My interview with Imus (not that one, but close)

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Saturday was an interesting day for a girl whose interviews usually take place in nice offices or at gritty crime scenes. I spent the day on a ranch, surrounded by horses and their (über-rich) owners. I’d expected to find a bunch of snobs, but what I found instead was a group of interesting people.

My first interview was literally dizzying. The woman talking to me was also walking her unsteady horse in circles, around me. In a feeble attempt to keep eye contact, I followed her lead until I’d spun enough to almost throw up.

Next came a series of horseback riders and competitors. They were all so nice that I was able to forget about the awesome smell of horse dung. As cynical as I am (and yes, Russell, I do still question my mother when she tells me she loves me), I found everyone’s kindness to be some sort of deviation of sincerity. And I liked it. One woman I met had won an international horse competition more than a dozen times, yet she stood there and answered questions about horse stuff for 10 minutes.

But the most interesting interview I had was with Fred Imus, the brother of Don Imus and the host of his own talk show, Sirius Satellite’s “Trailer Park Bash.”

A couple of women and their tightly-lassoed husbands told me to go talk to their local celebrity, Don Imus’ brother. They said he was really nice. That’s not quite the word I’d choose.

When I first approached Fred, he uttered something like, “What do you want?” I told him I was with The New York Times Student Journalism Institute and he said: “I hate The New York Times. Do they even have journalists there?” I replied with a laugh. I said I had just a few questions, and he said he’d answer only one. I rolled my eyes and smiled at him, subtly demanding he stop being such a geezer. So he agreed to answer more than one question, although he said he would stop talking to me as soon as I began to irritate him.

The first thing I asked was, “What do you do for a living?” He looked at me and rolled his eyes, as if saying, “Oh, come on.” So I laughed and asked again: “What do you do for a living?” I mean, really, who knew Don Imus even had a brother? He went on to tell me about his once-weekly radio show on Sirius, which he emphasized was the greatest job he’d ever had. As he spoke to me I wondered what his brother would think about his little bro talking to a woman of color. Who works for a living. In a job other than domestic work. But, I erased Don’s face and went on with Fred. I wrapped up my interview after I got the quote I wanted (which I didn’t end up using anyway). I thanked him for his time, and he said I’d done a good job.

In reply, I said: “I know. And I didn’t even have to irritate you.”

— Astrid Galvan

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One Response to “My interview with Imus (not that one, but close)”

  1. chanelXRFR Says:

    Think Imus would be surprised that anyone would want to interview his brother! (kidding). Don Imus has long been an advocate of African American causes including Civil Rights, Sickle Cell, and Katrina Victims.

    May also surprise you to know the Imus’ are supporters of the Boriken Neighborhood Health Center in Harlem. http://www.boriken.org/

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