top of page

An Attitude of Gratitude

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

by Patti Jordan

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE Oprah! In my early years of teaching, I remember coming home from school and tuning into the Oprah Winfrey Show. It was my time to relax after a hard day of work and gleam from the insights and wisdom of someone I truly admired.

When Oprah announced she would be ending her show, I was devastated. I decided to try and get tickets to one of her last 25 shows. I succeeded in getting four tickets to the April 26, 2011 show. I immediately called two of my sisters and my best friend. We were headed to Chicago to see Oprah.

None of us had ever been to Chicago and so it was truly an adventure. We took photos under the Cloud Gate Chicago Bean Sculpture, rode the “L” train, walked the Magnificent Mile (shopping), ate deep dish pizza and Chicago Dogs, and even took in a Broadway show that was in town.

The highlight of our trip was, of course, going to the Oprah show. As we got in the taxi to head to the show, we were filled with excitement. Who would be her guest? Would we walk away with some sort of prize? Would we be seen in the audience when we watched the show later? As we entered the studio, we tried to find out who the guest was. All they would tell us was, “It’s a good show today, you won’t be disappointed, you may even walk out with something.”

Now we were really excited! The show started, and Oprah brought out her guest Phil Knight (co-founder of Nike) and Lance Armstrong. (This was before his fall from grace.) Phil Knight told about how they came up with the name “Nike”. Nike is the Greek God of Victory. He also told how they hired a lady from the Graphic Arts Department at Portland State, who spent 17 hours designing the “Swoosh”. She was paid $35 for her design. They later made it up to her, by giving her a few hundred shares of Nike in 1980. Lance Armstrong talked about how Nike really works with athletes to make shoes that are the absolute best for each sport. The highlight of the show was when Oprah told all of us in the audience that we would be walking out with a special limited-edition pair of green (Oprah’s favorite color) Nikes, made just for Oprah and her audience. We also got a Nike watch that paired with a sensor in the shoe. (This was way before the Apple watch.)