Jonna with Joe and Mika

Jonna Carter (center) with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. (COURTESY OF JONNA CARTER)

Per usual, I watched “Morning Joe” this morning, but as I do when I’m in a rush, I flitted in and out of the room catching snippets rather than entire segments. I happened to be passing by the screen when I recognized the high school track at the Bronxville, N.Y., school, and Mika Brzezinski was standing in front of it. I froze.

I’d just learned that she’d lived in Bronxville for several years while raising her daughters, both of whom graduated from my alma mater, Bronxville High School.

Why had no one ever thought to share this with me? Despite logistical challenges (and multiple coonhounds) I might have moved back. Had I done so she and I obviously would have been besties. (Sorry, Cheryl.) We see eye to eye on so much, from Trump’s depravity to the monumental human tragedy of Afghanistan and Ukraine, to a key element of a happy marriage and that’s charitable tolerance of a husband’s obsession with baseball and football — a tolerance born of pity. Instead here we are, two ships that pass in the night. With a wide berth.

I was in Bronxville this week visiting my mother. There are a few of us, friends since high school, whose elderly parents have been transitioning to assisted living or hospice care — my mother for the second time. We often try to coordinate our increasingly frequent visits to Bronxville so that we might see each other and commiserate and/or blow off steam.

This week, I overlapped with my outstanding friend Lissa. The two of us went to lunch at an established Bronxville bistro with tented sidewalk dining.

Although there was a bite in the air, after being pent up with susceptible thin-skinned elderly parents in airless homes with heat cranked up to 75-plus degrees, she and I embraced the opportunity to be outdoors. As we were being seated on one side of the tent, a couple was being seated on the other.

I had my back to them, but Lissa said “There’s that woman who has the cable news show, and she used to live in Bronxville.” Rather than rubbernecking (truth be told I’d pulled my neck out and couldn’t have turned my head if I’d wanted to!) I asked her to give me a little more to go on. “Her father is foreign and was secretary of state.”

“Henry Kissinger?”

“No. More recent.”

Madeleine Albright wasn’t born in this country, and if she was transgendered, I wasn’t aware. That pretty much exhausted the possibilities.

Lissa continued, “Maybe he wasn’t secretary of state, but he was something in government. She does the show with her husband.”

Incredulous I asked, “Mika Brzezinski?”

“Yes! She’s over there with her husband. They’re on FOX News, right?” I had no choice but to slap her.

On the pretense of taking a phone call, I stood and turned around. Mika and husband Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” fame and acclaim were within a few feet of us.

I imagine Joe and Mika are approached regularly by fans, possibly a few detractors as well, and no doubt such pestering gets tiresome. (Don’t I know it. It’s one of fame’s pitfalls.)

That’s why I was surprised when they interrupted my dining experience and asked for a picture with me. It turns out they read my column regularly and are huge fans. Both were exceedingly gracious, humble and engaging. I complied with their request, and said evidence is provided with this column.

I also shared with them that my morning routine involves grabbing two mugs and a carafe of morning Joe (no worries, Mika — I’m happily married), and heading back upstairs to flip on “Morning Joe” (the show) at 6 a.m. and having coffee in bed with my husband. Jackson the Mutt inevitably leaps up and positions himself between us.

Jackson is quite a fan of Joe and Mika, and I do believe their considered news analysis and lineup of political heavy-hitters has gone far to nurture his evolution from his right-wing Texas roots to an appreciation of sound points of view and a more expansive perspective.

I was happy to grant Joe and Mika a photo op and a few moments of my day since they do spend considerable time in our bedroom, and because they’ve had such a positive effect on our dog, albeit just this one. There is no hope of cultivating the coonhounds.

Jonna Carter lives in Center Conway.

(1) comment

Dave T

Try Fox and Friends, you might learn the real news

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