I got a chance to speak very briefly with three people at the "studio." First was Bob Beauprez. In studio, you get to see how people react, what they look like, what they laugh at, and what they look like when they laugh. And on radio, people may be conscious of the audience, but feel more free to be themselves. (Although I did find myself waving "hello" at the microphone more than once.)
Beauprez came across as the real deal.
He wasn't afraid to laugh out loud. He wasn't afraid to let it linger for a little while. Look, he's a politician, and he certainly came back to his talking points. But representing a district with few Jews, he's a strong supporter of Israel. And when I thanked him afterwards for going to Paris and talking to UNESCO about anti-Semitism, he was genuinely moved, and genuinely appreciative. The speech didn't get much play here in the states, and he clearly hasn't heard often enough from American Jews about this. Tell him.
Then, there was the woman from Omaha who came up to me to tell me how her aunt and uncle had converted to Judaism. She seemed delighted by this, happy to have the connection. Obviously, she loves her aunt and uncle, but it's astonishing to me that this was a source not of resentment, but almost of pride. No, we don't seek converts, and that's not the point of this story, if there is one.
And lastly, I got to meet Pete Coors, very briefly. Yes, he's very tall. And, yes, he's very busy. But he took a moment to let me know that he thinks DU has a better business school now than when he was there. Coming from guy running on his business background, I'm not quite sure what to make of that.
Finally, we need to thank Michele Austin. I know she pretends to be embarassed by all this, but she's been a trouper, producing Hugh's show locally, getting press credentials for us bloggers, doing legwork, handing Hugh pictures to sign, making sure we're aware of what's going on. It's people like her, who deliberately stay out of the limelight, who make this stuff work.