Brazos Valley This Morning's Barbara Smith and Steve Fullhart often have quite the discussions on a variety of topics. A lot of times, it's via e-mail. Now, they're giving KBTX.com readers a look at their regular back and forth in their blog series, appropriately titled "Back & Forth". Read what they've been chatting about, and chime in with your opinions!
STEVE: So this month marks a year since I became a permanent part of the show. You just passed the nine-year mark. Favorite memories...and go!
BARBARA: After nine years, as you can imagine, I have tons of favorite memories.
The first thing that comes to mind, though, is laughter...lots of laughter. Mike Wright used to make me laugh so hard I couldn't speak. I put my waterproof mascara to the test on many mornings with him. I remember so many stories...most of them were during commercial breaks and would get me laughing hysterically, just in time for the camera op to call, "Stand by!" and then we'd come back on camera with Mike completely straight-faced and me in tears. He would then look at me and say, "I don't know what her problem is." My usual reply was, "He's sitting next to me." Mike and Roger would complete each others song lyrics. Those mornings were always unpredictable, and always fun.
Then, along came Jon. Jon's sense of humor is not quite as in-your-face as Mike's, but he's still wickedly funny. Jon would say things, very calmly, that were hilarious. His observations on his daily surroundings are fantastic. My favorite memories with Jon, though, were when we would get out of the studio for shows. Jon, Travis and I all managed to ice skate during a live broadcast without falling down or running into each other! That was quite a feat! Jon is competitive, so our football challenges were great, especially when, by complete fluke, I would win. My theory of selecting a team based on location, not skill, may not be scientific, but every now and then it works. And while Jon might have been surprised by my wins, he was not shocked. Jon is never shocked ;-)
There have clearly been many mornings since your arrival that have been filled with laughter as well. First thing that comes to mind: Grimp Tacos. Fantastic! I'm sure there will be many more in the future.
Your turn...favorite memories so far?
I have much more respect for the job than to try to intentionally make you look foolish on air. Anyone who would do so obviously doesn't care about their work.
If I'm still employed after that statement, I certainly hope to have a few more great memories. Generally, my favorites involve a great deal of stress a few days or hours leading up to it. The show we did on the tenth anniversary of Bonfire's collapse will always stand out to me, as just hours earlier, I had witnessed something so spiritually overwhelming. Those Aggies -- most of them current students who weren't out of elementary school at the time of the collapse -- were part of something intensely special, and hopefully we were able to convey that. The interviews with Mike and Carmen Izzo were great as well.
The recent show from A&M on the first day of school was also fun, and again, stressful leading up to it. Hopefully, what we did lived up to your expectations when you first brilliantly proposed it months back.
On a broader level, I'll throw in the shows we did during the John Thuesen murder trial. It's not for the content or quality of the shows necessarily, but for me, those mornings were much needed distractions from a very emotionally-charged story I was on. Yes, I could have probably taken those shows off and grabbed some extra Z's, or I could have spent it with people I enjoy being with and our viewers. I think the latter was the better choice.
BARBARA: My favorite work day of the year for nine years has been the Food for Families Food Drive...bar none. I enjoy taking the show out of the studio, but the Food Drive is just special. On that one day, my love for this community grows each year. I absolutely love to see all of the familiar faces each year, driving through with their donations, giving from their hearts, and making wonderful traditions and memories for their families and children. To see those precious little ones still in their pajamas in the backseat, or dressed and ready for school extra early just so they could give to others, it honestly is bringing tears to my eyes as I sit here and write this. Each person who stops by has a different reason for giving. Some give tons of food. Some can only give one item. But, they give what they can because they can. I've seen donors crying as they drop off their food. I've seen donors with huge smiles. I've even seen Dancing Cans!
There is no way to fully describe how special this day is to me. I know I talk about the fact that my toes are numb from the cold, but my heart is so warmed by it all that the toes are just a distraction to keep me from crying. And then, some kind soul will show up with hand and foot warmers and hot cocoa to help us get through. Amazing! It's only September now, and already I'm excited for December and the food drive!
STEVE: So am I! It's always a great and uplifting time.
After filling in on BVTM for a few months back in 2008, I knew it would be a dream situation if I ever got the chance to do it full-time. For some reason, the bossmen gave the green light to it, and the fact that I'm in the spot two of the bossmen (Wright and Boaz) were in for so many years is humbling. I felt the same way when I anchored the day after Jeff Braun came back for the 50th anniversary shows knowing what he meant to this community. There's a lot of great history here, and that I'm following in the line of Mike and Jon is very special to me. Hopefully it's a lineage I can positively add to as time goes on.
I'm the kind of person that has to be reminded of specific events and happenings. I'll never be able to write an autobiography as a result, but I do know the past year has provided me a lot of laughs, which you have to have when you wake up at the hour we do if you want to get through the morning. What folks see on the air is one thing, but the talks during the breaks are something else, something special on a number of levels. Because of all of the above, this is pretty much a dream job.
BARBARA: It is a dream job. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm blessed. I get to come to work each day and have fun doing something I enjoy, and then I get to go home and start my full-time job of wife and Mommy. Getting to have fun doing both is an absolute joy and blessing.
Any favorite BVTM memories?
Let us hear'em by leaving a comment below.