I've been a Gretchen Carlson fan ever since her debut on Fox News' "Fox & Friends." She was/is attractive and spunky. She didn't mind trading barbs with her male co-hosts. She was opinionated, and didn't just tote the acceptable stance or party line. So after several years of watching her on Fox News, I saw where she was releasing her first book and going on a book tour. I knew I was going to get the book, but I also would love the opportunity to meet her as well. I had heard that the book was for women though, and I didn't want to appear like some hopeless, crazed fanboy showing up and looking like a creep (as if Twitter following wasn't bad enough). So I thought I would send her a tweet to ask about the book and the tour. I honestly did not expect a response. About 30 minutes later though, I had a notification that Gretchen Carlson responded to my tweet saying the book was for everyone. I couldn't believe she actually responded! I saw where she was slated to come to Sea Island, GA for a book signing and so I knew then that I would definitely be going. I called the number listed for the book signing which was to the Sea Island Events office to make my book signing reservation. The events specialist informed me that the event was not open to the public and that I had to be a member or guest of a member on the island to attend. I was disappointed. I tweeted back to Gretchen Carlson that the event was private and I wanted to attend but couldn't. She responded again and said it was open to the public. I told her that the man said I had to be on the guest list and couldn't attend. About 30 minutes went by when she tweeted me back and told me she could get me on the list. ARE YOU SERIOUS? Is this really happening? I won't lie. I probably had a small fanboy moment. I told her I definitely wanted to attend and within another 30 minutes, she tweeted me to tell me I was on the list.
So Friday, July 3rd finally arrived. Billie and I got ready and dropped off the girls with my parents. While on the way, I told Billie to call just to make sure we were on the list. She called and my name was nowhere to be found. She called back to speak to someone else and I was still nowhere to be found. I was beyond disappointed. I didn't want to show it much. I'm a soon to be 35 year old man with two daughters and the pastor of a church. I have to admit though that I enjoy new experiences, meeting new people, and especially meeting individuals that I truly like or admire. As we set our course to do something different with our night without kids, I tweeted Gretchen Carlson just to say that we were going to come but weren't on the list. Again, I didn't expect a response. It was about two hours before the event started, but sure enough, she responded. She said she was confirming I was on the list and that I could attend. So we made an about face and headed that way.
When we arrived at the gates, the attendant asked me if I had a reservation. I explained that I did not. He then asked me was I guest of someone and what my name was. I took a wild shot in the dark and said I was a guest of Gretchen Carlson and told him my name. He checked his listings, gave me my pass, and wished us a Happy 4th. I won't lie. I felt 10 feet tall. Billie and I have traveled all over the US and we've seen all kinds of sites, but I still get excited at new experiences. The event began at 5:30 PM and we arrived inside the ballroom at about 6 PM to hear the rest of the book talk.
Her aggressive and passionate personality led her to strive to be the best at whatever she attempted. She writes about being overweight as a child and teen and how remarks about her being "fat" from a young man she liked, sparked a determination to lose weight and get in shape. Her tenacity led her to lose 30 lbs in 3 months. She states that it probably wasn't healthy, but when she puts herself into something, she goes all in. She went all in after high school and went to Stanford University where she would eventually graduate with honors. She went all in at her mother's request to do the Miss America pageant after having only done the Miss TEEN pageant in high school. Carlson states that she knew next to nothing about pageantry, but with a new emphasis on talent and interviews and with the scholarship money available for the Miss America winner, she went all in to get ready and compete. And compete she did. She blew away the competition with her violin playing, and scored exceptionally high in every other category on her way to being named Miss America 1989.
Her adventures as Miss America and her involvement in a television gag show with Dick Clark and Ed McMahon would end up leading her away from her original plans for a law degree and towards a new career in television journalism. Carlson writes about her early days in television in Richmond, Virginia, Cincinnati, OH, and Cleveland, OH. She faced stereotyping from being Miss America and a beautiful woman. She endured sexual harassment from some deplorable men. She faced the horror of a relentless stalker who was eventually charged and served time, (not enough mind you). She dealt with being fired from her position in Cleveland after having just gotten married. Nevertheless, through it all, she persevered and continued proving herself time and time again.
Carlson finishes up her book writing about her family and her time at Fox News. She writes about her issues with fertility and the miracles that both of her children are for her and her husband. Doctors said she wouldn't be able to have her own kids, but God had other plans. They dealt with health scares with both of their kids. Their daughter dealt with a tumor that threatened to take her eyesight. Her son was said to have spinal fistula. Both are completely healthy and thriving children. Carlson's daughter was successful at putting together her own piano recital and helped raise $10,000 for a charity dedicated to one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Gretchen Carlson finished up 7 strong and successful years as the leading lady of Fox & Friends last year on her way to having her own program on Fox News called, "The Real Story." She talks about her memorable moments on the early morning show and her transition to her own afternoon show. As enjoyable as she was on Fox & Friends, Carlson's ideas, cultural opinions, and personality is even more pronounced through "The Real Story." She has communicated with fans and American patriots through the show and off the show. She stays connected with her faith, family, and others keeping her feet on the ground as she strives to be all she can be and chases more dreams and opportunities. As easily seen by simple one and two line tweets to some pastor in south Georgia helping him get into a book signing, she's still "one of us." She's not forgotten her roots, and that's what makes Gretchen Carlson the "Real Deal."