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Barbara Walters in her office, as photographed by Lynn Gilbert in 1979, New York - This photo is exactly how Walters looked when she informed me she was Barbara Walters during our head butting session

 

I'm pictured here during the time that I was a chauffeur for Barbara Walters. Next to me is JD Nicholas (L) the then lead singer of the Commodores - NR photo


 

 

Video Beat EXTRA - REMEMBERING BARBARA WALTERS

James Loving - National Radio Text Service

 

 

Those that know me have insisted that I should write a book about my life. My feeling I haven't done anything that is worthy of a book. What I do have are memorable moments with people that have made an impact in their respective careers and Barbra Walters was one of those people… RIP WA WA

 

Saturday December 31, 2022

A LEGEND IN HER OWN TIME

The journalism and entertainment business lost a legend in her own time, Barbara Walters. Walters was 93. She was a symbol of true grit as she pioneered the news and entertainment businesses with aplomb. For many women that followed her in either medium credit her with giving them the inspiration to follow her lead to be a success in either trade.

Walters was the first female co-anchor of a network evening news program, alongside Harry Reasoner on the ABC Evening News. From 1979 to 2004, Walters worked as a producer and co-host on the ABC newsmagazine 20/20. She also became known for an annual special aired on ABC, Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People. Walters interviewed every sitting U.S. president and first lady from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. She also interviewed both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, though not as presidents.

Walters created, produced, and co-hosted the ABC daytime talk show The View, on which she appeared from 1997 until her retirement in 2014. Thereafter, she continued to host a number of special reports for 20/20 as well as documentary series for Investigation Discovery. Her final on-air appearance for ABC News was in 2015.

As fate would have it Walters and I would meet and get to know each other. It was during my time as a chauffeur that I had to pick her up at LA Airport. The billing was on a credit card and the charge receipt would have to be signed and approved before moving the car. Our company which was based at the Beverly Hills Hotel apparently had problems with non payment of charges which required regulations of obtaining a signature and the credit card company's approval on the charge.

When I picked up Walters at the curb I informed her of the rule. She replied not to worry about it and to drive on. I then repeated the rule and she informed me it wasn't her credit card and not to worry about payment. I called the dispatcher and he said not to move the car until payment was approved.

She went into a huff and puff and blurted out, "I am Barbara Walters!"

I then informed her very strongly, "I am James Loving."

She became very emotional as we waited while the dispatcher called the owner of the card it was to be charged to. The communication went through and I was then instructed to take her to her destination.

I don't recall her speaking to me during the drive. The instructions were to wait with the client and take them to their requested destinations until discharged.

When we arrived at a residence she insisted that I come inside with her. That was against the company's rule that a driver is not to leave their vehicle. In this case I made an exception after I communicated with the dispatcher of the situation and to send a relief driver.

When I entered the house there was a TV crew and set in a large room. Walters then introduced me to the card owner and apparent producer, "This is James Loving."

It was as if I was in some sort of star in a drama. There was a huge table with food and I was invited to help myself. Now that was an invitation I couldn't turn down. There was fruit and huge roast beef, corned beef and turkey sandwiches like those one can purchase at Greenblats Deli. They were spot on.

When they started the show my relief driver arrived and I was on my way to freedom… which I mean in a affectionate way. In the end there was no hostility as we all survived this trying experience and life was good

My tip was two huge sandwiches one of which I ate there and took one to go.

Since her death the news about it was extreme. CNN even telecast an interview she did with Larry King. It was strange since they both have taken it to the next level. This show was pertinent to me since I knew Larry having interviewed him and having chats with him on several occasions.

He knew Walters well and the interview was an evergreen (last forever). It was her 20th and last interview with King around 2006. He asked her if she had some shoulda, woulda, coulda's in her career. That was my line in a story I wrote about Phil Jackson then hired as LA Lakers coach. Those that know me have insisted that I should write a book about my life. My feeling I haven't done anything that is worthy of a book. What I do have are memorable moments with people that have made an impact in their respective careers and Barbara Walters is one of those stories. RIP WA WA

© Copyright: National Radio. Any use of these materials, whole or in part, is prohibited unless authorized in writing by National Radio. Contact: nationalradio@yahoo.com All rights reserved.

 

 

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