Like her, I grew up in suburban Washington, D.C. — in my case, in Rockville, Md.
And, like her, I shared some memorable moments with Willard Scott. Mine occurred when I was 5 years old and appeared on Washington TV on "The Ronald McDonald Show." Willard was Ronald McDonald. I was filmed doing the twist.
My career in show business never quite recovered from that.
I attended Catholic schools in the Washington area, and the nuns had their eye on me, convinced that I was good priest material. (Evidently, they missed my stint on "The Ronald McDonald Show.") But, it was not meant to be. I discovered girls. And soon after that, I discovered writing and journalism and the electric thrill that comes from seeing your name in print — even when your name is misspelled. The first story that was printed in my college paper carried the byline "by Gres Kander." It was close enough. I was hooked.
I made it through the University of Maryland, barely, on the five-year plan, because I spent most of my time at the student newspaper instead of inside the classroom. After graduating (again, barely), I landed a job at CBS News in Washington, typing and answering the phone. My salary was $11,800 a year. I was rich.
After marrying a wonderful woman who actually liked the way I danced, we moved to New York, where I got my first writing gig, for CBS News Radio. A few years later, I made the move to television, writing for Charles Kuralt on the short-lived late night program, "America Tonight."
Watching what Charles did with words was the best education in the world, and the most humbling. Half the time, I left work feeling like an utter failure, and the rest of the time I felt like maybe, just maybe, I had a brilliant and promising future selling women's footwear.
I've been bouncing around CBS ever since — you can read the ugly details here (bio) — and have finally stopped bouncing, and started blogging.
Speaking of blogging: Katie intends for this blog to be a dialogue, not a monologue. Don't be bashful. Most postings will have a comment section, so feel free to post and comment and tell us what you really think. Need to vent, joke, ponder, dream or offer a word or two of wisdom? This is the place to do it. (You might want to read the Rules of Engagement first — and check your dart guns and spitball shooters at the door.)
Finally, here's a twist I never imagined doing on Willard Scott's old show, and one that would make the nuns in grade school happy. In May 2007, God willing, I'll complete five years of study and be ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn — further proof, if any is needed, that God writes straight with crooked lines, and that He has a sense of humor.
I hope a little of that humor will seep into these pages from time to time. The world is a painful, terrible, frustrating, hilarious, miraculous, joyous place. If I'm doing my job, you'll see all that — and more — when you visit "Couric & Co."
By Greg Kandra
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