January 13, 2012

WGBH Studios, Boston. November, 1978

I had only been working at Boston’s public television station for a few months when I saw a small posting by the elevator inviting staff to be in the studio for an interview with Maya Angelou. Of course I went. The audience was a dozen or so young women bussed in from a local college...and me. I was the only man. And the only white person. When Angelou entered (in an orange, wide-wale corduroy pants suit), she came right over to me and graciously extended her hand: “Hello, I’m Maya Angelou.” I was stunned. “I’m Sandy Leonard. It’s a great pleasure to meet you.” And she smiled broadly, “The pleasure is mine, Mister Leonard.” This was not the only time we would meet over the years, but it certainly was the most memorable. And long before that whole Clinton thing.


  1. I remember how thrilled you were. You just glowed. A lovely memory.

  2. I have seen my share of cultural events over the years, but seeing Maya Angelou twice trumps them all. What a presence
    Peter M