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”

Goodbye My Leather Jacket

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

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259It came to me in a plain brown cardboard box as I prepared to catch a midday flight to Washington DC four years ago. The dark brown many-pocketed WWII Bombardier’s Flight Jacket had caught my eyes a few weeks before. I really didn’t expect it to arrive before I left for the political conference. Imagine my joy when the UPS truck pulled up into my driveway.

Since my earliest days the spirit and the zest of the fighter jock secretly boiled far down within my soul. To counter this inner desire lay a cautious sense of responsibility. Yet, I could not deny deep-seated feelings. I knew, just like most people, I had undertaken some “daring” adventures. While not life threatening, these encounters certainly Continue Reading “Goodbye My Leather Jacket”