So long, Barbara

I wandered through the drizzle, down to an ABC studio to watch Barbara Walters’ final live broadcast on The View.  The show was boisterous, funny and moving.  All the former co-hosts were there.  They had not changed one bit.  What became apparent very quickly was just how much that octogenarian (her age is a moving target) accomplished in her long career.  Walters was a pioneer, doing interviews only men used to do and cracking broadcasting’s glass ceiling, presumably with her bare hands.

Meredith and Barbara were a team.  They were usually serious, frequently funny. Meredith loved having our kids drop in for goofy, guest appearances.  I think that is one reason each is so self-assured.  The View was a family hangout.  I hung back for years, resisting producer telephone calls to appear on the show.  I would not go on for what I deemed no particular reason, except to be Meredith’s husband.  “Why are you here?”  I’m Meredith’s husband.

My attitude changed when I had a book to sell.  No fool, I.  Barbara was very close to opera great, Beverly Sills.  Beverly’s daughter has MS, and I knew Beverly from  MS Society events.  She wrote a blurb on the back cover of Blindsided.  Barbara then read the book and did a 20/20 program on it.  Barbara became interested in MS, and hosted some events.  She messengered the book to Don Imus, simply suggesting he read it.  She was very generous to me.

Barbara Walters is a force to be reckoned with.  I do not think we have seen the last of her.  Beverly Sils is gone now.  Meredith and I are out of sight and presumably out of mind now.  We have to come up with a way to lure Barbara back into the MS tent.


7 Responses to So long, Barbara

  1. Christopher May 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    Very nice mini-tribute, sir.

    Ms. Walters seems to be “one smart cookie,” as my grandmother used to say. Funny thing about smart “cookies”… they ain’t no dummies.

    I wish you well.

    • Richard May 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Thanks. I am neither smart nor a cookie. I once did a story with Alexander Cookie.


  2. Wendy May 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    How about Barbara hosting a TV show called “Couldh’ve Should’ve Would’ve” , stories about how peoples lives were rerouted by chronic illness? It could be an inspirational way to redirect ones life. In some instances provide a little assistance to help dreams to be actualized.

    • Richard May 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm #


      Good idea. If I ever get up the nerve, I will suggest it.


      • Betty Moody May 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

        It’s a big story. Barbara or not it needs air time. It’s about chronic disease that is taking hold of our humanity and is not letting go. It’s about the last 100 years, and the next 100 years, and genetics, and environment, food and medicine, and food as medicine. We need to understand where the breakdown happens, and how to affect it. Will healthy humans be an exclusive minority in the next century? Gated communities of people with the best DNA who pay the long dollar for pure water, fresh air and organic food?

  3. Lori May 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Richard – this is off-topic, but I’m just wondering how you’ve been lately. Are you still recovering from your blood clot/shingles – and are you close to being where you were at health wise before you got “slammed”?
    So sorry, all this happened to you and added more to your plate to deal with.

    Hopefully, you will start to feel better, and the stem cells will start to do their healing, too.

    Stay strong!

  4. James May 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Hi Richard I was wondering if you have spoken with any of the other patients on Dr sadiqs stem cell trial?i still feel this has got to be our best chance at getting better