Oprah and Gayle

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Oprah and Gayle arrive with gifts of ham, sugar, and cheese.

The year reenacted: 1628, when settlers arrived to eke out an existence in New England. The participants: men, women, and children—selected from nearly 10,000 applicants willing to give up beepers for bonnets—who will appear in the PBS series Colonial House, beginning May 17. The first Puritan African sojourners to pass through the colony: my (reluctant) best friend, Gayle King, and yours truly.