The Long Story

020I sent a video to the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Ms. Winfrey has asked that small towns across America send her a video explaining why their town is so special.  Her production team will choose the most creative towns and come to visit.

September 8,I was checking my Facebook Newsfeed looking for interesting things to write about for Franklin County Today.  I noticed a posting by Oprah that said “We’re looking to send our cameras to spotlight a one-of-a-kind small town. Tell us what you love about your city! Is your town a hidden gem that you just want everyone to know about? Show us why our cameras should come to your hometown! Please shoot and send us a 2-5 minute creative and innovative video that shows why your town is so special. We’ll leave the creativity up to you, but you may want to gather your friends and family to tell us AND show us what makes your town something to see.”

Debworks is a Chamber business and I thought this might be something the Chamber could get behind.  I emailed Brook Boehmler the posting with the subject line “Why Not?”

Shawn Dietz of Knights Entertainment has been working on compiling a DVD memorializing the 2010 year for the Municipal Band.  The Chamber thought Shawn would be a perfect candidate as a videographer for the Oprah tape.  Shawn agreed.

Jim Davies from the Windsor Theatre was contacted next.  It made perfect sense to utilize his skills as a director and a producer.  A script was needed.  Jim created a storyboard and the rest of the team suggested edits.  A meeting on September 18th was held to bring all the parties together.  There was a script.  Pictures and videos were being collected from the Hampton Chronicle, Debworks, Jim Davies and Sohrab Daver from iStop Tech Shop, Knights Entertainment, Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, and KLMJ.

A narrator was the missing part.  Why not Simon Estes, Hampton’s adopted son?  I called Simon and he agreed to narrate at no charge.  We made a trip  to Wartburg on the 23rd to film Dr. Estes and September 24th the video was completed.

These Chamber businesses donated their services and worked magic to put together a 5 minute video that shows why Hampton is so special.  Many towns offer historical significance, artifacts, recreation and entertainment.  Hampton offers community – it’s the people that make a difference.  Dr. Simon Estes provides the narration and the film highlights the Band Shell, Simon Estes in Residency Program and the renovation of the Windsor – 10 years ago and today.

The next step will be for the community to contact the Oprah Winfrey Show.  It’s important that she see how our community really does rally to a cause.   Let’s bring Oprah to Hampton!

You can do that on Facebook.  Simply write a note on her wall at

You can find her on twitter at and leave her a tweet.  Or 20.

You can also send an email to Simply fill out the contact form and hit send.

For those of you who wish to send a letter, mail it to  Oprah Winfrey Show, Come to My Hometown!, Team JM, P.O. Box 618300, Chicago, Illinois 60607.   Not sure what to say?  Stop by Center 1 and sign a pre-printed letter and we’ll help you add a personal note – and mail the letter for you.

Pick up a pre-printed post card at the Windsor Theatre, Pralle’s Wash City, The Travel Planner, Hampton Chronicle, Center One and other businesses around town and mail it off.

Visit and print out a letter you can sign and add a personal note.

Let’s show Oprah the power of a community that knows how to get things done!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Haydon, Becky McCray and debworks, Nicholas Chase. Nicholas Chase said: RT @debworks: need your help: tweet @oprah and ask her to come to Hampton Iowa deets at: […]