Hello there

Turns out it really isn’t whom you know.

It’s whom you meet — or talk to — that matters.

Through a Facebook post, I recently solicited from friends brushes they’ve had with famous or important people.

The responses ranged from humorous to profound.

Several friends have met presidents, future, present and former.

College buddy John Schwertzer came face-to-face with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

” He shook my hand and touched my soul,” John said.

Covering a basketball tournament in 1991, newspaper reporter Ken MacLeod scored on another level. At an underground bar in Manhattan, he landed a conversation with Led Zeppelin rocker Jimmy Page.

Phillip Lamb met Colonel Sanders at — where else? — a 4-H poultry event in New Orleans.

Dan O’Kane took a leak beside Tulsa evangelist Oral Roberts.

Sharon Baldwin and Wayne Greene met Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Several years ago, Randy Saffell struck up a conversation with a World War II veteran. He told him of landing in France on D-Day and watching Germans shoot his buddies before they hit the ground or while hanging in trees.

The paratrooper was 19-years-old at the time.

Saffell called the exchange the most memorable 15 minutes he could remember.

“He is not famous or important in the normal interpretation of the words,” he said. “But in the history books, he was very important.”

For the record, I saw Robert F. Kennedy in Cape Girardeau, Mo., in 1968. Six weeks later, he was assassinated.


4 thoughts on “Hello there

  1. I was with you at the RFK rally. Mom and Dad had a sense of history and whisked us up there. Daddy held a Polaroid camera above the crowd and snapped in the general direction of Kennedy, hoping to get a picture of him. And he did! More than one. I can still remember the orange paisley dress I was wearing, circa sixth grade. Many thanks to Mama and Daddy for seizing a moment and taking us along. Thanks, Rhett, for jarring that memory for me.

  2. Catherine went to RFK rally – I only remember not going but not why… 😦
    John, Martin, Bobby, Malcolm. I had a conversation with Leaa this past week about the murder of each of these men. And the failure of a generation to truthfully remember why they died. To reflect. To be brave once more. To lead.
    It was an interesting conversation. Sad but strengthening. If that makes sense.
    Maybe one we can share in KW…

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