Wednesday, May 25, 2011


As I'm sure most of you know, today is the last Oprah Winfrey Show. After 25 years of making us laugh and making us cry, the lovely O is leaving daytime television. While I'm sad for the rest of us, I am so happy for her. She, of course, will still be making a difference in the lives of many through the lessons she has taught us that will be passed on for generations and through her new network OWN.

Today I just wanted to pay a little tribute to the woman who has impacted my life and that of so many others. Since this would take a book to accomplish, and I mean a really BIG book, I've decided to just post a few pics from some of my favorite shows. While most of these photos are with just some of the many famous people she's hosted, the most meaningful shows were those with ordinary folks who faced extraordinary odds and accomplished extraordinary things. To all those who appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and shared their stories so that we might learn from them — thank you!

Oprah in her Chicago office in 1985 before her show went into syndication.

On yesterday's show, Jada Pinkett Smith said to Oprah, "You may not have children of your own, but you've mothered millions."

Just a few of the facts that were shared:

  • Oprah has enabled 64,688 children to have an education
  • 415 young men have graduated from Morehouse College on an Oprah Winfrey Scholarship
  • 30 million books have been purchased by Oprah Winfrey's Book Club members

Show moments that I will never forget:

  • The Wildest Dreams Tour with Tina Turner — 1996
  • Oprah dancing with Tina Turner in Las Vegas — 2005
  • Legends Weekend (Middle Photo) — 2005
  • The Mary Tyler Moore surprise visit with the "ugly cry"
  • Every single show with Maya Angelou
  • Oprah and Gayle's Big Adventure (road trip)
  • Every single moment with Mattie Stepanek

There are many, many more moments, but when I sat down to write out a list, these are the ones that instantly popped into my head. Well, these and the scoop on poop that we learned from Dr. Oz, but I didn't want to post a photo of that "aha" moment. With the exceptions of those shows with Maya and Mattie, the moments listed above are not those that provided me with a life lesson, but they are ones that made me want to hang out with Oprah as a girlfriend. 

Oh, and the Legends Weekend, that falls in both categories — life lessons and friendships. Of that weekend Oprah said, "I started thinking about all the women who'd come before me, many of whom have now passed on—women whose steps created a journey of no boundaries for my generation. I wanted to thank them, celebrate them, and rejoice in their spirit."

That weekend symbolized so much of what I love about Oprah — celebrate life and honor those who not only influenced you, but made your life possible. Women supporting women is a theme I embrace in my life and one we so often see here in Blogland. I am thankful for the women in my life, including Oprah and all of you!

I know, of course, that this is only a farewell from The Oprah Winfrey Show and that you'll still be making a difference through your new network and through the type of life you've chosen to lead. That's why I know this is only goodbye, until we meet again.

Today's Ocean Fact: Because of their structure, coral reefs provide shoreline wave protection from tropical storms and hurricanes. Coral reefs also provide habitat for over 4,000 species of fish and about 25 percent of marine life.Earth Gauge

18 Thoughtful Comments:

The Decorative Dreamer said...

That's so thoughtful of you! I am glad you said something because I didn't realize it was going to be her last day. I am not a huge follower of Oprah but have enjoyed her show many times. I do love the strength that she has shown as a woman and the voice that she has given to women also. I also love that at times I have looked at the tube and said very loudly, "What is she thinking?" LOL! What I mean is that she isn't afraid to voice her own opinion even if it's not mainstream and that she also isn't afraid to admit when she's changed that opinion. She has done an incredible job building her empire and and giving back. I do hope I will catch the last show thanks for the heads up! Enjoy!

jmac said...

JINX!! you and I are on the same thought post today is about oprah too!! I think one reason she resonates so much with our age range is because we've spent our whole adult life learning from her. Plus the fact that SHE'S our age....we relate so much to her thoughts and feelings.
It never dawned on me that I would miss her show....never get to watch it in afternoons but always record it to watch when nothing else is on......
She is just proof positive that you really can do ANYTHING if you want it bad enough!!

Jane said...

I rarely watched her show...! rarely watch daytime TV (and I always forget about recording it!). BUT...on the occasions I did catch Oprah, I truly enjoyed her show. I admire her candor...her realness...her ability to admit when she was wrong or to change her opinion...her strength to stand against the mainstream thoughts. She passed on a love of reading to so many with her book club and she not only encouraged education, but put her money to work, providing education opportunities for so many. She is a formidable woman...and a good example of what women can do, if they put their minds to it.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Sweetie...
Oh thanks for the memories this morning. I absolutely adore Oprah and like you, I am going to miss watching her. I would tape it, so I could watch it of an evening when I got home. Do you subscribe to her magazine? It is like watching her in a book style and you can read and read again. I wonder if they will do any reruns? Have you heard anything? Keep me posted.

Hope you are well sweet one. I have been admiring your beautiful shell hearts. They are gorgeous, and just have LOVE written all over them. I wish so much I could walk those beaches with you. One day perhaps? What fun that would be. I would be like a kid in a candy store. I feel as though each piece is so magical, a true treasure to hold and enjoy.

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial weekend sweet friend. Many hugs and SO much love, Sherry

Blondie's Journal said...

You put it all so well, Rhonda! Oprah is smart, beautiful and genuine. I will really miss her show. Thanks for a wonderful post.


Anonymous said...

Love that you add an Ocean Fact with your postings! Great info! You're so right, because if we don't save our oceans, we won't have them to enjoy!

I just joined as a follower, too!

Thanks, ShellBelle!
Linda (aka Beachside Cottage)

Ms. Bake-it said...

Don't fall out of your chair and hurt yourself again but can you believe that in 25 years I have never seen the Oprah show? Not even half a show or a snippet of a show.

Hope you are doing well.


Linda @ A La Carte said...

I just finished watching the Last Oprah show. While it was sad in some ways it was also so uplifting to think of the impact she has had on so many, me included. I admire her and only wish her the best. I have enjoyed this season very much and have watched several shows on OWN. Her influence will continue to touch us all.

bichonpawz said...

Thanks for posting this moving tribute. I was a faithful watcher. Now...what on earth are we going to watch at 4pm????

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh I love this post Rhonda!
That camping trip that Oprah and Gayle took was really a riot! So many memories... so much fun and so many heartbreaking stories too.
I think back to the mid-80's when I was just a young Mom watching her and now I'm a grandmom. Boy time does march on quickly!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend... wish I was in Florida picking seashells off the beach with you!

Magdalena said...

Hello Sweet Shellbelle,
I think you did the most beautiful tribute on your blog to Oprah that I have seen. I love all the pictures and the fact that you mentioned Mattie Stepanek. I still think of him and always will, what an angel that God put on this earth so wise and loving. Sometimes when I think of him I feel ashamed to be complaining of such trivial things...his words of wisdom, love and kindness makes me reflect and try hard to do more and be a better person. I pray for his dear mother, her heart must ache so...
Oprah has changed the world for the better.
Wishing you a lovely weekend surrounded by the beautiful ocean and beach that you love so much.

rjerdee said...

What a lovely tribute to Oprah, Rhonda! She'll leave a big hole on network TV. More power to her!!!

The Fajdich Times said...

You said it all so nicely! My favorite was "You may not have children of your own, but you've mothered millions"!!!! I will miss her show. I didn't watch it everyday.....every now and then at night....because I work a 9-5 job. I am looking forward to Oprah's new ideas! Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend:)

Calypso In The Country said...

I will miss Oprah too...I haven't watched the last couple shows but I DVR'd them and have to catch up! Have a great weekend!

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Rhonda
Thanks for your comment. For breakfast in England most people eat cereal and toast. A traditional english breakfast that you would get in a hotel or B&B is a cooked breakfast that contists of fried egg, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes. It's lovely for a treat but I couldn't eat it everyday!

CHERI said...

I love Oprah too. Didn't always agree with everything she said, but mostly do. She has done so much good for so many...such a giving, serving spirit that we should all emmulate. Your tribute is lovely. I wish her so much luck and joy in her next endeavor.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Dear Rhonda
Seems hard to think her show won't be on anymore.. She certainly made an impact on many... and shone a light of awareness on so many important issues...

Love that image of her with long hair in red dress.. 'Power through beauty'

So.. love that crazy shot of yours in last post too.. sorry I'm slow to visit... and have a great weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

Completely Coastal said...

I'll miss her for sure..., but she'll be on her network..., doing interviews eventually, or so she said. It must be super exciting to start a new chapter in life.

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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