April 2018

Friday, April 23, 2010

NL #7: Degrees of Separation

DAR #7: I don’t get too excited about famous people. Mostly, probably, because I don’t recognize them. When, in my twenties, I worked for the United Way’s fall campaign, the other young women in the office came in very excited: “Jeff Bridges is outside! He touched my shirt!” The call to fame evacuated the place. I continued making phone calls from my desk. (I now know who Jeff Bridges is.)

I figure if someone is so famous, we probably won’t have much of a relationship, so why bother.

Ann’s and my siblings seem to be surrounded by famous people. They all have friends with private jets. I think that’s a sign of connection to fame. Sister Jenn mentioned that “George Clooney had a pig and he said they make terrible pets” and my brother-in-law Todd says, “Martha Stewart had a neighborhood party, so I went.” Ann’s brother Gene got us backstage tickets to see his client Lyle Lovett and Ann's sister-in-law seems to hobnob with Barbara Bush.

I guess I too have had my brushes with fame. I went to first grade at E.C. Brooks in Raleigh, NC with the humorist David Sedaris. (I don't remember him and I'm guessing he doesn't remember me.) In college, I had dinner with Elie Weisel, the holocaust survivor who wrote the famous memoir Night.

When I taught high school in Dallas, a colleague’s daughters—then in junior high school, were in a band called “Blue Light Express” that played at a nearby bar. They were good. When they got older, they formed a new band called “The Dixie Chicks” and my friend Rick (RIP) and I would go see them at a local Italian restaurant on Wednesday nights. Once, after playing at the opening of a Texas Ranger baseball game, the team’s owner, George W. Bush, sent 15 year-old Emily a note, wanting to set her up with his friend. She asked me what she should do, and I suggested she not respond but keep the note. I wonder if she did.

I taught both Dixie Chick sisters in their senior years and before I moved away from Dallas their band played at a party in the school’s library. Years later, I was channel surfing (not a common activity for me) and landed on the Grammy’s, where these sisters were accepting their first Grammy.

I would still recognize them and would be excited to see them again, but not really because they’re famous. Really because I liked them, and I wonder how they are.

I’d still like Hillary Swank to play me. I’m sure we’d get to be buds. Mary

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