My Favorite Moment At SXSW!
The elevator doors at the Sheraton Austin opened. I smiled up at a face, that could brighten a cloudy day, locking eyes with CNN’s Former Chief Financial Analyst and Tweeter Extraordinaire, Mr. Ali Velshi. Or should I say @AliVelshi?
In. My. Elevator.
Ali Velshi, bald head and all, standing right in front of me.
In. My. Elevator.
He and his wife, Lori Wachs, were just standing there, unknowingly, unwittingly, and perhaps, even a bit unwillingly, about to become my guests, on “The Vicki Winters Show.”
“Ali Velshi”, I exclaimed. “My father was crazy about you. He loved watching you on CNN.”
Remembering in my head, as if it were the day before yesterday, my father’s distinctly Brooklyn voice, asking, “Do you know who this Ali Velshi guy is? Did you know he’s Arabic?” Did you see he’s bald?”
“Yes, Dad, I do. I follow him on Twitter.”
“Where?” What! You’re stalking him now? What happened to Ben Stiller?”, he wanted to know.
My Jewish father, Lowell Weinerman, who wore a “piece” on his head, loved this smart man with all his heart, although they had never met.
Style. Substance. Brains. Canadian. Everything my father wanted to be. And more.
“My father is watching from heaven and loving this moment, I said gleefully. Would you mind if I took your photo,” I asked the charismatic, Mr. Velshi.
“No problem. This is my wife, Lori. She’ll take the picture.”
AliVelshi, Tweeter Extraordinaire, is now asking, the lovely, Mrs. Velshi, to assist in photographing us together?
Am I dreaming? As they walked away, I felt my dad’s presence inside me. Smiling a huge smile, and just for my technologically challenged, and sadly missed father, I blurted out, really loudly, “My twitter feed is @MyBigFatMouth.”
Just. In. Case.
Alert The Media! Or At Least The Twitterverse. Ali Velshi Twets.
Unable to contain my excitement, and needing to keep it under 140 characters I tweeted:
And wouldn’t you know, not more than 10 minutes later, to my amazement and sheer delight, Mr. Ali Velshi, RE-TWEETED this!
There was no doubt in my mind that, at that moment, both of my parents, were dancing a happy dance in heaven…even if they had no clue, what this RETWEETING, was all about.
My mother was just wondering, why I wasn’t wearing any makeup.
The Weinermans Are CNN Groupies. There I’ve Said It.
Both my dad and I love(d) to watch CNN. Whenever we were together, we would sit in the living room, and watch it all night long,
And now, the final words that my father spoke to me in July 2009, made even more sense to me.
Dad was a little doped up. I had just been told by the doctors, that the end was near. We would be wheeling his hospital bed, to the hospice wing of the hospital. Although my dad wasn’t exactly aware what was going on, for me, this was probably the single most devastating moment of my life. Lowell was just happy to have me by his side, and vice versa.
“Let’s go in the den and watch some CNN”, he said.
Although we were not in fact, headed to the Weinerman family den, I smiled through the tears, “Yes. Let’s go. Maybe Ali Velshi is on!”