I have always been a huge admirer of Maria Shriver. She has been a staunch supporter of many things that are near and dear to my heart such as Special Olympics, programs that support low-income and at risk youth, and she has provided major support for women through the annual California Women’s Conference. To top it all off, she is also an extraordinary journalist.
In 2009 I spent a lot of time wandering Capitol Park at the California State Capitol while interviewing and shooting photos and video of homeless individuals for my M.F.A. thesis project. On one sunny Spring afternoon I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Maria Shriver, then California’s First Lady, who was touring the grounds around the Capitol for the launch of her “WE Build and WE Garden,” a playground and community garden-building initiative for school-aged children.
I stood there in jaw-dropping awe as I watched her interact with the media and a group of children who were planting in a garden plot set aside for the purpose at hand. This iconic woman was so genuine, intelligent and warm to everyone that surrounded her. It was an honor just to be in her presence and a privilege to capture several photos during those moments.
She was the type of woman I could envision grabbing a cup of coffee with just to chit-chat about the state of the world and what we can do to change it. A big fantasy, I know…
But then it happened. This year Maria Shriver read the book “Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the stories that kept us small” (Seal Press) and her staff said she loved it! Myself and 26 other amazing women just happen to have stories in this book.
So now I can more realistically envision Maria Shriver curled up in her big comfy chair next to her fireplace (if she has one), sipping on her cup of coffee (not sure she even drinks it), while “listening” to me “tell” her my personal story. Wow!
And now, our spectacular co-editors, Hollye Dexter and Amy Ferris have a piece about the book on Maria Shriver’s official blog! (You can read it here)
So, coffee with Maria Shriver, check! One more thing knocked off the old bucket list…