Sept. 15, 2008 -- Success! "GMA" Makes History
I don't know if people said we couldn't pull this off, but if they did, they were dead wrong because we totally did. "Good Morning America" just became the first network television show ever to broadcast live from a moving train.
From the opening shot of Diane and Robin greeting the nation live from the back of the speeding Whistle-Stop '08 Tour train all the way to the closing shot once again from the back of the train, the whole thing went off without a hitch. The madness caused by the switching to live shots and the timing to make everything work just right while the train powered along came together in genius when it needed to.
Everyone stayed safe. Most people stayed happy. And a few people even stayed sane.
Unknown forces tried to conspire against the train as a tree branch fell in front of it, causing a minor delay but providing the train engineers an opportunity to show off their brawn by moving it for us.
Then we were back on schedule, making three stops at towns in Massachusetts, providing up-to-the-minute news and weather reports and even relaxing a little as we listened to James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma play a concert live in Stockbridge, Mass., from the front porch of the famous Red Lion Inn.
From the antique buildings to the small shops with smiling patrons, Stockbridge is truly an American city. Even the lyrical white picket fences have a deep texture to them that exudes sturdiness with age.
It's no wonder the town looks as if it stepped out of a Norman Rockwell picture -- the famous artist had his first studio in Stockbridge, just a stone's throw from the Red Lion Inn.
I met one person there who knew that studio very well -- Claire Williams, who was 29 when she posed for a Rockwell drawing in 1959.
"Oh, he was very nice. And I look as good now as I did then," she said with a long laugh.
With an attitude like that, she, like the idyllic town she grew up in, seems to have only gotten better with age.