Kim Block Fan Meets Idol | 'This Just In'
She glances around: no Walmart, no Macaroni Grill, no Rite Aid, her three most requested destinations whenever she visits my graffiti-ridden, cell-phone-talking, crime-infested metropolis.
“Look over there.”
She recognizes the logo, turns to me in disbelief: “Kim Block?”
“Kim Block is the surprise?”
“I’m not saying.”
She shoots out of the car–as quickly as an arthritic, 86-pound woman can shoot–and beats me to the door, where I break the stupendous, prearranged news into the intercom: “Betty Wood is here for her tour.”
We wait in the lobby while Betty ogles framed headshots of Channel 13 celebrities, whose names Betty recites as if recalling the 12 Apostles. Then the woman herself appears, crisp and gorgeous in her studio makeup and a pearl-pink dress.
“Hiiii, honey!” Betty crows, darting over. “I watch you every night!” She offers Maine’s chief anchor the Betty Wood handshake, an exchange akin to gripping the paw of a baby mouse.
“Well, hello!” Kim says, suddenly beaming, and I count two more similarities between my sister and her mentor. One: excellent smilers. Two: in the people business.
“Did you get the van fixed, honey?” Betty asks, referring to a fender-bender involving the Channel 13 road crew that Kim reported more than 15 years ago.
“My goodness, Betty,” Kim says. “You remember everything.”
I laugh out loud; Betty remembers who got what for Christmas in 1972. She remembers the time I growled at her when I was 8 months old and she was 3. “How’s the people who lost their house?” she asks, continuing her inventory of prehistoric Channel 13 stories, until Kim–realizing this could go on for days–politely interrupts to ask Betty about her own work.
“On Wednesdays we do Wheels on Wheels,” Betty says. “For the old people to eat.” She pauses, adding, “You do a good job, honey!”
Kim slings an arm over the bony shoulders of her new friend and leads her to a guy named Matt who’s going to give the studio tour. “This is Betty Wood,” she tells him, “my biggest fan.”