City Confidential

Friday, January 23, 2004 at 1:00am

Sharon Puckett

The best is yet to come

Nashville misses Sharon Puckett. For 28 years she was the ageless face that greeted early morning television viewers, and the class-act broadcaster who hosted everything from talk shows and new reports to fashion shows and motivational seminars. Then, almost two years ago, it was time for Puckett to change channels. She left her TV home, WSMV-TV, and slowed down to get back on track.

"I've had some time to think," she said. "Now, it's time to do."

Puckett has turned 50 and said she's proud of it. "Ladies, there's nothing wrong with 50 and don't let anyone tell you differently," she said. "During the past year and a half, I've been able to take some time to think about myself and what direction I want my career to take. I believe the best is yet to come."

INSIDE INFO

Who would be your dream interview?

My dream interview would not be me interviewing someone. It would be someone interviewing me for a career opportunity I couldn't refuse.

If you could trade places with anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?

My son Andrew, a student at the University of Tennessee, to find out what he's really doing and really thinking.

What would last meal on earth be?

My mother's fried chicken and fried okra, Captain D's fried shrimp and country-style fish and hushpuppies, pinto beans and chocolate cake with chocolate hot fudge sauce.

If you were a fly, what celebrity's wall would you like to land on?

Today, it's Barbara Walters. Tomorrow it could be someone else.

What's your secret to keeping your youthful looks?

Taking care of my skin, and never staying in the sun only to get a tan. My fair-skinned tan comes from a bottle or Tan Towels.

If you had a pajama party, name three well-known people you'd invite.

Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Now, that would be some kind of girl talk.

What's your favorite dip to take to a potluck?

I don't cook very much, so it depends on the occasion and if I know a good place to get something really, really good. Crab dip is my current favorite.

What was your favorite Christmas present last month?

A rhinestone mouse for my computer. I'm not very good with computers, so I thought I should have something pretty to look at when I'm using my computer. I love shimmer and glimmer products.

What's the secret to your long marriage?

My husband Ed puts it like this: "I know how you do Sharon, so I just let you do." In my words, Ed has more patience than most people I know. I can be very hard to live with at times.

Other than family, what are you the proudest of about your life?

My 28 years at Channel 4, the wonderful viewers who trusted me with their stories, and the people who believed in me and gave me opportunities to grow and become a better journalist and person.

What's the funniest thing you can remember a fan saying to you?

I almost always go to the grocery store without makeup, wearing sunglasses and have my hair in a ponytail. One day while I was checking out at Kroger, a teenager who was bagging my groceries asked me about paper or plastic and before I could answer he said, "It's amazing what a little makeup can do." He thought it was funny.

If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be and where would you put it?

I wouldn't get a tattoo. I don't even have pierced ears. The thought of pain makes me shiver.

Who is the nicest celebrity you've ever met?

I can't name just one, but I will tell you this: Josh Taylor, who plays Roman Brady on Days of Our Lives, made a lasting impression on my mother and me. She's a big fan of Days. When Josh was in Nashville for the Southern Women's Show, I hosted the event. I was in the audience taking questions - Josh was onstage answering - he jumped off the stage, came over to my mother, gave her a big hug and kiss giving her the thrill of her lifetime. Now, that is more than nice.

What are you addicted to?

No doubt about it: chocolate, hazelnut coffee and fat-free ice cream

Describe things you think are just plain tacky.

Shoppers who take shopping carts, but don't return them to the proper place. Clothes that are too tight. Shoes that need polishing or have run-down heels. Being rude, especially rude sales people. Lack of patience. Taking advantage of anyone. I want people to be treated in a fair, honest and respectful way. Anything less is unacceptable to me.

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