The "O" is for Oprah and, a couple days ago, the Queen of All Media graced Central PA with her presence. Oprah and her entourage ate dinner at a little place called the Pine Barn. For those of you who don't know, the Pine Barn is just outside Danville, within walking distance of Geisinger Medical Center. The Pine Barn also rents rooms and, in the days when my station used to televise the Children's Miracle Network telethon from Geisinger, I stayed there one or twice. I've also eaten at the Pine Barn, so add that to the very short list of things that Oprah and I have in common.
Oprah and her entourage managed to sneak into the area undetected. I'm not sure exactly what they were doing, or how they happened to pick the Pine Barn. But, I gather that they've been travelling from California to New York, stopping at historic sites (and small restaurants) along the way. As far as I could figure out, Oprah needs to be in New York for Sunday's Tony Awards, something about a play/musical version of "The Color Purple."
Anyway, we didn't know she was coming and neither, apparently, did the Pine Barn. The reservations were under someone else's name. By the time someone tipped us off, Oprah and company were just leaving. We weren't able to get anyone to the Pine Barn for another hour or so, but I thought it was still worth sending someone to do a story - even if her show does air on another station in the market. I mean, it's not every day Oprah comes to town.
Our reporter and photographer did a nice job with the story. They talked to the guys who waited on Oprah and company, talked with a waitress who got a picture with Oprah, and even showed us the very chair where Oprah sat. My favorite part, though, was when the reporter asked one of the waiters if the fork she used would end up on eBay! No, the tip she left was apparently big enough to make selling souvenirs unnecessary. That Oprah, she thinks of everything.