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Sharing a laugh with a legend May 21, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

We were a CBS family. The ‘old school’ reference dates back to when folks caught up with their world around the dinner hour by tuning in (literally, no cable or satellite!) to one of the three network television newscasts. We watched CBS.

Kelly Downs and I share a few moments with Bob Schieffer prior to commencement

So being in the presence of a legendary CBS journalist was particularly exciting for me. Bob Schieffer, known best these days for hosting Face the Nation, paid a visit to RIT to deliver this year’s commencement’s keynote address. Part of my role was coordinating his access to local media, and I was anxious to tap a break in the action to relay a story I thought he might enjoy.

I told Mr. Schieffer about Austin and the conversation with my son over dinner the night prior. Austin and I exchanged details of our day ahead, and he reminded me he’d be working at Wegmans after school. In return, I explained that commencement would likely keep me on campus later than usual. That’s when I got curious.

I see the Bob Barker resemblence

“Do you know who Bob Schieffer is?” I asked. I knew it was a long shot, so the puzzled look on his face hardly surprised me. So I went to my bag and pulled out my copy of Bob Schieffer’s America and showed him the smiling face that appears on the book’s cover. Austin’s expression transformed.

“Oh, I know him!” he said.

“Really?” I was obviously surprised.

“Yeah, that’s the guy on the Price is Right.”

Hearing me say that, Mr. Schieffer suddenly laughed out loud. He didn’t need me to explain that Austin had confused him with Bob Barker. He was clearly amused.

“Tell him I can be whoever he wants me to be,” Mr. Schieffer replied still laughing.

Later on, he went on to provide an inspiring address to our graduates and their families. As I listened in, I couldn’t help thinking how nice it is to know somebody of his stature can be so insightful, yet so down to earth. That’s what we want to believe is true of the individuals we trust for news and information, and I can assure you that Bob Schieffer is the real deal.



1. Frank Battaglia - May 22, 2010

What a brilliant and lighthearted way to break the ice, Paul! Mr. Schieffer in truly a class act and, for what my opinion is worth, CBS should have never let him go from the evening news anchor chair…

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