George and Me

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Bush turned to me and said, “C’mon, let’s put our arms around each other to show everyone we’re friends.”

You may not remember this. Leonard Zelig was the kind of ordinary everyday man who  you’d expect to live an ordinary everyday life. Somehow, though, he managed to find himself regularly appearing with extraordinary celebrated people during extraordinary celebrated events. Leonard Zelig isn’t a real person. Never was. Yet Woody Allen’s brilliant 1983 mockumentary Zelig left theater-goers thinking he was.

It seems like we all have our Leonard Zelig moments. We live each ordinary day in an ordinary way. Then, fate brings us face-to-face with extraordinary people in extraordinary times. Think about the times you’ve found yourself at the same shop with a movie or TV star – someone who seems so distant because our only connection to them is through some unapproachable media context. When we’re young, that can be a very exciting thing. As we age, we come to understand those distant stars are no different than us.

Like you, I’ve had my fair share of close encounters. Like the time I rode the train seated across from Pearl Bailey. (Don’t remember her? Read “My Lunch with Pearl Bailey,” Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, September 13, 1990, to find out more about the incident and the subject.) I always tried my best to be polite and respect the person as a person. (Except in the case of John Dean, who, while having dinner with him, I bluntly said, “You Continue Reading “George and Me”

My Lunch with Pearl Bailey

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the September 13, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259I used to always ride the train. An unnatural fear caused me to seek every opportunity to avoid flight. Yes, yes, I know all the actuarial tables say flying is the second safest form of transportation (after elevators). In that portion of my life when time seemed less important (namely, both during and immediately after my collegiate years), I viewed the train as the preferred method of travel.

The train relaxed me. It allowed me to read. It permitted me to get up and walk around. It provided the opportunity to be alone or discover new friends, depending on my mood. Most importantly, it forced me to slow down. Once I boarded the train, I knew I would next step Continue Reading “My Lunch with Pearl Bailey”