Tuesday, October 23, 2007

there's famous, and then there's impressive

You are never going to guess who I just talked with on the telephone. No, seriously -- guess. Okay, forget it, you're never going to guess. I just got to talk with Lee Mendelson, the producer of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

In my accidental life as a journalist, I have talked with a lot of famous people, and it's kind of a little rush, but after a while, not that big a deal. You just say what you have to say and move on. I've gotten to talk with Presidents, Secretaries of State, Prime Ministers, Nobel Prize winners, National Book Award winners, Pulitzer winners, and they are invariably polite and kind of straightforward. I've talked with lots of celebrities, and invariably they are rushed and a bit bemused because of their "if it's Tuesday, this must be Chicago" kind of schedules.

But once in a while, you talk with someone who is so quietly impressive that it leaves you with this kind of glow all day. That's what happened today. An artifact of my childhood that made a profound impression upon me, then and now -- it came from this person's mind. It was created out of the force of this person's will and commitment. I just talked with someone who did, and does, his job with a kind of dignity and calmly self-confident excellence. I guess the reason I'm so completely over the moon about this is that the show itself always telegraphed a kind of low-key, stately quality. If I aspire to anything, that's what I want out of life -- I want to leave something behind me that, 40 years down the road, someone says "that person who made this -- I'd have liked to have known her. That person knew what she was doing. That person was good at her job."

All this philosophizing aside: squee! I talked to someone involved making in a MAJOR piece of pop culture that isn't a complete embarrassment!

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A Microscopic Cog in a Catastrophic Plan by Laura Lorson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at witheringexhaustion.blogspot.com.