Living in the Past: I remember the day John Fitzgerald Kennedy came to town. I was in the crush of people waiting to see the man I most admired at the time coming into our town. To me it was the joining of someone I idolized with my everyday life.
Of course I had seen pictures of the man, even colored ones. At that time colored photos were a special treat. Most photos then were in black and white.
And suddenly there he was in his open convertible sitting and waving at people. He was a real person after all. He moved and gestured. His suit looked fabulous. And it was only a suit, but it somehow seemed grander than anything I had ever seen. It was a dream merging into reality.
At our local museum I recently saw pictures of his historic visit to our town. Here was a man affirming the dreams of young people, telling us they were good, challenging us to ask what we could do for our country. His message came at the right time.
I have seen other famous people in person. I saw Elvis in concert on his last New Year’s Eve. He was a tiny figure on stage, until I saw a security breach and made my way down to where I could see him regular sized. He was quite overweight, but that sequined clothing and his hair made him more glamorous than life. He was really there in my sights.
In the end, these interactions with historic, famous figures will not mean much. But for a few moments, it was exciting to have my world touched by fame.