"The first text I got was, Are you guys all right?" Jeremy Borash, the host of "TNA Impact Wrestling" on Destination America, told me Sunday.
"I was having dinner with my lovely fiancée, [Jade, a U.K. resident]," Borash said of the first meal they were enjoying in a last-minute weekend trip to Paris. The couple made the romantic stop on his way to an appearance in Birmingham, England.
They were a safe two miles from Bataclan concert hall, which Borash compared to First Avenue, one of the sites hit in the terrorist attacks. "My phone just started going. Then I got about 10 texts saying, Are you guys alive? You heard a lot of chatter; everybody on their phones. Everybody [in the restaurant] was speaking in French. Something was awry. In about 10 minutes the restaurant cleared out; we were the last ones in the restaurant. We left the restaurant, and on our way out there were security guards everywhere basically telling everybody to go home.
"It was such a beautiful night. The weather was warm. Everybody was on the streets. Once we got back to our hotel, President François Hollande said stay off the streets. The walk home was kind of strange, because they had been empty and we're like, 'Let's not run, but let's walk very fast.' The streets were packed at 6:30 p.m., you couldn't move, and 10 o'clock the same street was empty. I tweeted pictures. We just watched out our window and could hear sirens. Once we realized how widespread it was, it was pretty scary for a while. Strange to be right there. I got a couple calls from Fox News and the NBC affiliate in Nashville. I was up until 4 a.m. watching all the coverage.
"I got up in the morning and went over to the nightclub [Bataclan]," Borash said. "We went to the memorial sites … that was heavy. Everybody was crying, so it was difficult. Jade wrote a note, lit a candle like a lot of people. I'm going on a lot of international trips and Paris is the last place I would expect to be dangerous."
After the stop in Birmingham, Borash has more trips scheduled: "Glasgow, Scotland. I'm going to Mumbai, India, and then with Robert to Afghanistan."
Chef Robert Irvine, host of "Restaurant Impossible," and someone with whom Borash performs non-wrestling shows, tweeted me to make sure I knew Jeremy was in Paris. "He speaks so highly of you; he had a great time with you," said Borash of my meeting with Irvine arranged by Steve Schussler.
While Irvine knew Borash was in Paris, "I didn't even tell my mom [Ruth and Andy Borash live in Minnesota], " he said sheepishly. "I texted her, 'I'm safe,' and she goes, What are you talking about? 'I'm in Paris.' I don't tell her everywhere I'm going."
'Spotlight' on Anderson team
St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, leading legal crusader against clergy sex abuse, was with a large group that saw the movie "Spotlight" Friday afternoon at the Uptown Theatre.
"I was there," Anderson confirmed via voice mail Saturday. "Of course, I know all those folks and have worked with them for years. The people who were with me were my colleagues who work with me at the firm here. There were 30 of us there."
"Spotlight" is about the Boston Globe teams of investigative journalists determined to prove that the local Catholic archdiocese was covering up sexual abuse.
Deen didn't clue in fans
Peculiar PR strategy deployed by Paula Deen when she was here.
On Twitter she informed her 1.4 million followers that she was on @EVINELive Saturday, broadcast from Eden Prairie. She didn't tell her Twin Cities Twitter fans that Sunday she was at the Galleria's Barnes & Noble.
Monday I asked a B & N staffer if a lot of fans showed up. I was told, "We had a nice crowd."
The missing link
"Love this article on Mark Andrew. You made reference to a video with Elvis the dog singing but I can't find the video anywhere. Is there a link? Sincerely, Chris."
Mistakes were made — but not by me this time — that kept my startribune.com/video offline. It should be up now.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (when it's working) and seen on Fox 9's "Buzz."