Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

A Day with OraTV

Monday was a fantastic day. I would beg your indulgence as I describe it. I will be forgiven upfront for namedropping as yesterday was about meeting some very special people.

First things first. My wife Nanci was my boon companion from moment one. Nanci’s presence was a wise choice for any number of reasons, aside from the simple joy having my life-mate on my arm. Number one: I needed a built-in cheering squad. Number two: I needed a personal photographer who would document the events of the day. Number three: if I HADN’T asked Nanci to join me I would likely never heard the end of it, so . . . join me she did.

We took a 7:55 flight out of Oakland (Oaktown) California, which put us in Burbank at 9 AM. We were picked up by Danielle, who was our driver-tour-guide-confidante-escort for the day. From the airport it was a hop-skip-and-jump to the Ora TV studios in Glendale. Once we arrived, I was “made up” and – when the time came – I sat down with Larry King and did my interview.

A word, please. I have been interviewed many times: by the New York Times; by The Wall Street Journal; by The Times of London; by NBC TV; by various and sundry other text and video newspaper, magazine and network outlets. Larry King’s was – far and away – the best interview I ever did. Yes, he had cue cards that told him who I was and why I was there. But once he had finished his introductions, he never looked at the cards and simply looked at me. His questions – and his simpatico – came from the heart, and I was inspired to a level of eloquence that surprised even me. The man was made to interview: had I not felt it myself, I would never have understood it. What a fabulous experience.

From the Ora studios in Glendale Danielle (our driver) took us to Hollywood, to a restaurant named “Ivy’s”. I recognized it immediately: there’s a scene in the movie “Get Shorty” in which the John Travolta character (“Chili Palmer”), Rene Russo, Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito meet together in a restaurant which – as it turns out – was Ivy’s. (I am a particular fan of “Get Shorty” as my neighbor – an actor named Delroy Lindo – played a thug named Bo Catlett in the movie.)

Anyway. We (my wife and I) met Jon Housman at Ivy’s for lunch. Jon is the CEO of OraTV and he is a genuine visionary. From day one at Ora he was tasked with creating a new, personality-driven network and that is what he has done. My thanks to Jon for allowing me to join his family.

From Ivy’s it was on to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center where William (“call me ‘Bill’”) Shatner was filming his “William Shatner’s Brown Bag Wine Tasting Show.” We did a ½ hour interview and drank some wine as well. Before our interview began, I showed Bill a theatrical program dating from 1971 of a production of Tennessee Williams “Period of Adjustment” starring William Shatner and co-starring my grandmother, Nancy R. Pollock (who was, at the time, a well-known character and Broadway actress). Bill’s predictable but understandable comment: “damn, I wish she was your mother and not your grandmother!”

Shatner’s was an incisive and challenging interview. The dude might be 83 years old but he has all his ducks in a row. We exchanged email addresses and, with a little luck, he’ll come up to our place for martinis and dinner.

From the Equestrian Center it was back to Burbank airport and on to Oakland. Nanci and I got home just in time to give the kids (Lillian, 7 and Daniel, 5) dinner and then put them to bed: all in all, a perfect reminder of reality.

Photos of the day below: