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The man on the sidelines–Lenny Boyette from the sidelines of the Today Show

June 7th, 2010

Get to know to the people on the periphery of your life—whether they be the people who serve you in restaurants, the people who care for you when you are ill or those help you when you are down on luck. Collectively, these people represent all life experiences, religions and ideologies.

If you watch the Today show on NBC, there is one man that you are likely to spot in the crowd at Rockefeller Center nearly everyday. His name is Lenny and he joins the outside crowd day after day. If you’d like to have your 30 seconds of television exposure, production interns recommend standing near Lenny. When, by chance, Lenny ended up standing near me last summer, I decided to seize the moment and get a snippet of this vibrant man who captures the world’s attention from the periphery of the Today show set day after day. Since I neglected to get Lenny's picture last summer, I knew I couldn't leave New York City without finding Lenny again. Hours before my scheduled flight out of New York City, while I was interviewing One Republic's Eddie Fischer, I spotted Lenny standing directly across from me. I kept my eyes on him and the minute he grabbed his duffle bag to began his daily stroll through the city, I dashed over to him. While I was chatting with Lenny, about a dozen people approached him to take pictures with him, telling him how much they appreciate his daily presence on the show. Lenny posed for several pictures and did a repeat interview, chatting until the security moved us out. As you'll hear, Lenny has a distinct routine--he wakes up each day at 3am, goes to the Today show, walks the city, shops and sips tea and says he is not a fan of change, but that he has observed a great deal of change over the years. Lenny is a very simple man, but one who has intrigued the world, none-the-less.

“I used to watch the Today Show on Saturday and my sister told me that if I ever came to New York I had to go and visit the Today show. After I got here, I popped in one day and they sort of adopted me and it’s been quite nice ever since. When I’m not at the Today show I walk about and enjoy the city and I do lots and lots of shopping, because I’m retired now so I’ve got lots and lots of time. I was in the military for 25 years, where I did a bit of everything. I lived all over the U.K., but was mainly in Manchester. I enjoy being in New York. My sister lives near Connecticut, so I go and join her every Sunday for dinner, and it is really nice to spend time with nieces and nephews. Thank you so much for your time, God bless the world, all the best to the president and all the military people also. I’m very healthy, so I feel very blessed for that. My mother and father taught me that lesson. No spouse, no kids, no stress.”

“Lenny” New York City Daily visitor of the Today Show

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