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An Open Letter to Steve Hartman

Like clockwork every night at 6 pm you could find the rest of my family and myself watching the CBS Nightly News. My sisters and I would be doing our homework quietly on the living room floor as our parents watched the news. My childhood home was and will always be a CBS News House. I grew up watching Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Charles Kuralt, Katie Couric, Scott Pelley and yourself to name just a few.

My parents were not the kind of parents to shelters us from the real world. We saw the good, the bad and everything in-between. They also knew that it was important to keep up with the world around us and to stay informed and do our own research on topics. As an adult, I’m grateful for that among other things.

A family favorite segment growing up was the Charles Kuralt’s – On the Road Series. A light hearted, feel good segment to start off the weekend right. My sisters and I would stop working on our homework and watch it every week. As you know from 1998 you have been the one filling those shoes. From your award-winning feature series, Everybody Has a Story and CBS reboot of On the Road, with you in the driver’s seat in 2011.

Many times they are happy feel good stories; that have helped me restore my faith in humanity. There have been a few times more than I would like to admit that you sir… Steve Hartman have made me cry.

Yes, most of the time they are happy tears; but when the waterworks start flowing it’s not always easy to make them stop. Many times I say out loud “Damn you, Steve Hartman. You did it again.”

One memory of this was after watching a segment that made me cry and I had a date picking me up and when I answered the door he noticed that I looked like I was crying. I had to explain  that you made me cry. He thought you were an ex-boyfriend. After I told him. Who you really were. He still didn’t understand and he then told me that he and his family were “NBC New watcher”. There wasn’t a 3rd date after that.
I have even had people, family members mostly bet on me to see if I will cry after watching your segment. Before you ask getting teary eyed counts. In fact, you owe me about $50 dollars from lost bets.

There was a time that I thought I knew your system. Like if I have cried from your last 2 segments I wouldn’t cry on this coming weeks, but then you would throw in another heart-string-tugger story and there I would go again crying and damming your name.

I know you don’t mean to do it, and I might be prone to bursting into tears at the drop of a hat, or it might be coded into my DNA…Now that I think about my mother cries at well written Hallmark greeting cards, coffee commercials, baby animal videos, music lyrics. In fact, I don’t think there was an episode of Rescue 911 that she didn’t cry at. It became a lot worse when she got a smart phone and found out what YouTube is.

I have been told that I have a sensitive heart and soul. I think it’s just a nice way of saying. “Watch out for Amber she can cry very easy. Have tissues ready if you sit next to her.” Your stories pull at my heartstrings I know I care like the rest of the world, but maybe I care just a tad deeper and I’m ok with that. I can tell that you do too.

As I write this I just saw your latest segment and you sir don’t disappoint. Here’s hoping next Friday will be different.

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