By Mike Linn
A Portales woman will grab the attention of millions nationwide next week. That’s thanks to a dart, a map and a phone book.
Marilyn Buchanan, a 55-year-old teacher, is scheduled to appear on The Early Show’s “Everybody Has A Story,” a CBS feature that runs about twice a month.
CBS reporter Steve Hartman and his camera operator arrived in Portales early Saturday evening after a Florida man two weeks ago hit Portales on a map with a dart. The crew then opened the phone book and randomly selected Buchanan as the subject of their feature story, scheduled to air on Jan. 16 on The Early Show and later on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, Buchanan said.
The crew called Buchanan immediately on arrival and were in her friend’s home 30 minutes later, filming.
“They don’t give you time to plan anything,” joked Buchanan, a teacher at Cameo and LaCasita elementary schools in Clovis. “It was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. It’s very intense because they sort of infiltrate into what’s going on with your life. But it was fun, it was fun. They were super nice guys.”
The CBS crew stayed for almost three days and filmed about 20 hours of footage that will be edited into a three-minute segment, Buchanan said.
The crew filmed much of Buchanan’s routine activities.
“I did ask them not film while I brushed my teeth,” she joked.
Buchanan said she is unsure what angle the crew will take in the story, but noted she talked in detail about her friendship with Dia Kelting, a Portales resident with whom she resides. Buchanan also said she talked a lot about her late husband, who died three years ago.
Kelting and Jill Thompson, Buchanan’s 24-year-old daughter, were also interviewed by the CBS crew.
“In some ways it’s just like sitting down to talk to a person,” Thompson said, “but it’s kind of nerve wracking to know that whatever you’re going to say could end up on TV.”
“It’s really hard to comprehend when you think, ‘OK I’m going to be on CBS two or three times next week,’” Thompson said.
Both Kelting and Buchanan said Hartman and his partner with the camera, from New York and Los Angeles respectively, were kind but had a tough time relating to the rural communities of Clovis and Portales.
“They did say they had trouble relating to the fact that people in Clovis moved to Portales because they think Clovis is too big,” Buchanan said.
As a part of the show, Buchanan got to throw the dart at a map for the next featured town.
The destination: Safford, Ariz., located about 75 miles northeast of Tucson, Ariz.
“It took several times to get the dart to stick,” she said. “They kept hinting about Hawaii. It hit Wisconsin once and didn’t stick. They really didn’t want to go to Wisconsin in January.”