Saturday, November 10, 2007

goodbye to you

Terry Morrow wanted to know if I would cancel whatever plans I may have had for last night. He had finagled an invitation to Abby Ham's goodbye party and was bringing me as his guest. Abby and her friends were going to see The Breakfast Club, an '80s cover band. Before the concert we gathered at Patrick Sullivan's. A few WBIR folk were already there including the general manager and the news director.

Abby arrived straight from the airport. She had been on the air in Cleveland only two days so far. As usual, the Knoxville Trivia Blog was on top of it, posting links on Thursday to video clips of her debut that morning. Having seen the link, I knew that WKYC broadcasts the news in HD. Abby said she hasn't watched herself in high definition yet.

Our group filled the seats at the big table in the front window and spilled over to a smaller table nearby. At various times I found myself sitting next to Abby, her fiance, the news director and some people I didn't know. At one point the news director was reading the headlines on his PDA. I asked if he could check the Catholic High football score for me. He said that might be the one thing he couldn't get. What about texting Dan Farkas, I asked. He did and that's how I found out that Catholic won their first round playoff game.

A few of the faces around the table were recognizable from TV. In addition to Abby, I saw Robin Murdoch, Kay Watson (again) and Mike Witcher. The staff presented Abby with a nice digital camera as a going away gift. She promised to use it to have her picture made while standing next to the World's Largest Rubber Stamp. She's already seen the stamp because her new TV station is nearby.

Two of WBIR's producers, Erin and Lee Ann, walked down the street to Blue Cats with Terry and me. Abby and the rest would catch up later. A fairly long line had already formed for the Breakfast Club concert. When I first walked in, I thought a deejay was playing "Footloose" but it was actually the band. Their covers are dead on. We met up with Abby and her friends upstairs on the balcony overlooking the stage. Abby told me that she has seen the same band in Chattanooga recently. She and her friends went there to dance and carry on without being recognized. It didn't work. Somebody spotted Abby right away. Let's say that you and your co-workers wanted to go out for the evening to dance and maybe have a drink. You would just go. Now let's say that you and your co-workers all have recognizable faces from being on the TV. What would you do then?

Before I went home for the night, I had a chance to chat with Abby about her time in Knoxville. She agreed that the morning and noon newscasts in our town were particularly competitive because of the strong anchor teams on WATE and WVLT. Abby especially appreciated all the buzz generated by local bloggers. She feels it helped her career, even though she had to grow a thicker skin to deal with the negative comments posted by some readers. By the way, the fanboys reading this should know that Abby's fiance is a good guy and that they make a great couple. I wish them all the happiness in the world. Do you think they might invite me to the wedding? (No, I don't either.)

I tried to make my exit a couple of times. During one attempt, Abby wanted to get a picture with Terry and me. I will go ahead and post an empty space below where the photo will be once Abby emails it to me. Meanwhile, Terry and the others wanted me to stay until 12:45 a.m. That's when the band would return from intermission and when the lead singer was supposed to make a surprise announcement from the stage about Abby's departure. During the break, I saw two of my improv brothers from Einstein Simplified and a few of our regular audience members. Hey Lance and Marshall, if you want to send me the photos we posed for out in the courtyard, I'll post those too. Anyway, I never heard the big announcement so I left during the second or third song. As I walked back to my car, all I could think about was how surprised my friends were to see me out that late.

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Blogger Byron Chesney said...

I am so green with envy! I just now was able to read this post because I had to fly to Vegas this morning and didn't stay up late checking my blog roll last night. Can't wait to see the picture. Abby should let you and me live blog her wedding!

Anonymous Lance said...

It was good times Saturday night.

I guess the reason it was surprising for me to see your there is that I've never actually seen you outside of a performance. That and the fact that you go to bars/clubs (excluding Tuesdays) about 1% as much as me.

I wish I could send you some pictures, but I didn't take any. I only stood there.

Anonymous Ed_Munster said...

Well as a HUGE Abby fan, I am glad her soon to be is a good guy. She's so dang hot!

Anonymous Abby Ham said...


Finally, I am sending you the picture from my going away party. You still have to wait on the stamp picture. It's either too cold or too windy for me to go outside right now, but I promise I will get it to you.

Here is the picture of you, Terry and me for your viewing or blogging pleasure. :)

Have a great day!



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