SARASOTA - Long before she became a viral video sensation for being butted by a goat, ABC 7's Linda Carson was star in her own right. After nearly 50 years in the business, she has seen and done it all.
From her start doing commercials in Atlanta, to her journeys with her beloved late husband, Bud Carson, Linda has led quite an extraordinary life, and tells us all about it:
I was born in Atlanta, and quickly hit Florida beaches with my parents. At Avondale High I was a majorette and editor of the high school paper.
During college, I was a cheerleader, Miss Carroll County, Poultry Princess, Miss Macon, and Miss Dekalb County.
I graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and my first TV job was doing Coke commercials for the Bear Bryant Show.
In August of 1964 I was hired by channel 11 in Atlanta. The hair got long, the hair got short, the hair got light, the hair got dark. The skirts went up...way up...and back down.
I met my husband Bud Carson on an interview when he was head coach at Georgia Tech. "I knew nothing about football, but that didn't stop me from asking some very good questions. What are you doing after practice? That sort of thing."
We got married in 1973 while Bud was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the journey began...through 8 NFL cities, including Cleveland, where Bud was head coach. In every city, I got a job in TV.
I've been an anchor, a weather reporter, a consumer reporter, a medical reporter, and a sports anchor. "I did sports in Pittsburgh, that was tough. I didn't know much about sports, Bud said. It's like if your husband is a doctor and you have to do medical reporting, that would be embarrassing. It was hard doing sports with him watching."
We have 4 kids altogether.
I came to work at ABC 7 in Sarasota in 1995, and there's no place like home.
Oh, the stories I've covered. I was in the classroom with President Bush on the morning of 9/11, and to my great joy, for several years I worked side-by-side with my daughter Cathi, also a reporter here.
Along the way I've learned the most important things are faith, family, friends, a job you love, and giving back to the community.
I've volunteered for Hospice, even painting a clown to auction off, in thanks for all they did for our family when my beloved husband passed away.
I've served on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society for many years, and also on the board of Circus Sarasota.
A year from next August I'll celebrate 50 years in television. What I've learned to keep out of trouble: never turn your back on a camel, never kiss a manatee (they eat their own poop), never sing with a pig, and never trust a goat.