What a week it’s been. I went to my best friend’s wedding out on the north fork of Long Island on Sunday. I know what you’re thinking. Crazy, what with Hurricane Sandy on it’s way. I intended to go for an hour, and then start my 6-hour drive back to DC. I pretty much kept to that schedule, but as we all know, instead of getting back in time to cover the storm of the century for my new station, WUSA9 in DC, I ended up missing the calamity and destruction that struck my beloved former city, state and hometown.
For the record, Sandy wreaked havoc on DC/VA/MD, but NOTHING like the death and destruction and decimation that slammed parts of NY and NJ. Houses vanishing into bits. Children swept away by a 20-foot wall of water, never to be seen alive again. My heart breaks. Daily.
I wanted to help, to pitch in, to, at the very least, give a voice to the people who lived through a remarkable situation, just like I did after 9/11, but I couldn’t. I don’t work in NYC anymore. It’s frustrating. And that’s why I say, even when you think you’re out, youre not; you never leave.
I wanted to volunteer this weekend, but with the gas shortage, it didn’t seem wise to put one more person and one more car in that situation, so I stayed here. I will come to volunteer next Sunday. I already have my train ticket. I want to go to Staten Island, the home of my first TV job at SI76. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because it doesn’t exist anymore. But it’s where I got my on-air start, along with Alicia Vitarelli, now with WPVI in Philly. We had some good times there, and covered some big stories, including the Staten Island Ferry Crash of 2003. I ate more pizza and Italian cookies during that year, then the 8 years since. It was just too good to pass up. But, I digress.
The only way I can help TODAY is to tell you about this. My friend, Tiffany Pelczar, painted these breathtaking tri-state area-themed watercolor paintings and is selling them on Etsy. 100% of the proceeds will help Sandy victims. They’re not expensive, and they’re a great way to show your NY/NJ pride, and give back – if you, like me, are not near the area. Hey, it’s a great way to give back even if YOU ARE in the area. I bought one. She’s so talented.