By Vicki Winters
The elevator doors opened. I smiled up at the face that could brighten a cloudy day, and locked eyes with CNN’s Chief Financial Analyst, Anchor, and Tweeter Extraordinaire, Mr. Ali Velshi.
In. My. Elevator.
Ali Velshi and his wife, Lori Wachs, were just standing there, unknowingly, unwittingly, and perhaps even a bit unwillingly, about to become guests on The Vicki Winters Show.
“Ali Velshi,” I exclaimed. ”My father was crazy about you. He loved watching you on CNN.”
I remember it like it was yesterday. In my head I can still hear my father’s distinctly Brooklyn accent asking me, “Do you know who this Ali Velshi guy is? Did you know he’s Arabic? Do you know he’s bald?”
“Yes, Dad I do. I follow him on Twitter.”
“Where? You’re stalking him?” he wanted to know.
My Jewish father, who wore a “piece” on his bald head for most of his adult life, was so in love with this guy, Ali Velshi.
Style. Substance. Brains. Canadian. Everything my father wanted to be. And more.
My father’s wish in death was to come back as Ali Velshi. I swear.
“My father is watching from heaven and loving this moment. Would you mind if I took your photo?” I asked.
“No problem. This is my wife, Lori. She’ll help us.” Is my father’s favorite CNN Anchor and Tweeter Extraordinaire now asking the lovely Mrs. Velshi to help me? Are they the nicest people on the planet? Am I dreaming?
Feeling my dad’s presence in that moment, and smiling a smile for him, I blurted out, “My Twitter feed is @MyBigFatMouth.”
Just in case.
I wish I had put on some makeup…
Alert The Media! Or At Least The Twitterverse.
Unable to contain my excitement, and needing to keep it under 140 characters I tweeted:
Not 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 about what this RETWEETING thing is. My mother is 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. We would sit in the living room and watch it all night long when we were together. As such, the final words that my father spoke to me in July 2009 make even more sense to me now.
Lowell was a little doped up. He couldn’t quite see or hear the tiny television mounted on the wall of his hospital room. We had just been told that we would be wheeling him to the hospice wing, for his last days. He was happy to have me by his side, and vice versa.
“Let’s go in the den and watch some CNN,” he said.
Although I knew that where we were going would not be our family den, I lied to him: “Yes, Let’s go. Maybe Ali Velshi is on.”