Ellen‘s “The Puppy Episode” aired 20 years ago, April 30th.
I know, I said I wasn’t going, and this is the truth, I was not planning to go, I had no intention of going, and I did not use a single cent from your donations to attend. Instead, Jorja invited me and my partner to come.
Yeah. My jaw was on the floor. I said yes, but chose not to tell anyone outside my best friends because, well, if it all fell through, I’d have been the biggest prat in the world, and while my ego can handle a lot of things, I didn’t much like the idea of the internet mocking me. I apologize to anyone who might be offended or felt I lied. When I first told everyone I wasn’t going, it was true! The fact changed later and I just got cagey about it, so as not to disappoint you. The full story, complete with some fangirl moments is on my personal blog, but here I’ll tell you about the event itself.
When I got to the event, a ‘handler’ brought her over to meet me right away (she knew I’d be late). We chatted for a bit. Jorja flew in on Wednesday for the event (anticipating bad weather, which we didn’t have) so that’s why she wasn’t at the premier. We talked about surfing and hiking and things we liked to do. She’s very personable and wanted me to know that she wouldn’t be able to hang out (which I knew) but she made the effort to find me a couple times just to make sure I was enjoying myself. The music was nice, if a little loud, and after they played Preacher Man (by Dusty Springfield), my partner asked Jorja about the one-woman show she’d produced, and was it ever coming to Chicago. Jorja said she was still pushing for it, but nothing definitive quite yet.
We didn’t want to mob her, so we hung out with another fan we knew, who was surprised to see us there (as we were him). A friend of hers, Joe Fab, introduced himself to me, after finding out who I was, and told me he was a follower of JFO. As he’s the gentleman who made the movie “Paper Clips”, I was agog. That movie is fantastic, and many people I know say it changed their lives. And he visits this site. That threw me for a loop.
Later on in the night, after having been told William Petersen was busy with family things and wouldn’t be attending, he showed up. Jorja pointed him out as her “old man” and we laughed. I shook his hand and just said I wanted an autograph for my friend’s mother. He had no idea who I was until, a moment later, Jorja introduced us a little more formally. And yes, she said “This is the woman who has been running my fansite for 12 – 15? – 15 years.” We shook hands again, and he looked somewhat surprised. I decided to take it as a good thing.
Jorja’s speech was very nice, about how proud she was that Chicago’s doing so much to make the world a better place for animals. Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of the Humane Society, praised her for her tireless efforts, and for using her celebrity power to spread the word.
Oh, and everyone who donated? I printed up your names and addresses and gave them to Jorja. So if you end up getting a thank you from her in the coming months, that’s probably why. And if not, well, she’s busy!
You can check out the JFO Exclusive Photos, of course, on the gallery (a few are posted below). The quality is poor because the lighting was poor and the camera is decent and I am not a great photographer of people. Plants, yes, people no. There should be more photos in the coming days, as a photographer was on hand, and I’m sure got no few pictures of us!
PS: Video too!