How I Know Zora

June, 28, 2003

Hi, everyone!

My name is John. I am the webmaster of this site.

Zora and I go back quite aways. We've known each other since high school. She came to Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington, NJ during my junior year in 1990. Before I ever met Zora, I heard about her. I'll never forget when, in one of my classes one day, some guy said, "There's this new girl in school who's really hot!!!"

We had two classes together, and that's how we got to know each other. From the very beginning, what I found most amazing about Zora is what an incredibly kind and compassionate person she is to all people. She has got to be the nicest person I have EVER met. No exaggeration.

After our junior year, she moved back to Colorado and finished high school there. By all rights we should never have seen each other again. But one day in late 1991, I was walking down the hallway of my local community college when guess who I practically bumped into? Zora! What were the odds that we'd both wind up going to the same college? It must have been fated.

We both went off to different schools not long after. The two of us haven't seen each other a whole lot over the years, but we've managed to keep in touch through it all.

It was a great joy for me to see Zora come out on top with half-a-million dollars at the end of Joe Millionaire, especially since I knew how hard she struggled to make it as an actress/model. I can't say I envied what she had to endure. It's a very difficult life to live.

As many of you probably know, the whole Joe Millionaire experience has not been entirely positive for Zora. Fame has been harsh to her in a lot of ways. The media and tabloids have been horrible, forcing her to move out of the town where she lived. Being so recognizable to so many people has really disrupted her life. Like most, I've often fantasized about being famous, but after hearing about what Zora has had to deal with, I think I can live with being anonymous.

But what I think has really made everything worthwhile for Zora despite all the negatives has been the positive reaction from fans. It's amazing how many kind messages people have sent in. It's been nothing short of phenomenal.

I think there are two very important lessons we can all learn from what Zora did on Joe Millionaire. First, that if you have a dream, put everything you have into it. No half-tries. Give it everything you've got and then some. That's what Zora did. When you give something your total focus, that's when miracles happen. Zora has shown us that dreams really can come true for good people. What she has accomplished has been incredibly inspiring to me, and I can't thank her enough for that.

The second lesson we can learn from Zora is how amazingly easy it is to positively affect other people's lives. Let me explain. We've received messages from people all over the world saying how Zora changed their lives. From a recently divorced man who found his hope for love renewed to a woman who found joy again in her heart and rediscovered her compassion for humanity, it really is incredible the way Zora has touched people. But think about it. What exactly did Zora do? All she did was be kind, compassionate, and considerate of others, never trash-talking anyone or making anyone feel bad. That is what touched people. If Zora could touch people by doing these simple things, then why can't you?

This is my challenge to you: Be like Zora. Create a code of conduct for yourself. Decide that every day you are going to be happy, grateful, kind, caring, and compassionate to everyone, everywhere, even when things don't go your way. Even when it rains on your parade. If you do this, you'll be amazed at how you'll be able to touch people and make a difference in their lives. I know this to be true from my own experience. The smallest things can make the biggest difference. Because the smallest things often turn out to be the biggest things.

That's my spiel. Hope it didn't sound hokey, but I truly believe these are important lessons we can learn from Zora. To think that all these amazing things came about because of a silly dating show. Truly, the gods must be crazy...

Although the two of us haven't seen a whole lot of each other over the years, Zora has always been a true friend. And I haven't had many of those. That may be one of the best compliments I can give her.

So in closing, I am proud to be her friend... as well as one of her biggest fans.

Until next time...

GO Zora!!!

Zora's Place