Angela: “A Jewel in New Orleans”

Photo by Chad Bower / Eyewitness News

Photo by Chad Bower / Eyewitness News

I cannot lie. I teared up Thursday evening during the “Good-bye” broadcast of Angela Hill’s last day on WWL TV. When I moved to New Orleans in 1978, Angela (and Garland Robinette) were THE faces of New Orleans for me. I was so excited to be beginning a new life in such an exciting and vibrant city – everything was brand new and watching the evening news on WWL was a big part of learning about life in my new city. It was all so big, so exciting, so different from anything I’d previously experienced.

Angela as I remember her in the late '70's. Photo via the Broadcast Arts Museum of Greater New Orleans website.

Angela as I remember her in the late ’70’s. Photo via the Broadcast Arts Museum of Greater New Orleans website.

Over the years I came to respect Angela more and more not only for her professional news delivery and reporting skills but also for the  genuine and personable way she had of delivering the news to us. I admired her work with the local SPCA and her advocacy for abused and neglected animals. She was a champion for Good Will Industries and often wore clothing she bought there on air which I admired most of all. How many celebs take their activism to that level? Not many.

From the WWL website:

Yet Angela’s contributions to her community also extend way beyond the television cameras. Her profound love of animals and people alike has inspired her to give countless hours to diverse organizations ranging from the LASPCA to the United Way. Angela was named the first-ever “Animal Ambassador” by the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for her tireless work promoting the issues of animal welfare. For years, she has led the diabetes’ “Walk for the Cure,” and has also chaired dozens of fundraisers. While year after year, she proudly wears her “fashion bargains” on the anchor desk as part of her beloved “Goodwill Week” to support Goodwill Industries.

So many of her “special” reports coincided with my own interests and beliefs that I felt a kinship with her and I daresay many others felt the same.

Angela has been someone I’ve looked up to for many years as a strong, compassionate woman of the people and an excellent ambassador for New Orleans. A few years ago she was in the same jury pool as I and I took the opportunity to just watch her with her fellow prospective jurors. She was gracious and so down-to-earth, smiling and talking with everyone who approached her – not at all playing the diva part we see so often with celebrities. I regret not speaking with her myself but I was reluctant to impose when there were so many others seeking her attention.

While I will miss seeing her every evening, as I have for 34 years, I’m happy to know she will still be doing special reports from time to time. So I guess we’re not really losing her and seeing her less often will make the times we do see her so much sweeter.

Congratulations on this new phase in your life, Angela. New Orleans will be waiting in anticipation of what you’ll show us next!

(The title is paraphrased from a comment by Dennis Woltering during the Goodbye broadcast.)

New Orleans’ Most Admired Woman Is…..

Sandra Bullock.

Sandra Bullock?

This astounding bit of news comes to us via New Orleans Magazines’ piece entitled “Tops of the Town” in the recently released January 2011 issue. I have to tell you my mouth literally fell open as I whispered “WTF?!” Nothing against Ms. Bullock, mind you, but who voted for her and why did they choose her as the most admired woman in this city? Ok, I know she bought a house here (not her primary residence) a little over a year ago, adopted a child here, donated money to Warren Easton High School and that she participated in a television campaign for coastal restoration during the oil catastrophe in the Gulf but, excuse me, does that qualify her for this recognition? Are the readers of this magazine so ignorant about our local female achievers that they can’t think of any other women in this city that deserve our admiration? Seriously? We have great, accomplished women who’ve lived here for years, if not their entire lifetimes, who’ve given their time and tears for their communities. Women who live here full-time and have invested their lives and work in this city. Where’s the love for them?

I know there are plenty of local women busting their asses every day for their neighborhoods, their way of life and their city that most of us will never know about. To tell the world (well, you know what I mean) that a celebrity who lives here part-time is the most admired woman we have is a travesty,  in my opinion.

What do you think? Who are some of the women in this city you admire?

I sat down and in ten minutes came up with a list of notable New Orleans women off the top of my head who are excellent ambassadors for our city and I know that there are many, many more out there that should be on this list. And if you don’t know who these women are, click the links and get educated. In fact, click the links if you do know them and remind yourself what  some of the really great women of our city have accomplished.

Leah Chase
Sandy Rosenthal
Angela Hill
Ruby Bridges Hall
Mignon Faget
Mary Tran
Mary Len Costa
Nakita Shavers
Baty Landis
Mary Landrieu
LaToya Cantrell
Karen Gadbois
Susan Spicer
Phyllis Montana LeBlanc

Oh, and by the way N.O. Mag, “Most attractive New Orleanian”???
What is this, High School USA circa 1954? Sheesh…..