A love letter to Joan Hamburg

At Sardi's - wearing my Prabal Gurung for Target dress

It was just about a year ago (June 5th to be exact), that I won a prize from WOR Radio: a chance for me and a guest to attend a live broadcast of The Joan Hamburg Show from Sardi’s in NYC. It was then, as it is now, just days before the Tony Awards. I brought my mom with me, to watch Joan do her magic as she interviewed her distinguished guests and actors on Broadway. But of course, the highlight for me, was meeting Joan herself. It was a day I will cherish always and I wrote about the experience and the dress I chose to wear, on Turning Fashion Inside Out.

I just heard the news that after 35 years, Joan was let go from WOR Radio. Without any warning and regard. In New York columnist, Cindy Adams’s words,’WOR stands for With Out Respect.’ I so agree and I am quite upset.

Joan, I am thinking of you and wish you well. You have meant so much to me and I look forward to following you on your next adventures. I re-post this feature from last year, with love and gratitude ~ Melissa Kaplan Guarino

“When I bought this Prabal Gurung for Target dress* I kept the tag on. It was so charming: the tag had boxes for a girl to check – this dress is suitable for … first date, the kiss, girl’s night, dinner and a movie, meet the friends, weekend away, meet the parents, the proposal and engagement party … and all I could do was imagine the wonderful life my dress and I would have. Indeed, these are all fabulous reasons to wear this dress but now there is one more box to add to the list: appearance at Joan Hamburg’s “My Big Tony Party and Broadcast at Sardi’s“.

Joan Hamburg is a New York icon: a radio personality on WOR Radio since the 1970s, she is a leader in her field and wonderful in every way, full of integrity and intelligence and wit. My mom introduced me to Joan Hamburg at least twenty years ago and I have been listening to her ever since. So when I had the chance to win tickets to see the taping of Broadway stars at Sardi’s I jumped, dialed the number, spoke with Joan on the radio … and won! The live broadcast did not disappoint: my dress and I watched Joan interview Jane Lynch, Alan Alda, Alan Cumming, Richard Kind, Judith Light, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanessa Williams, and many more. And then my dress and I met Joan Hamburg which was truly the highlight.

You always remember the clothes you wear for special occasions. That is how they take on a life of their own and keep your dreams alive. On this day my mom and I met Joan Hamburg and I will remember the day and the dress always.

* my entire outfit was designed by Prabal Gurung for Target, including the crystal necklace and shoes – seen here ” ~ Melissa, June 2013

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4 thoughts on “A love letter to Joan Hamburg

  1. I have listened to Joan Hamburg & she is wonderful – a real New York icon. I’m sorry she wasn’t treated with the respect that anyone deserves after working in the same place for 35 years. There are better ways to say goodbye – even if they did want to move in a different direction…

    Another great post, Melissa!

    • Thank you for your support, Josephine. There is no one like Joan Hamburg. I can’t wait to follow her and continue to benefit from her wisdom, warmth and wit. xx Mel

  2. What a wonderful memory captured in the fashion statement of your beautiful dress!
    I love everything about the whole experience (except that I wasn’t with you :)…but at least I am comforted that is was beautiful, wonderful Claire).

    • Kylie, how lovely. Thank you. Meeting Joan Hamburg was a beautiful experience, for sure. And the dress will be worn again at Eric’s graduation! Another story is coming … xx Mel

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