Often people ask me what it’s really like to be a TV news anchor for a quarter of century. It’s exhilarating. It’s stressful. It’s rewarding. It’s frustrating at times. But the best part of being a TV news anchor in Louisville has to be the viewers. They let me know what they think, how they feel about issues and one viewer in particular let’s me know that picking a Derby outfit is something that seldom goes unnoticed and is never, never overlooked by her.
I can’t say exactly when the Derby Dolls began arriving. It was 15 years ago or so. I can tell you this – they’ve been an annual hit in the WHAS11 newsroom.
This year I knew as soon as I approached my desk the Derby Dolls had arrived. Producers, assignment editors and other staffers were all looking at me. Someone said ,”Open it, Open it.” There it was one my desk -- a large, padded manila envelop from my favorite Kentucky Derby fan.
The Derby Doll is a crocheted creation made to look just like me on Derby Day. From Hat to footwear the doll is dressed in the same colors with puffy paint and sometimes glitter that represent the flowers or the pattern of that year’s derby design. The tiny crocheted hats have ribbons and feathers. There’s even red yarn sticking out beneath the hat to represent my hair!!! These dolls are a hit and a hoot.
They make us smile. We can’t believe our faithful viewer can get it so right. One year dolls began arriving for my co-anchor. Gary Roedemeier has a collection of Derby Dolls that look just like him on Derby Day and are now greatly admired by his granddaughter. Recently, Doug Proffitt has been immortalized in yarn as well.
I’ll tell you this about the creator. She’s a hard working woman who recently lost a loving mother. And although we have never met (yet) we have talked on the phone, exchanged cards and photos and told one another about the good and the not-so good that’s been going on in our lives.
Check out our Derby Dolls and thanks to our favorite Derby Fan for the memories.