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[00:00:01]

This is exactly right. Hello and welcome to my favorite murder, that many Minnesota, we read you your e-mails to us, to each other and to you, to you. You're included in this. This is your speculation. This is your podcast. Did you know you started a podcast? Oh, my God. Congratulations. It's doing good. Doing great. We're real proud of, you know for sure if you want. I mean, why change might change it.

[00:00:47]

I mean I mean, dear Steve in Georgia, Karen and furry animals, starting with the engineer. I don't know about that. I'm compelled to tell you about a murder that happened in my hometown of Woodstock, Connecticut. Woodstock is a very, very rural town in the northeast corner of the state. It's primarily middle to upper class with lots of open space and cows. On December 12th, 2005, 44 year old Judy Niland went out for a jog and never returned.

[00:01:19]

The next morning, police found Judy's body. Her head had been beaten, her jogging pants pulled down, her hands tied behind her back. And there was a rope wrapped across the front of her body and around her neck. Her body was found in a shed located on the property of Woodstock's most famous resident, Caroll Spinney.

[00:01:39]

How shit do you know who that is? No, let me tell you. But now I'll tell you. Okay, tell me. Don't worry.

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I'll tell you that name may not jump out at you, but the names of Big Bird and Oscar, Oscar the Grouch certainly would be recruited by Jim Henson himself. Caroll Spinney was the voice and puppeteer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street from its debut in 1969 until his retirement in twenty eighteen.

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Now, now back to Judy. Finding her killer was not difficult for police since a sense of receipt signed by 36 year old Scott DOJ. That's how it's spelled. I don't know how to pronounce. DOJ was found in the road near Judi's headband and blood. DOJ worked as a caretaker on Spinney's property, where Judi's body was found. He claimed he accidentally hit Judy with his car and in a panic hit her body. He claimed the rope was used to hoist her body up into the shed.

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The state's attorney stated that Judy's injuries were not consistent with being struck by a car. In 2007, DOJ pleaded guilty to kidnapping and the murder of Judy. He was sentenced to life in prison. Later, DNA evidence linking him to a rape in another town that occurred in 2004. He confessed to the rape and had 20 years added to his sentence. Judy's family later sued Caroll Spinney, claiming he had foreseeability in hiring DOJ due to his history of burglary, suicide attempts and marijuana use.

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Yeah, I believe this.

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I believe this case was dismissed. Caroll Spinney died on December 8th, 2019, at his home in Woodstock. Judy Niland was beloved by the town as she was the social worker at the town's middle school. Every year, the school children pay tribute to Judy's memory with a five K Road race. Well, that's beautiful. Say sexy and don't get murdered. Love Gene, your fellow latch key poster child, I that's such a like what a horrible thing.

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I mean, obviously.

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I mean, obviously, Judy, that's horrible, but. Oh God. Yeah, yeah.

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That it would be like on it somehow involved like dragged into your house property or whatever and then somehow people are trying to say you had something to do with this or you're somehow responsible, which I'm sure you ask yourself to.

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It's not, you know, like could I have done something? Could I have known? Yes.

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You're like you're associated with that person. Yeah, that that's horrible. That's that. Actually, I have to say that one feels almost like a legit, like small town secret.

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Yeah. Because I've never heard anything like that. And you never hear I mean, I wouldn't have ever heard it.

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Like you go to that town and you would never know based on. Right, right. OK, this one starts.

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Greetings to you all. I've just found out the slightly spookiest thing that happened on a road I drive on all the time and have to share it with you guys because I know absolutely no one else in my life will be interested at all. The slightly spookiest thing it was the day after Surrey Police's annual Christmas party in December 2002 that Surrey UK, by the way, and they received a call not not Tom Cruise's daughter, Suri, OK?

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And they received a call out saying that someone had reported a car veering off the A3 and it says Major road. Kind of like a highway, I think. Thank you. With all lights blazing.

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So this car veers off the road. Police turn a. The scene and weren't able to find anything or really any signs of a crash until someone found a Vauxhall Astra nose down in a ditch covered in undergrowth nearby, they found a body and established his identity after checking the registration number of the vehicle.

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And it was later confirmed by dental records. The only thing the body is reported to have been skeletal or decomposed going by forensics. They worked out that the crash had happened almost five months earlier in July.

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Oh, no. It's speculated that the driver had suffered severe injuries and crawled out the passenger side of the car and died in his attempt to climb up the steep embankment. The driver had been wanted by police since July 2002 on robbery charges. He was last seen enjoying drinks with his friends in West London, and his brother had reported him missing. So, yeah, in December, a car seemed to come off the road, had lights on. Police find a total car, batteries long expired, covered in undergrowth that crashed in July.

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Was it a ghost crash, a ghastly replay of whatever went down five months earlier or was someone reporting an accident they knew about but didn't want to be involved with the final with and finally their conscience got the better of them?

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Goes crash, fortunately? Or is there another car and occupants that did go off the road that night? And they are still down there? They are down there.

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My biggest fucking nightmare, all of this getting like a crash and then. But no one knows you crash.

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Yeah, I'm going to be thinking about this all night and never going to be able to look at that patch of road the same again.

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B, I want to know the I want to look at that patch of road now and see how cars can disappear in it.

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I bet it's so easy. If you think of like an embankment, you can't see any any part.

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But like the right when you drive off, probably it's going to be in such an easy thing to do.

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And my mind is it filled with bushes, like over undergrowth and like a lot of luck. And let's clear that shit out. You don't need it in there totally toits highway bushes. Get rid of it if there's cars down there. The idea that there's more than one crash like that, I know that they're like, well, we found it. And it's like, no, just three feet away. My God.

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You know, what's funny is the majority of mine were ghost or ghost based stories. So Halloween and right around the rate everybody wants. And I'm sure we asked for them, although I can't remember. But yeah, there's so many good ones.

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OK, so I circled the wrong one. Sorry, I remember when I used to go in the office and Stephen would hand us the stories, I'll print it out and we would start which ones we were going to use or circle them. And we, we were near people and each other and each other in a small enclosed room. Hello. Well this one begins. Hello all. I've been searching for something interesting to write about since I started listening some time this year.

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And then in parentheses, I don't know when because time is nothing today. It suddenly struck me that I might have some stories of interest since I spent my youth growing up in a funeral home, but just struck them today.

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Oh my God, what's normal to you, you know? Yeah, right, exactly. Since there's nothing super interesting about growing up in a funeral home except that I may have shut my little brother in a casket when we were children, I also thought everyone lived in a funeral home and that's why they were called homes. Additionally, when my family moved into our first non funeral home, I was confused about where we would put the bodies as an adult.

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I also found out that every Christmas our presents from Santa were hidden in the bottom part of display caskets, the lower part that is never opened during a funeral. Oh my God.

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But this story is about none of those things. When I was a teenager, I would sometimes work for my dad at the funeral home, moving flower arrangements, cleaning, creating memory boards, etc.. One afternoon my dad asked me if I had drawn anything behind the clock at work. I was so confused and had no idea what he was talking about. He assured me that he wouldn't be mad. He just needed to know. I told him that I had not and he immediately went back downstairs without explaining any further.

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I followed him down the stairs to find that he was telling this story to my mom, younger brother, and Chris, the other funeral director who worked, works at the funeral home. Still without explanation. He told me to get in the car on our ten minute drive to the funeral home. My dad explained about the clock. He told me that he had taken the clock down a few weeks prior to spring forward for daylight savings. He returned the clock to the wall.

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No problem. Then earlier that day, while there was a family having visitation at the funeral home, he noticed that the clock had stopped ticking and went to change the batteries. When he pulled the clock down off the wall, he found that a woman's face had been drawn on the wall. Oh, my God.

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No, no, no, no, no, no.

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Once we arrived at the funeral home, I did. Very theatrically took the clock off the wall and there it was, a woman's face, but it but it was not quite a drawing. It looked more like a burn.

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You could clearly see the tracing of the hair and eyes, nose and mouth of a skeleton. Now, now, now that I'm writing this, it seems insane. But there it was. My dad, Chris and I began to share stories of the motion sensor going off in front in the front entrance when no one was there hearing our names being said when we are by ourselves and not wanting to go into certain parts of the building. The building was sold off soon after that.

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And I often wonder if the new owners have experienced anything strange.

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Hope this warmed your Halloween spirit, says DGM Kelly.

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I'm mad at that one because it's nighttime right now and I have to go to bed soon and it's not going to go well.

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Sorry, who was that? I just heard a ringing sound to you. Yeah, but I don't know what it was because it wasn't my doorbell. The dogs both heard it, too.

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Oh, my God. What was that? Karen, dealable in your house or something?

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It sounded like it was coming outside from the door, like not outside outside the like outside of the room, would you say it sounds like it's coming from outside the room. And there are are they looking, though, like if it were the doorbell, my dogs would be going batshit bananas right now?

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Hey, what? What? You did not like that. What was that?

[00:12:03]

Oh, my gosh. You look like a Muslim.

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Are you OK? I'm scared, Georgie. What do I do? I love. I keep going.

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You you aghost that we keep going.

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Goulder, I just need to tell. I mean we're leaving this right because like this these dogs will fucking bark if I like, you know touch something incorrectly they'll go off.

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Yeah. That noise just happened which I buy these ear buds and so I didn't, I can't hear what's around me. Yeah. It's like muted and they just both turned like this. They didn't stand up or Bacher do normal dog things when a noise happens to the oven on.

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Are you baking a casserole right now like you like to do on Sunday nights? Here's what I don't like.

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The back door's open here in the fucking back door now. Well, let's see if I'm come back. I'm taking this nail file with me.

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I don't like this at all with me, George.

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I don't like it either. You see even the police, Karen Hughes, that child that walked by staying at your house, who's a child in the boating clothes.

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Right. Why is there a 19th century child in your house? I'm so mad at these dogs. It's the only reason I bought you is for moments like this.

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And George says are back to me, OK?

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This isn't a scary one.

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So that's good. OK, OK. This is called the Death Bell.

[00:13:45]

The Death by Karens. I don't need it.

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OK, my teenage mother questioned a Tucson mobster and then it says, oh, the 70s. Ladies, I love you both. Moving on, my mom is a teenager living just outside of Tucson, Arizona, and a small town called Mirana in the mid 1970s. My mom is not a murderer now. She's not a fan. She's not a fan of murder. Creepiness or swearing, in short, should hate this podcast.

[00:14:14]

Hi, Mom. What's up?

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Knowing this, I didn't quite take her seriously when she offhandedly mentioned that she interviewed an Italian mafia boss in high school. Really? Mom, my boss in Arizona, sure thing. But she proceeded to tell me how in 1974, my straight laced Catholic grandmother drove her in in their wood paneled station wagon to the downtown Tucson office of Joe Bonnano, head of the Bonnano Italian crime family.

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Have we talked we talked about the Bonanno crime family recently. I don't think so. But it sounds familiar.

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Everyone. Yeah. And then it says the Bonanos, along with the Columbo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese crime families make up the five families with the Italian mafia mafia. So they're like one of the big ones. Those are my favorite.

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Yeah, the top five, my top favorite, best mafia families.

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So it sounds like she must have had like a like a class where it's like interview someone of note in Tucson and she's like, how about Joe Buonanno, the head of the fucking Bonnano Italian crime family?

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How did she get that interview?

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Well, I don't know. As a junior in high school, she learned through newspaper research, no Internet in the seventies kids that Joe Bonanno retired to Tucson. My mom, in her inner schoolgirl naivety, assumed his criminal past must be far behind him since he was an old man retired to a warmer climate. Apparently, my grandparents assume the same thing as they voiced no opposition to her plan, she said. He seemed like a regular old man who gave the impression that he has done his time for his crimes and his image was just vastly distorted by the media.

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Alas, he did. He divulged no mob secrets to my teenage mother, who would surely have eagerly reported them to her English class.

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On Monday morning, my grandma waited outside in the station wagon until my mom finally traipsed downstairs after inquiring about the crimes of one of America's biggest mob bosses. I can only assume she posed no threat to his criminal enterprises.

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And luckily for my mother, she left her meeting with only a funny story to tell years later. Turns out Joe wasn't done with his life of crime. And years after my mom's interview, he served prison time for contempt of court for refusing to testify in a federal racketeering case. Perhaps sometimes, he chuckled to himself in prison, remembering the precocious high schooler who had no qualms about interrogating him. We can only hope stay sexy and don't take your teenage daughter to meet with mobsters.

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Jenay Well, that's hilarious.

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Interview someone of note in your community also, because you know and I know this factually, because I've watched The Sopranos, but like, you know, that whole thing where you're not supposed to talk about it directly because it's like I work in in garbage disposal or.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sanitation, sanitation. Thank you. I was like garbage disposals.

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Not a thing that's in use. I work in a garbage dump. I work inside it.

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So she can't I can't imagine. Do you think she said it's because you're a big mafia guy or she's like you're you're one of the best, you know, sanitation. Right. Management. You've made so much money through construction and sanitation. Yeah, no, I think she knew he was a mob boss and she's like, well, he's done.

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Maybe he'll tell me about what it was like, you know, talk about some of the work parties used to go to. Like what? What were the Christmas parties like every year?

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What stories could he have told her that he's like and can't tell you that one that one gets a little gory. Let's see. We'll tell you this one. Yeah. I mean, I kind of love it. I do, too. I wonder if we can get a hold of that high school newspaper.

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Is that what she was doing it for her own paper? I don't know. Personal paper.

[00:18:12]

Let's breathe in and breathe out. We're about to get into any money state of mind. I'm Dr. Imani Walker. I've been practicing as a psychiatrist for over 10 years. I know that so many of y'all don't know where to start when you want to talk about your mental health on Yemeni state of mind. I'm going to have those conversations with you, Imani said of mine is out now. Subscribe now and Stitcher, Apple podcast, Spotify or whatever you listen.

[00:18:49]

All right, here's my last one. This says, hello, I hope you're all staying positive and testing negative, sweet, beautifully down. My 95 year old grandma is an asshole. That's right. I said it. She's incredibly charming, narcissistic, emotionally manipulative and just an overall bitch. She's very wealthy and has her lawyer on speed dial. I have been in and out of her will more times than I can count. Oh, pretty nice guy, but yeah, we're in it.

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I live in it to win it right now. Pretty sure I'm out now because I didn't call her on my birthday.

[00:19:23]

Oh, genius. Well, she once asked her daughter, my aunt, if she wanted anything of hers when she died. And my aunt said she only wanted the diamond necklace she's loved ever since she was a little girl. A few weeks later, the velvet box arrived at my aunt's. She opened it up and saw that it was the necklace setting without the diamonds. A note in the box, a note in the box said, Since you love this necklace more than me, you can have it.

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Oh my God, she fucking sucks on the paper. I have a plethora of stories like that, but the one I want to tell you is how my family suspects that she might have killed her brother in law over 60 years ago. My grandpa's five brothers and one of them was named Melvin. Melvin had a huge gambling problem. Rumor has it that he used to play with Al Capone. Wow. He was always borrowing money from my grandparents and my grandma hated it.

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One day, Melvin and my grandma decided to go for a boat ride on Lake Michigan, and my grandma was the only one who came back.

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What the fuck? She claimed that he got extremely drunk and fell off the boat and drowned. When the body was found and an autopsy was done, it was noted that there was a huge gash on his forehead in which my grandma explained occurred, to which my grandma explained it occurred when he was falling off the boat. It also came out that Melvin was in more trouble than ever with the Chicago mob, and he'd been begging for more money than usual.

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We think my grandma was over his crap, got him drunk, hit him in the head and pushed him off the boat. The police never questioned her story. I'm sure she charmed the pants off of them. oveI she's never confessed to this or even uttered his name since his death. Thank you for all you do. My father died suddenly a few years ago, and he was the kindest, smartest and simply my best friend. He broke the cycle of horrific abuse and became the absolute best husband and father till the day he died.

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He was unfathomably kind to my grandmother in even though she didn't deserve it, she definitely didn't deserve it. Stay sexy and don't go boating with evil grandmothers.

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That was beautiful. I mean, this is what I'm in it for. Everything about that. She totally killed him. But like, what if she didn't? But who cares?

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Because she would have just like it's not like it was like above her, right?

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I mean, it's just how do two people on a boat, it's just the two and then one of them falls off and drowns and then just think of the acting that has to start the second you've committed a murder and now the whole boat right in, you're like warming up your face. Meaning my mom made me who I love New York. I need New York. I love I need unique New York.

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Hello, Officer. Oh that's amazing.

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OK, thank you. My acting. Thank you. Yes. OK, this one I'm not going to say the name, the title Pich Karen in Georgia every day. I always wish I had a good hometown murder story, but when I heard the request for celeb meetings, I knew I finally had my story to submit the victory.

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Yes, I met Oprah Winfrey was yes, I worked in restaurants in New York for years and years and it says too long.

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And about five or so years ago when I was working at a trendy, upscale Topo's restaurant, my second favorite topic, I sat down for our service meeting and found out that Oprah was coming and I was selected to be her server. The restaurant was very intense about celebrities. Only me, my back waiter and my manager were allowed to speak with her. I was to have a super small section so I could focus all my attention on her. If other guests were to ask her, were to ask about her or try to take pictures.

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My job was to deflect, deflect, deflect. I is that Oprah?

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Oh, I don't know who that is. Would you like another glass of wine?

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Oprah sat down with Stedman and I approached her acting all cool and casual about freaking out on the inside. She asked me how the margaritas were. I told her they were the best I've ever had and then it's honestly true. OK, my other tables ask me if that was in fact Oprah. And I'm sorry I couldn't deflect. I mean, it's Oprah. I told them to act cool. She was warm and kind and absolutely everything. You think she would be her looking up at me, asking me about margaritas is forever burned in my memory.

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The best part was. When she got up to leave the restaurant, it was like the queen of England was exiting the building. She stood up and I'm not kidding. All the other people at their tables waved and stood up and she literally waved goodbye to the whole restaurant as she left so I could Oprah.

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And she had a bodyguard. She was safe. Yeah. Since then, I've gotten away on some cool peeps, but no one will ever top Oprah. This was such a New York moment, and I can't wait till the day that I can be in a New York restaurant again with the same same feelings of magic we've been through so much, especially the restaurant industry, which truly has some of the most amazing, creative, interesting people on the planet.

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Please support your local restaurants in whatever way you can stay sexy and live every day like it's the day you meet Oprah, Elise.

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I mean, I've also been Oprah.

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You have to go and you have to go. And we don't have to go to my honey. Mine doesn't count. No, it was when we worked. When I worked in Chicago.

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Oh, of course. Yeah, yeah. The building. And she couldn't have been you know, I was very much prepared to have it just be all business because you're her her show had just wrapped they just wrapped twenty five years of basically like getting an eight plus every single day on a daily show. And with that show she deserves every single ounce of everything that she has totally. She's taken something which she used to do regular like Jerry Springer style shows back in the early 80s when it started, which is what every show was.

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And she made that show into what it was herself entirely, her magazine. She's a genius and she's super fucking cool and real and understands who she is to other people. I have, like, chills right now. Yeah. She really like when she would come through the room. It's not like any it's not there was never any kind of pretense or like she would come in and be like, hey guys, like I heard you guys are all meeting today for like she would just come in like she also worked at the company.

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It was mind blowing.

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It's almost like it could sound pretentious. She walks through the restaurant and waved at everyone. But it's like not for Oprah. It's like, no, no, no, it's reality.

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Yeah. I like that idea that she understands what she is to other people. And that's what you want from her. Yes. Then there it's yeah. It's really cool. And she she's like playing it correctly where she's like almost like has a sense of humor about being in that position of like she knows every single person is going to go home and tell someone, I saw Oprah Winfrey today and they're going to say she like she was the best.

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She waved at everyone. Yes, exactly. You have to look at it from that way. Remember when we were at Moat's Now? Now, I just want to talk about restaurant memories because it's so sad and feels like when will it come back. But that's the thing, too. If you see like that person, great email and also the waiters and wait wait staff there in a very specific position because you have to like you have to basically immediately pretend you're best friends with this person and have no weirdness because you're trying to give them a good experience.

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But for the other people, just know if you see a celebrity in a restaurant, do not talk to them while they're eating. If there is food anywhere near them. Yeah, just wait till if you love them so much, go outside and wait till they're done. Yeah.

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Yeah. Like to do it while you will. You're volunteering to make them hate you.

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Oh my God. That's true. It is like a spoonful of soup right up to their mouth. Like I'm so sorry. No you're not.

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And they're going to keep eating while you're hugging Oprah, you know.

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Yeah. No, let me have her gazpacho. She went out special, but sounds like everyone handled their shit there. They send us your stories about scary sounds and ghosts and also celebrity meetings.

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And I don't know whatever else you feel like funding. It's kind of it's like a rando October. We're just going to do what feels good. And so we don't feel like doing that.

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Like this whole year has been around October. Really? Yeah, it has one long Ranaudo October show up guys for listening, persevere and stay sexy and don't get murdered by Elvis.

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Do you want a cookie?