If I Were a Talk Show Host… (from Lisa Wingate)


Happy Monday everyone! After the serious topic of Easter last week, it’s a double-double fun April Fool’s Week on the porch. Here in Texas, despite the strange, dry winter, the wildflowers have started blooming, and the bluebonnets have begun to paint the local roadsides with the annual azure waves. There’s a nice breeze blowing on the porch as we sit down to chat.

Anyone care for a glass of sweet tea and some of that leftover lemon pie from Easter dinner?

It’s If I Had a Talk Show week here on Southern BelleView. That seems appropriate for April Fools, doesn’t it? Our Bell Tuesday, Beth Webb Hart has brought a most interesting topic to the porch for us:

If you could be the host of your own talk show, what would your talk show be called, and who your first guest be?

DSC_0534After this past week, I know exactly what my talk show would be called. The idea came to me during a walk in the woods with my houseguest and longtime friend, Ed.

If you’ve been around the porch a while, you know that Ed’s history inspired Dandelion Summer, which is why we’re posing with copies in hand here.  Ed flew in last week to make his first-ever visit to our part of Texas. Having the chance to show him many of the real-life things that have inspired bits and pieces of my books over the years was a special pleasure, and watching Ed share his life wisdom with my sons was a blessing we’ll never forget. I am sure those boys won’t either.

DSC_0474One of the sights Ed wanted to see was the old swimming hole in the back pasture, where my boys have wiled away so many of their childhood hours over the years.

Ed and I took a walk out the back gate after having lunch in McGregor with the sweet ladies of the McGregor Tierra Literary Society.  The Tiaras were kind enough several years ago to let us film their book club discussion of Dandelion Summer, so they and Ed had already met one another long-distance.   Last week, we shared an amazing lunch, during which time Ed told stories of the Camelot days at Cape Canaveral when the first moon missions were taking place.

Not long after all the excitement, Ed and I were off on our stroll through the back pasture, and Ed said, “I was so busy talking, I didn’t get to find out about all those other people at the lunch table. I wish I could have heard all the other stories at the table. You know, everyone has a story, and the sad thing is that so many people never tell their stories. Their stories die with them.”

So, that would be my talk show — a production dedicated to rescuing the world from the curse of the untold story.  On my show, we would travel the back roads of the country, discovering the stories of ordinary people. I’d call it What’s Your Story?

We’d record volume after volume of audio and video.  We’d store it somewhere in a giant library of story, where an internet server would share the fodder of old episodes, at the touch of a button.

Got a long, boring flight? Dial into the What’s Your Story vault for a the greatest reality show of all — real lives.

Driving across the dusty plains of West Texas — tune in, enjoy, meet some new people without ever having to get out of the car. Wouldn’t that be magnificent?

This week — the premier week of What’s Your Story — I wouldn’t have to travel to find my first guest. He showed up at my front gate as Ed and I were headed off to a book lunch last Thursday. He was hungry, and lost, and trembling… photo-6as scared as I’ve ever seen any living creature. Abandoned by the side of the road overnight, it would seem.  A little fellow clearly accustomed to giving love and affection.

Somebody’s half-grown house pet, whose adoration was repaid by a highway drop off in the middle of the night. In human terms, he’s roughly the age of a six-year-old little boy, suddenly left to shift for himself.

I wish he could tell me his story.  It’d like to know who kicked him out of the car on a busy highway — I’d have a thing or two to say to those people, not the least of which being, If you don’t want a dog, don’t bring home a puppy. If you do bring home a puppy, take care of it properly and don’t make it someone else’s problem.

But maybe, beyond the soapbox about lousy owners and abandoned animals, even we people who don’t abandon dogs on the side of the road could learn a few things from a little lost pup… one who can find himself loved one moment, and unloved the next, and still be willing to trust a stranger.  To give and receive love again.  A foundling human would need years of therapy to overcome something like this, but all a good dog needs is a little food, and a little love, and a place to call home.

Maybe if I put this foundling fellow on my talk show, he could find a new home and a new person to love — someone who would love him back, until he’s old, and gray, and long in the tooth.

It would be a perfect ending to this dog’s tale… and to the inaugural episode of What’s Your Story?

Don’t you think?


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  1. Sharon says

    Thanks for sharing your special time with Ed, Lisa. The two of you look great on the porch and I’ll bet the walk to the creek was a special time for you. It sounds like that little dog was very lucky to be discovered by you. So, now he’s safe and fed and we can hope someone who wants a friendly pet will materialize soon.

  2. says

    I love the idea of the “What’s Your Story” show, Lisa. You and Ed are right. So many stories go untold, and once the person is gone, they are gone. Also, there is something so healing about telling your own story. It encourages others while helping the storyteller. No doubt we were hardwired to share and receive stories.

    Hope that precious pup finds a good home!


    • lisa Wingate says

      You’re right, Beth! Aside from preserving the stories, there is something healing about telling your story… and about knowing it will be preserved!

  3. says

    You already know I LOVE your sweet relationship with Ed and love hearing all these happy updates, but now I have to comment about that sweet pup. I just can’t help but think his timing is perfect, just as your youngest is graduating from high school…just when you think you no longer have a “boy” at home in need of love and attention…this “boy” found you for a reason. I’m so glad he came to the right gate.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      You are such a sweetheart! Unfortunately, our sheepdog is highly opposed to having another boy of the dog variety around. So… we’re looking for a home for this lil’ fella so we can let the sheepdog out of sheepdog jail ;o)

  4. says

    My show would be called “Joyful Journey”. We would discuss how in thisbjourney with God what we learn͵ how we can help one another and the struggles we face. God has a story for each of our lives…

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Love, love, love your Joyful Journey talk show, Angie! A beautiful idea and an important thing to remember. God does have a story for each of our lives!

  5. Rachel Hauck says

    Lisa, what a GREAt show idea. Loved reading your story with Ed.

    What an adorable dog. It drives me CRAZY when people mistreat animals, especially trusting pets.

    If you’re NOT a pet person, DON’T GET A PET!!

    Praying you find a great home for that sweet dog!


    • Lisa Wingate says

      Oh, girl, me too. Hate to see animals in that shape. He’s a smart, sweet little guy, so hopefully we can find him a home soon!

  6. Jorie says

    Ms. Wingate,

    I completely agree with you, that a radio show that could be archived like the one you were pitching into conception would be most ideal! :) One thing that I have noticed is that the vast majority of people you run across are no longer interested in day to day interactions. They’re caught up in their own lives, or their previously known friends, and if someone new starts to become a regular in their lives, they fail in knowing how to inter-relate to them. At least, these are my personal observations!! I never understood why there is a shift in sincerity,… where the very moment of sharing about our lives and worlds has become a bit too passee!?

    I also agree that not only do people have stories to share, but they have a unique character and personality that would benefit from being shared! :) Too many people want to become just like the next person they see, in exchange for the beautiful person they already are! How lovely a radio program this would be to enlighten and encourage everyone to take a few extra seconds and minutes out of their hurried lives to remember that it’s the connections we make in person and our ability to relate to each other is what is going to keep us connected in the end.

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