Cleveland Amory

It was on a cold Christmas Eve night many years ago in New York that a stray cat found a new, loving home.

His rescuer was I then crusty 60 year old curmudgeon, an author and TV and radio critic named Cleveland Amory.

Well, Amory named his new furry white companion PPolar Bear. And in 1987, when Amory wrote a book called The Cat Who Came For Christmas, Polar Bear became a celebrity.

This was my first interview with Cleveland Amory, but it was not the last. We talked several times over the next few years.

So here now, from 1987, Cleveland

Cleveland Amory died in 1998. He was 81.

Wally Amos

What would you do if a big corporation took over the company you built, then told you you had no more right to use your own name to sell the product you invented?

Welcome to Wally Amos’s world.

The founder of Famous Amos Cookies eventually lost the company. And then he lost the right to use his own name to sell cookies.

But the Florida native with the irrepressible sense of humor and enthusiasm turn the situation around. Eventually.

He wrote about it in a 1994 book that he called Man With No Name.

So here now, from 1994, Wally ‘Famous’ Amos.

Wally Amos is 85 now. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina, where he works on Aunt Della’s Cookies.

Sophy Burnham

Do you believe in angels?

Does each of us have a guardian angel? What do angels really look like? Can they perform miracles?

Some thirty years ago a Washington DC-based author and psychic medium named Sophy Burnham wrote a book that became a major bestseller.

It was called A Book of Angels.

And that’s when Sophie and I had the first of our several conversations over the next few years.

And if you don’t believe in angels now, perhaps you will a few minutes from now.

So here now, from 1990, Sophie Burnham.

Deborah Norville

Photo: Stuart Ramson/InsiderImages for Scholastic

Have you counted your blessings today?

If you haven’t, maybe you should. It might be good for your health.

So says TV journalist. Deborah Norville.

In 2007, the anchor of inside edition wrote a book about gratitude, thankfulness, and how that can actually change. Not just your attitude, but you’re very health.

I have the chance to speak with her for a few minutes about that book. So here now, from 2007, Deborah Norville.

Deborah Norville is 63. She’s been anchor of TV’s “Inside Edition” since 1995

Dick Butkus

Photo by Alan Light

The national football League is over 100 years old, and in that time, football fans have enjoyed some breathtaking games, spectacular plays, some of the most colorful athletes we’ve ever known, and more than a few moments of spectator sport agony.

In 1994, The NFL participated in publishing a huge coffee table book reflecting on the first 75 years of the league. And to write the forward to that book, they chose legendary Chicago bears, middle linebacker Dick Butkus.

Now I grew up in the Chicago area, so I knew the name Dick butkus very well — and his reputation. An opponent once said that when he was tackling you, Dick Butkus was aiming not to put you in the hospital but the cemetery.

But when I met him to talk about that book, I found him to be a very warm and personable guy with lots of fun stories.

So here now, from 1994, Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus celebrated his 79th birthday last week. He’s active in several charities through the Butkus Foundation.

Gloria Steinem

Ms. Is turning 50

Photo by NARAL Pro-Choice America

It was in December 1971 that a staff writer for the New Yorker named Gloria Steinem created what would become, the following summer, Ms. Magazine.

The December debut was actually an insert in the New Yorker, and it instantly catapulted stynom to the forefront of the feminist movement.

Fast forward to 1992. Gloria Steinem wrote a book called The Revolution Within, and that’s when she and I sat down for one of our several conversations over the years.

So here now, from 1992, gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem will be 88 next March. She remains active as an organizer and lecturer.

Paul Petersen

Photo: Gazebo

I don’t know about you but every Christmas season one of the movies I have to watch is it’s a Wonderful Life.

The story of George Bailey, the small town building and loan manager who’s given the chance to see what the world would be like without him is a Christmas classic.

Almost 30 years ago now two guys came out with a book of trivia about the movie. One of them was Jimmy Hawkins, who played Tommy in the movie. The other was actor. Paul Petersen.

Now you may wonder what Paul Petersen has to do with. It’s a Wonderful LLfe. Well. Paul Petersen was one of the stars of the ’60s sitcom The Donna Reed show — and of course Donna Reed was Jimmy Stewart’s co-star in. It’s a Wonderful Life.

And unless you have a master’s degree in, it’s a Wonderful Life. I can promise you will learn something about that movie in the next few minutes.

So here now from 1992. Paul Petersen

Tami Longaberger

For a generation, a handcrafted Longaberger basket is something of a home decor showpiece.

Dave Longaberger founded the company in 1973, and by 1975 had hired his daughter Tammy to work there. When Dave died in 1999, Tami took over as president and CEO.

In 2001, a book that Dave Longaberger had written was finally published, and Tammy went on tour to promote it. That’s when I met her.

At the time, the Longaberger company was at its peak, with thousands of employees making all kinds of home decor products,

They even built a company headquarters building in Ohio that looks like a giant Longaberger Basket.

So here now, from 2001, Tami Longaberger.

Some time after our interview in 2001, the Longaberger Company’s fortunes began to slide. Tami stepped down as CEO in 2015, and Longaberger ceased operations in 2018. The company’s brand was revived a year later by another comp[any.

As for the distinctive basket shape headquarters building, Longaberger moved out of it in 2016, and it was sold to developers in They’ve tried to turn it into a luxury hotel, but at present those plans are still on hold.

Tami Longaberger is 60 now, and works with a venture capital firm based in Washington, DC.

Pearl Harbor Remembered

On a quiet Sunday in early December, millions of Americans went about their usual routines.

Folks went to church. Children played out in the yard. Teenagers went to movies. Families went to dinner. People listen to football games on the radio.

And then everything changed.

On the radio came the horrible news that the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii had been attacked by forces from Japan

And just like that, America was plunged into World War II.

Back in 1991 as the nation was preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, I took the opportunity to ask anyone I interviewed that year who was old enough to remember, where they were and what they were doing on that day.

You’re about to hear from men and women who on December 7th 1941 were children or teenagers or young men and women, but who later became major figures in American culture and society. Journalists broadcasters, actors, mystery, writers, military leaders and sports heroes.

You are also going to hear some words and terms and songs that by today’s standards are rude, offensive, and unacceptable. We were a nation that had just been punched hard in the face and our anger was fresh and raw.

Gen. James Dozier

Fprty years ago this weekend a U.S. Army general who was stationed at a NATO facility in Italy was kidnapped by a Marxist terrorist group known as the Red Brigades.

General James Dozier spent the next 42 days in captivity, before a dramatic rescue.

And, as you’re about to hear in this interview, Dozier’s rescue by Italian special forces actually help break the back of the Red Brigades.

I met General Dozier and his wife Judy several years later. They wrote a book about that harrowing episode.

So here now from 1990 general James Dozier and his wife Judy.

General James Dozier is 90 now.