An Afternoon with Tom

Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go to an event at which Tom Brokaw spoke. To be perfectly honest, I never really paid much attention to the NBC Nightly News when he was the host; I still don’t now that he’s gone. Despite that factoid, I was still really excited to attend the event and hear him speak.

Tuesday was a very rainy day in the state of Oklahoma, and we were certainly glad to have it. This did pose a problem, however; because there is no convenient parking close to the location the event was being held. In all of our genius, none of us thought to bring an umbrella along to use in the torrential downpour. By the time we had run across a couple of blocks and up the steps to the front door of the building, we were all soaked head to toe. One of the victories that we the bald enjoy is that of not worrying about our hair getting wet or the need to fix it if it were to. My clothes on the other hand? They were more than just a little damp.

So we walked our wet selves inside and made our way to our seats. I always find myself feeling out of place at that kind of event. There were some pretty important people in that room and my rung is quite a bit further down that ladder. Perhaps I shouldn’t see it like that, but it’s there just the same. I know it’s wrong thinking because they wouldn’t allow me to attend if it were true. When the event started, one of the higher ups from OSU, a big wig from BOK, Oklahoma City’s Mayor Mick Cornett, and Tom Brokaw came out and took their places on stage.
Now before I go any further with this, I have to be completely honest with you. I figured it would be very interesting, but I didn’t know what to expect from his speech. I didn’t really know that much about him going in; I mean obviously I knew who he was and I knew he was the news anchor for NBC for a long time and that he had interviewed many very important people. I wasn’t in any way skeptical, but I didn’t have any preconceived notions that it was going to be amazing. I think that helped me enjoy it that much more. Of course the guy was going to be a great speaker, he’d been doing it his whole career. 006

He did a great job of keeping my attention. He didn’t stand behind a podium; he came out to the edge of the stage and had a conversation with us all. I was mesmerized by stories of all of the famous people he had interviewed. What Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush 1 and 2, and too many others to try to remember and list here were like. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like being at the Berlin wall as he was the night it came down. I remember watching on tv as a young boy. It was all fascinating to listen.

He then went on to the main part of his speech. I don’t think he could have been allowed to leave the stage before telling us all about the “Greatest Generation.” I don’t know much about the man, but I have a lot of respect for him based on this particular work in his life. He explained what made them great and in turn how they made this nation greater. He then described how it was the greatness we are missing in the country now. We have to many individual ideas that in the long run will never unite us. This nation is just waiting on a great idea to get behind. I’m sure there are many areas that I might have disagreements with Mr Brokaw. But he said a lot of things that were inspiring. I’m glad I was able to attend the event whether I felt I should be there or not.

Top 3 songs (I guess 4 actually)

Bootstraps “Sleeping Giant”/ “OH CA”
Jason Scott “Worthy”
Mike Mains and the Branches “Miracles”

6 Responses to “An Afternoon with Tom”

  1. Susan Taylor says:

    “we the bald” – I like that, Phil!

    My question is: What constitutes importance? Maybe you’re not a celebrity, but you bring so much to the people who know you. Although we are “only” acquaintances, I can see from your FB feed that you are very important to the people in your life.

    I haven’t read “The Greatest Generation” but maybe it’s time to put that on the list.

    Thanks for the music recommendations. I am buying the Bootstraps CD right this minute. Great music!
    Susan Taylor recently posted..How to Dismantle an Atomic BombMy Profile

    • philip says:

      The importance comments were more about the people that were in the room. They were higher ups in my bank among others. I know that I hold importance to a lot of people! 🙂 Thanks so much for saying so and making sure I knew though. I’m glad you like Bootstraps; I’ve been listening to them quite a bit.

  2. I think “We the Bald” would be a great band name. 🙂 Thanks for the mention on songs. You should put links to them so we can listen more easily (and I’m not just saying that because mine is on the list). Ha! All that said, I’m sure that would have been a great and interesting talk. Thanks.
    Jason Stasyszen recently posted..Trust as Relationship BarometerMy Profile

    • philip says:

      Thanks Jason, I’m sure “We the Bald” would sell tens of records. I’ll make sure to start listing links now that your mention has passed. 😉

  3. Sweet opportunity, though sometimes I admit, I prefer SNL impersonating Brokaw than actual Brokaw.

    • philip says:

      Yeh I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan, but it still was neat to experience. SNL always did a great job with Brokaw. Thanks Stephen!