The Next Week

At 3:45 am the next morning, the 24th, a limousine picked me up at my house and took me to one of the local stations for a live satellite hookup with Good Morning America. Then the limo took me to another TV station for a live interview with The Today Show. While I was there, I also did a live interview with the Terry Willesee Show on Nine Network in Australia. By the time the limo got me home, my friend had three telephone interviews lined up with the BBC, a German radio station, and a South African newspaper.

We finally headed over to the AT&T building about 9:00 am. When I got there, they had more requests for interviews that had come from AT&T Corporate Public Relations. I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon sitting in an empty office talking on the telephone. My friend would bring me food and drink and then feed me a sheet of paper with info on who was waiting on hold to talk to me next. I would take a deep breath, let it out, and hit the speakerphone button. Then I’d go into the same story again and answer the same questions again. The only differences were the accents of the caller and whether the voice was male or female.

Finally, about 4:00 pm, it petered out. My friend left for the drop zone. I decided to forgo jumping the next day and retreat up to my parents house in Sedona. I called them to make sure that there were no reporters waiting. There weren’t. I went home, picked up my dog and my parachute gear (never leave home without it), and headed north.

I went to the drop zone on Sunday and found out that I had missed several reporters that had come down looking for me on Saturday. They had left their cards and asked that I call them. I had a pleasurable day jumping and went back to work on Monday refreshed and ready to face the world again. When I got there, more messages waited for me. I spent the day returning telephone calls and answering questions from my co-workers. That routine continued the next day also.

On Wednesday, the 29th, I got called down to the General Manager’s office. When I got there, not only was he waiting for me, but so was my direct manager and the local Public Relations Manager. The General Manager informed me that the decision had been made that I was going to be awarded the Gold Vail. We then called some Vice-President of Public Relations in New York City. He informed us that the award was going to be made at Headquarters in New York City the following Wednesday, May 6th.

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