TOM: 888-666-3974. Leslie, you’re looking at your screen and you see that we have a caller from New York that wants to ask about windows.
TOM: Well, it’s actually … he may be from New York but he …
LESLIE: Is it my cousin?
TOM: No, it’s not your cousin. We have a little surprise for you.
LESLIE: Oh, good lord.
TOM: Principal Okulski is on the phone right now.
LESLIE: No! (laughing)
OKULSKI: Yes. Hi, Leslie, how are you?
LESLIE: I’m good. Hey, get those kids to stop putting their cigarette butts on my front lawn. (laughing)
OKULSKI: You’re not living in … still living on Long Island, are you?
LESLIE: Oh, I moved back.
TOM: She’s a Long Island girl. (laughing)
OKULSKI: Really? Where are you living now?
LESLIE: Oh, very close to the high school, my friend.
OKULSKI: But I … but I’m not there anymore.
LESLIE: I know you’re not.
TOM: So Principal Okulski wrote me today and wanted to know how he got in touch with Leslie. I said I got the perfect way for you to get in touch with Leslie. Let’s call you on the phone.
LESLIE: You guys are little schemers.
TOM: Because I’ve got … I’ve got some questions for you, Principal Okulski. I want to know what kind of student …
LESLIE: I was a good student.
TOM: … Miss Segrete was in high school.
OKULSKI: She was a great student. (laughing)
LESLIE: I was the National Honor Society.
LESLIE: I was in plays, tap dancing my heart out in Anything Goes. I was a good student. O parlato Italiano (sp). I did good.
TOM: Did she make … did you … did you have her redecorate the principal’s office?
OKULSKI: No, I wish I had. (laughing)
TOM: You see that? It would have … it would have been worth a lot of money today. You know, one of her first decorating projects. (laughing)
OKULSKI: Well, it’s a shame I didn’t know about it earlier. I would have brought her in to do that.
LESLIE: (laughing) So … so …
OKULSKI: She was never in the principal’s office, though.
TOM: Oh. Well, see I was going to ask you. Did she ever have to go to … now, in my school, if you were bad you went not to the principal’s office; you went to the vice principal’s office.
OKULSKI: (laughing) Well, she was never in either office.
TOM: Okay. (laughing)
LESLIE: I was a good student. It was college where things went downhill. (laughing)
TOM: I see. Well, but least Principal Okulski gave you a good start.
OKULSKI: We tried.
LESLIE: So how can we help you, Mr. Principal?
OKULSKI: I just was calling to congratulate you. I think it’s great all the things that you’re doing.
LESLIE: Thank you so much.
OKULSKI: And I happened to see your picture in a store around the corner from me. (laughing) And I said, “Gee, let me see if I can get through to Leslie. (laughing) I’d like to really congratulate her and tell her what a great job she’s done.”
LESLIE: Thank you so much.
OKULSKI: And we’ve … you know, we’ve kept in touch … kept watching you because I saw you … you know, every once in a while things would pop up about you. I tried to contact you once before but I was unsuccessful. Thanks to Tom, I got through this time.
LESLIE: Well, you can always reach me at [email protected]. That’s the best way.
LESLIE: And that’s so great. And it’s funny because I noticed at the high school, now, Mr. Ludwig is now the choir teacher. And he was my church choir instructor for like eight years. See? I was a good kid, Tom.
TOM: So, Principal Okulski, when Leslie was going through the halls of your school – what high school is it?
OKOVSKI and LESLIE: Garden City High School.
TOM: Garden City High School. Did you have any idea that she may have this kind of future in home improvement media?
OKULSKI: No. I mean (inaudible) terrific. (laughing)
TOM: No inkling? Nothing that she did? You know, nothing whatsoever? I mean were you … did you work like on the plays and build sets or anything of that nature, Leslie?
LESLIE: I did.
TOM: See, that’s the seed. The seed was planted.
LESLIE: See, it’s always …
TOM: You got the media bug.
LESLIE: It’s always been set design. It’s just a fluke that I’ve stumbled into this home improvement arts because it’s really all related.
OKULSKI: Well, you worked for Mrs. Spires, right?
LESLIE: Inez. That’s correct.
LESLIE: With her crazy green eye shadow. (laughing)
OKULSKI: She’s a very famous lady. She was … when Susan Lucci finally won her Emmy, she congratulated Mrs. Spires because Mrs. Spires was a drama teacher in the high school for over 50 years.
LESLIE: And she still wore makeup from the 1920s when it was all about greasepaint (laughing), let me tell you. But she was a fantastic character and I learned a lot about set design and the theatre arts from these folks. And I thank you so much for a wonderful education, Principal Okulski.
OKULSKI: You’re welcome, Leslie. Thank you very much for everything you’ve done.
LESLIE: Thanks. See you at the home show next week.
TOM: Thank you.
OKULSKI: Okay. I’ll have to stop by and see you.
TOM: Leslie’s high school. Principal Okulski’s just checking in to congratulate Leslie on all her success. I thought that was very nice.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices)You guys are trouble makers.
TOM: Do you like that? We snuck that one in on you. (laughing)
LESLIE: Sneaky. I was like, “Oh, is it my cousin John? What’s going on? What’s going on?” Yeah.
TOM: Well, as we … as we suspected, you were a good kid growing up.