January 26th, 2016
I was almost relieved this morning when I received the email from Forrest that he’d canceled his helicopter ride and interview with Inside Edition…Santa Fe had received a couple inches of new snow, so searching for Randy with a news crew would have to wait. I went about my morning… time to complete some sorely needed chores.
As I pulled out of my driveway, my cell phone rang…it was Sacha excitedly telling me the interview would take place after all. It turns out Inside Edition had already sent their Houston correspondent to Santa Fe, as well as a team including the cameraman and sound guy. They even said they’d pay for the helicopter…
Forrest asked us to meet them at 11:30 am in the Jet Center at the airport. Not only does it take me an hour to drive there, I needed to shower, etc.
Sacha and I talked briefly while I hurried to get ready…I could make it there by 11:45, but she’d be a bit later since she too had changed her morning plans for child care.
As I pulled into the parking lot at the Jet Center, Forrest was walking from his car, and the Inside Edition folks were carrying their equipment inside. While they waited for the helicopter and pilot Doug, Jocelyn the Producer/Reporter unofficially interviewed Forrest from the waiting area. Glenn the cameraman and Zach the sound guy were busy preparing their equipment.
Doug arrived right on schedule at noon…Glenn the cameraman grabbed the big TV camera and accessories and Zach grabbed his case with the sound equipment…the official TV interview began on the tarmac.
Eventually, the ground interview finished and Forrest went up in the air with Glenn and Zach. I think Jocelyn stayed back because only 2 folks could fly with Forest and the pilot. By that time, Sacha had arrived and we began discussing the next move for creating another group ground search for Randy. The hour the guys were in the air flew by…before I was ready, they were walking through the door from the tarmac. I was busy most of that time downloading photos of Randy from the Sept book-signing at La Fonda, as well as some photos from our boots-on-the- ground group searches for Randy for Jocelyn to use for the show.
The next part of the interview took place at Forrest’s home in his office. Sacha and I were told to accompany them there…which we did.
There’s a lot of hurry up and waiting when it comes to making a professional production, even when the footage of Forrest’s interview which airs could be just a few minutes. It took awhile for Glenn to place the lights and Zach to set the microphones. Again, Jocelyn spent time chit- chatting with Forrest and taking notes, while Sacha prompted her and sometimes Forrest for the right question or topic.
Eventually the equipment was satisfactorily placed, and it was time for everyone to take their seats. Sacha’s and my favorite part of the day was Glenn the cameraman applying makeup to Forrest…now we know why Forrest is such a handsome devil…he wears makeup!
Finally, it was time to say lights, camera, action…But first, Zach the sound guy reminded us all to turn off our cell phones…these guys are professionals, and there can’t be any arbitrary sounds in the background. The interview started…it seemed to be going well. Soon, Glenn hollers “Cut”…there was a “ding”…oops, Forrest’s laptop dings each time he gets an email. Sacha jumped up, disconnected ff’s laptop from the power cord, and took it out of the room… the interview proceeded.
Five minutes later I realized I’m holding my laptop on my lap beneath my jacket and phone which I had powered off when told to silence it. I thought, oh my God, my laptop dings, too, if I get a message. I swallowed and prayed no one would text me. After a minute or so, I nonchalantly turned it off but for some reason decided I too should move it to another room. I knew to be exceedingly quiet because the shotgun microphone on the camera would pick up any little sound. I knew the camera was a closeup on Forrest and that I was out of camera shot. So I got up and silently tiptoed out of his office to the foyer where I set it down. As I re-entered the room, I heard Glenn yell “cut” once more…my body moving across the lights created a moving shadow on camera. Jeeze…this movie making stuff was a lot harder than I anticipated.
After 30 minutes or so, they said they had enough footage so I thought the interview was over. No, they wanted to tape Forrest behind his desk, reading and answering his emails. More preparation, new locations for the camera and microphone, more waiting. This time the filming was much shorter and no one was talking.
In the meantime Peggy and Zoe returned home. I chit-chatted with them in the foyer while the Inside Edition folks moved here and there, gathering their equipment, putting some away and re-positioning others.
Again, I found the day was not over. They wanted Forrest to walk through the heavy double doors between his office and kitchen carrying his book Too Far to Walk. He was instructed to walk up the steps, go to the table, sit down, and open the book to the map of the four states inside the back flap.
While Forrest sat at his desk catching up on emails as they set-up, Peggy entered his office through the same heavy wooden double doors, carefully holding onto the railing as she descended the three steps into his office. He gently looked up at her and sweetly asked “do you want me for something?”…her sweet reply, “I always want you for something.” I swear, I wish I could have captured the look on his face…after 62 years of being married to Peggy, I think he is still smitten…I felt like I’d just witnessed a beautiful young girl tell her boyfriend for the first time that she loved him…it was the highlight of my day!
The next scene was finally shot of Forrest going up the steps into the kitchen and displaying the map. Finally…the Inside Edition interview was almost done. They requested Sacha provide a sound bite. I followed them outside, along the south side of his house to the pond…it was a beautiful setting. I watched as they placed the microphone on her lapel, brushed her hair, and got set. Her interview began…she was a pro. I mean, this girl needs to be a TV news anchor…I was truly impressed. Jocelyn asked her to elaborate on Randy’s fate. Sacha had the integrity to say it wasn’t appropriate for her to speculate. She talked nicely of Randy…it could have been any of us….she made me proud to be one of us…this close knit community of Fenn treasure hunters.
This episode of Inside Edition is scheduled to air tomorrow. The network and time varies depending on where you live. Jocelyn said it’s scheduled to air on KOB-TV at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon. That is a New Mexico station. Please, everyone check your own TV times., and recheck this one here in NM as well.
I have a possible small warning: Sacha and I listened to the entire interview…there is a segment where I think Jocelyn asked Forrest three times if he feels responsible for Randy’s death. The third time she repeated this question, I formed my hand into a gun and pretended to aim at her because I was pissed off. But then I realized, this is her job…this is what she does for a living… Inside Edition tends to sensationalize the news they report. So go easy on her and the show…
And go give someone a hug…
Peace be with you, Randy…
This story is scheduled to air around the country on Thursday, January 28th. To find out what station near you and what time click here:
The video clip is now available on the Inside Edition website: