Two things about me are absolute truths: 1. I hate anyone telling me something cannot be done. 2. I believe that if I am positive, I can change things in my life for the better.
Both of those things converged on January 27, in 1991; when I was called by, “Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.” About a month before this, I had heard Regis say they were dumping the last year’s worth of post cards that had been sent in for their daily trivia drawing. That afternoon, I went out and bought 60 postcards, and was ready to send in two a day for the next month to be entered in the daily drawing and trivia contest.
I was ready to play and win. Two friends I had at the time told me I could never win. They said my postcards had a one in a million chance of winning. They said it would never happen. I told them it would happen. I would be called, and I would win. They laughed at me.
I kept sending in two postcards every day. I ignored the negativity of these friends. I believed I would win. I was excited, but not surprised, that early morning in January, when a woman named Robin, from the show, called me to tell me they would call back during the trivia segment on “Live.” I was a little nervous, but I knew I would win.
The day had begun with an ice storm coating trees, streets, and cars with thick ice. I was already thankful that I did not teach at the university that day, since it was Tuesday, and all of my classes were scheduled for Monday-Wednesday-Friday. I was home, awake, and ready to play.
At just a few minutes after 9:00, Robin from the show called back, and I had already turned the volume down on my television, as Robin had directed. Then Regis was on the phone and was giving me some good-natured ribbing. His co-host that day was Christina Ferrari, who immediately started to antagonize me by saying she didn’t believe my name was a real one, and I assured her that “Sandra Snow” was indeed my legal name.
Regis wanted to know where Mt. Pleasant was, and asked what I did for a living. When he found out I taught college English, he began bombarding me with questions about why college students couldn’t spell or write. I had no good answers for him. Finally, the teasing ended, and I was asked, “In what city does the show ‘Designing Women’ take place?” For a moment, I was silent because I was unsure. I offered a tentative, “Atlanta,” and saw Regis light up. I was right.
The big reveal was the prize, which was a pretty nice camera. I had sat there, wishing against winning the salad spinner, or some other silly prize I would never use. The camera, however, was perfect.
Several people I knew were watching the show that morning, including the two who told me I could never win. One person was watching on a television in her car. I was interviewed by a local paper by someone who had seen that show. Later that day, the ice melted, and I went out and won a $100 on a lottery ticket. It must have been meant to be. Some years later, Regis finally came to Mt. Pleasant, a place he had never heard about before that day I was on his show, to present his act at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, the largest casino this side of the Mississippi. Did I try to go see him? No. I’d had my moment with Regis, but I felt gratified that Regis finally knew where my town was.
Ignore anyone who tells you that you cannot succeed even if you think in positive ways. Those same two friends were the ones who told me that I would never do other things I wanted to do. They were wrong about those things, too. These days, I try to surround myself with people who are more positive and supportive. The good things to come are not over.