Remembering Joan Rivers

Melinda Jacobs and Joan Rivers

Melinda interviews Joan Rivers in 2009 at Mall of America

The first time I met Joan Rivers was when she performed at the PACER Center benefit in the early 90’s.  There was nothing more funny then seeing the audience not know if they should laugh or leave.  People were afraid to laugh, but honestly you just couldn’t not laugh Joan always brought it 110%.  I was laughing so hard at that event that I needed to invest in Kleenex and a great dry cleaner.  I remember, she was so gracious and stayed after the event and shook everyone’s hand because every one was important to Joan.  For Joan, she knew her sense of humor and she was sure we all had one or at least should have one.

Fast Forward to 2009 when I had the pleasure of interviewing Joan at Mall of America, when she was promoting her newly launched Jewelry Line.  I recall walking in the room and her voice was completely gone, but she bucked up, got some tea and continued with the interview.  I asked her if there was anything I couldn’t ask her and she replied, “ask me anything dear, nothing is off limits” She called everyone by their first name and just had a great respect for everyone, no matter the role they played on that day.  That is something you don’t see a lot of these days.  When the interview was over, she requested my information so she could stay in touch.  And she did.  We had a few emails back and forth over the years and those will remain priceless memories to me.

The most profound thing that I took from our most recent interview was her desire to create jewelry that would make women feel fabulous, even watching the video today and seeing her beautiful jewelry I can see how her beautiful pieces could make anyone feel like a million bucks.    Joan valued the good things.  If she had good china, she would eat off of it.  She and I talked about how if you are going to have nice things, you may as well use them.  I couldn’t agree more.

As I sit and reflect over all the wonderful interviews she has done with countless journalists, I have to agree with the concensus of many of them, Joan was always my favorite interview.    Whether the camera was on or off, she had the biggest impact on me because of her work ethic and her genuine care for people.   May she Rest in Peace… but somehow I feel like she is already up there giving everyone a good chuckle.

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