Apparently, Oprah Winfrey decided to start training on her post talk show career Oprah Makes Surprise Visit To GM Orion Plant The Daily Oakland Press Sep 3, 2004 By CAROL HOPKINS ORION TWP. - Without notifying media or local government officials, Oprah Winfrey dropped into the GM Orion Assembly plant Thursday afternoon for about 90 minutes. "She wanted to tour the plant," said Mary Henige, communications director for Pontiac-GMC division. She walked along the assembly line and watched the new mid-size Pontiac G6 sedans being built, Henige said. Henige said Winfrey wanted to try what the workers were doing and that there was "a lot of laughing" going on. Her visit comes close to the time Clarkston residents made a pitch to have her visit. Donna Clancy, executive director of North Oakland SCAMP Funding Cooperation, stumbled upon the opportunity to invite Oprah to Clarkston while surfing Oprah.com. She saw that the talk show host wants to visit a charming small town, with fewer than 5,000 residents, for a show. Clarkston has 927 residents. To lure the show, 724 ninth-graders from Clarkston High School held up paper O's for a video camera, pleading, "Oprah, come to Clarkston!" City officials gave the same plea during a council meeting, while a woman at Randolph's Salon will receive a manicure, with O P R A H on her nails. And, second- and third-graders got their moment in the spotlight when they asked, "How do you catch an Oprah?" Upon hearing that Winfrey chose to make a stop in Orion Township, located just east of Clarkston, Marcy Rotondo, assistant to Clarkston's city manager, was disappointed. "What happened?" she asked. "Maybe she didn't know we are close by." Winfrey's production company spokeswoman was vague about why the Chicago-based TV talk show host was in town. "She was just visiting Detroit," said Carly, who didn't give her last name. "She went to GM and to a Target." Renee McClelland, a media relations employee at the Orion assembly plant, said Winfrey was very gracious. "Everyone is on Cloud Nine."