I was on Oprah her first year on National TV, 1986. She has done very well since I was on her show.
Her staff actually found an article about my family in a now defunct glossy magazine about St. Louis. We were in a feature about two families in St. Louis who were raising their children without T.V. I had never heard of Oprah, since she was new to the national scene and I didn't have a T.V. Her staff called on a Monday morning and asked if I could fly up Tuesday and be on her show Wednesday. I called my husband and a pal to take care of the kids and off I went to a suite on Michigan Avenue with room service and 4 TV's, including one in the bathroom. I got rid of the T.V. not because I am a big time intellectual but because I adore it, so I spent the entire time going from room to room watching sit-coms.
Oprah and her staff were very funny. I was told the same thing no less than ten times. It was "Give us the Reader's Digest Version." I began to think that Reader's Digest was their biggest sponsor. I enjoyed having my make-up done. I require a lot of spackling. Oprah has beautiful skin and is a beautiful woman. She was in her early fat Venus stage and I thought she looked terrific.
I am a professional speaker and author. I speak on fundraising and governance. The aftermath has been interesting. When speaking in Australia, one of my audience members asked me if I knew Oprah. I said that I'd been on the show, but we weren't BFFs. I got a spontaneous standing ovation. I was in a tiny village in East Africa with the African Health and Hospital Foundation visiting a woman who had HIV/AIDS and was asked if I knew Bill Gates. He visited the same woman the year before. I said that I didn't know Mr. Gates. Then I was asked if I knew Oprah. Scored a yes on that one.
I live in a condo in St. Louis, MO. and see Bravo TV's Andy Cohen's parents regularly in the gym. That actually impresses me more than my little meet and greet with Oprah. (My son has met Kevin Bacon when he was his kids' camp counselor. Now that is really big time)
I have only one regret about my "relationship" with Oprah. When I published Raising Charitable Children I wanted to utter the words that every author dreams of, "Oprah, it's great to be back."