Know Your Neighbor – Michelle Linn

What were you doing before beginning this Q and A?  I just finished anchoring FOX23 News at Noon.  Then I borrowed my co-worker’s bleach wipes, and wiped down my desk and reorganized some paperwork.

Michelle Linn

Michelle Linn

 

 

 

 

Tell us a little bit about your family.  My husband and I have been married for 8 years.  We have a 7-year-old daughter, Hayden; a 6-year-old son, Brady; a 4-year-old son, Brewer; and a 2-year-old daughter, Hadley.  And we’re finished having kids.  We adopted our dog, a 3-year-old Havanese-mix, Cookie, from an animal rescue group last year.  If our family were to grow, we’d have to get a bigger house and a bigger vehicle!

 

Where were you born?St. Louis, Missouri

Michelle & Family

Michelle and Family

Where did you live before moving to Owasso?Columbia, Missouri

 

What brought you to Owasso and how long have you lived here?  While I was out on maternity leave with our youngest, in August 2010, I got a call from a headhunter, about the opportunity at FOX23 News in Tulsa.  I didn’t have an agent or an updated resume tape, and was in no way looking for a new job.  I’d spent the last 13 years doing the morning show at the ABC station in Columbia, MO, and our family was very content.  I loved the station, I loved my boss, and I loved that town.  My oldest was just starting kindergarten, and we imagined we’d raise our family there.  Simply put, though, the opportunity here in Tulsa was just too good to pass up.  It allowed us the chance to be much closer to my in-laws, who live in the Joplin area, and it allowed my husband to become a full-time stay-at-home parent.  We were very happy in Columbia, but our household runs much more smoothly now that someone is dedicated to managing it, and we’re not both trying to juggle our jobs and household duties.  My former boss lived in Owasso and he recommended it.  I’d worked with him back in Missouri, and he knew my husband was from a small town.  He thought we’d both really like Owasso, for the great school system and the small town sense of community, and he was right.  We moved here one week before Christmas in 2010.  I started work at FOX23 on January 3, 2011.  Eight months after we moved to Owasso, a great opportunity opened up for my brother-in-law, at RCB Bank.  My husband’s sister, who is also now a stay-at-home parent, and her family, bought the house right across the street from us.  That’s been the best part about our move here.

 

 

What was your first job?  This should come as no shock.  As soon as I got my driver’s license, I met with the editor of a small community newspaper (The St. Peters Star), and convinced him to let me write a weekly column.  I think I made $15 per column.  So,

Interview with Owasso's Mason Menefee

Interview with Owasso’s Mason Menefee

I supplemented by working as a receptionist at Prestige Portraits (a division of Lifetouch Photography) and I waitressed at a pizza joint (I was an awful waitress).

 

Why a news anchor?It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.  When I was 8 years old, I LOVED watching Good Morning America.  I wrote a fan letter to Joan Lunden, and told her I wanted her job one day.  Even as an 8-year-old, I knew I loved the friendly, intimate nature of morning news.  I also liked the diversity of the topics covered.  I liked watching Joan interview Margaret Thatcher in one segment, then join Julia Child for a cooking segment.  I thought it was cool that she had the chance to do a little bit of everything.  My whole life I’ve wanted to be the first person to know what’s going on, and the first person to tell everyone else.  I love this job.

 

What is the best part of your job?  Feeling like I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.  I love it when a story gets viewers’ attention, and they demand answers or action.  I love sharing peoples’ stories.  I love visiting with kids.  A few months ago I interviewed an Owasso cub scout, Mason Menefee.  He wrote me the SWEETEST note, thanking me and telling me that I made his “dreams come true”.  That note is precious and something I’ll always keep.

 

What is the worst part of your job?It’s not all glitz and glamour.  I’ve gotten a few rude emails and Facebook comments criticizing my appearance and attacking my character.  Those are even worse than the sound of the alarm clock at 2:30AM.  The worst part of my job, though, is calling a mother, who has lost a child, and asking her to talk to me on camera.  That never gets any easier.

 

 

Michelle and Daughter Hayden

Michelle and Daughter Hayden

If you were not a news anchor, what would you want to be doing?  Part of me thinks I’d like to be a social worker, facilitating adoptions.  I was adopted, at birth.  One of my closest friends is the director of an adoption agency, and I’ve spent a lot of time in her office.  I’m fascinated by the work she does.  However, I LOVE news and writing, so I’m sure if I wasn’t a news anchor, I’d still be involved in news and writing.  Maybe I’d be a print reporter.

 

Who would you interview if you could choose one person?Madonna.  I know how ridiculous that is.  It’s been an aspiration since I was 8 or 9 years old.

 

An interview I will never forget is:  Early in my career, I sat down with the sister of a murder victim.  She couldn’t have been more than 21 years old, and now she was taking care of her sister’s three young children.  I was her age, and I was overwhelmed trying to imagine how she was going to do it.  I can still picture the couch, in her living room, where I sat.  She was very candid and I was moved by how composed she seemed.  She agreed to talk to me because she blamed drugs for her sister’s death, and she wanted to share her story, to try to stop what she thought was a growing drug epidemic in her community.

 

What is something most people don’t know about you? I have a twin sisterowassopic4

 

Do you have any hidden talents?  My fingers are double-jointed.  I know how lame that is.  I can’t even curl my tongue.  I have few talents, and none are hidden.  If I can do something, the whole world knows.

 

Soda, pop, or coke? Which one is correct?I grew up saying “soda.”  I think “pop” is much cuter, though, and that’s what my mother-in-law says.

 

Family fun at the Color Run!

Family fun at the Color Run!

If you could be on one reality show, what would it be?  Supernanny

 

What is the last thing you Googled?Common Core Standards

 

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?Laundry.  Fortunately I don’t do laundry anymore.  My husband does it now, and he’s so much better than I ever was!

 

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?Reading Owassoisms, local news websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter or a magazine like Oklahoma Magazine or Tulsa KidsWe recently got cable (got to love working for Cox!!!), and now my guilty indulgence is TLC.  My husband teases me about how much “learning” is actually going on.  Sadly, I can waste a good two hours watching Gypsy Sisters or My Strange Addiction.

 

What would you name the autobiography of your life? I’ve Got Questions

 

What story does your family always tell about you?  There are so many.  The only person my husband and father-in-law tease more than me, is my mother-in-law.  Both of them tend to embellish stories, and disregard facts for the sake of crafting a better story.  I think my husband’s favorite story is how we wound up spending Spring Break in Hugo, Oklahoma.  He jokes about Hugo being a Spring Break hot spot, like South Padre and Daytona.  Every time he tells the story, I crack up.  It really does make me sound pretty insane and ridiculous.  He talks about how when we rolled into town, I pictured elephants, with monkeys on their backs, stomping down Main Street.  Instead, it was just a typical small town.  It was pouring rain, and freezing.  We had lunch at a circus-themed diner, then went traipsing around a muddy cemetery taking pictures of the kids in front of odd tombstones. 

 

How do you like to spend your spare time?  I live for “no-shower” Sundays.  My family and neighbors get the privilege of witnessing those.  Since I have to spend 90 minutes getting my hair and face ready to face the camera all week long, I like to take a day off, on the weekend.  When I can, I spend Sundays in my sweats, with no makeup, and often I don’t even shower!  My husband cooks during the week, so I like to cook on the weekends.  During the summer, I LOVE to spend afternoons at the pool.  I’m usually home by 2PM- that’s one of the perks of dealing with a 2:30AM alarm!  The last two summers have been scorchers, but I’ve loved the blistering heat of an Oklahoma summer!  I like taking time off work to travel back to St. Louis, to see my family, or to Columbia to see our old friends.  We’ve also enjoyed quite a few small “Oklahoma adventure” trips, as a family.  We’ve explored OKC, driven out west to dig at the Great Salt Plains, checked out the coolest pool I’ve ever seen in Ponca City, and taken the Talimena Drive.  Last summer we took the kids to the beach for the first time.  That might be my favorite family memory, so far.  My oldest two are in tumbling, my daughter plays soccer and takes horseback riding lessons. I coach her cheer squad and I work 40+ hours a week… so I don’t really have a lot of spare time. 

 

What is your favorite thing about living in Owasso? I love that it feels like a small town.  When I accept the job here, my husband suggested we attend an Owasso High School football game, to get a feel for the town.  We ran into a lot of the same teachers and parents we’d met earlier that day, when we toured Stone Canyon.  They remembered our names and went out of their way to make us feel welcome.  It was very easy to move here and quickly get connected.  One of my good friends is the mother of a little girl who was my daughter’s first friend, when she entered a new kindergarten class here.  Their family has been a great resource, answering questions, and pointing me in the right direction, when I have professional or personal questions.

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Know Your Neighbor

 If you know an Owasso resident (young or old)  that would make a great “neighbor” to interview, send us their contact information.
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