seen them on our show. It was a blast and everybody was terrific. One fan had driven to Birmingham four hours from his town in Mississippi, and when he got there he slept in his car!
Then at 8 a.m. ET, the Pelham High School marching band performed the National Anthem, and within 30 seconds of the conclusion of the song, two F-16s flew just above our heads, with a military flyover. The pictures were terrific and it sent chills down everybody's spines. And you know how those jets knew when to buzz Red Mountain where we were standing (aka Big Boy Bluff)? A freezing Jaime Ball had a walkie-talkie in her cold bare hand and was speaking directly to the military.
There was an anxious moment just before the flyover, as we were waiting our eyes were to the west, where the planes were supposed to appear, and yet we saw nothing, just then from the east, a much larger jet came over the mountain, I thought they'd made an aircraft change, and would be making a big left turn, then I realized it was a Southwest Airlines jet, and it was heading straight toward the area where the jets would be screaming through. Within a few seconds the airliner banked hard to the right and the fighters flew by. That seemed close, but I'm sure they were plenty far apart.
Rick & Bubba were the best hosts a visiting television show could hope for, because not only did they have me on their show during drive time, but they also brought in the best ribs and sausage for the crew, we also had biscuits and gravy and banana pudding, all before 8 a.m.!
Throughout last week, I'd said we'd have a little contest, "The Battle of the Books," which town would buy more books, Atlanta or Birmingham? My first stop at Books a Million in Birmingham, was standing room only. When the last book was signed, they had eight left over! Over 550 people went home with "The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook," which I'm proud to say is a New York Times best seller. The next day I was in Atlanta at Borders in Buckhead, and it too was standing room only. They said it was one of the largest signings they'd ever had. Almost 500 copies of my book were personally inscribed on location as well. Yes in the end, Birmingham beat Atlanta in the Battle of the Books! Thank you all for attending, and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed being with all of you.
Thanks to all for the great weekend, and now it's on to the midterm elections. I hope you'll all vote. I'm planning on doing it after work Tuesday. Wait a minute, I wonder how the touch screen works if you're wearing girl's gloves?
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