Thursday, July 2, 2009

Question of the Day

I’ve done this one before, but it’s been a while, and besides, summer is re-run time.

Who is the most famous person you’ve met in person on a one-to-one basis?

Mine would be President Jimmy Carter in April 1979. I was working as a news director for a small-town radio station in Michigan and I was invited to spend a day at the White House for one of their out-of-town news editors events. Ten other reporters from all over the country and I spent the day in the Old Executive Office Building getting briefed by administration staffers. Then after lunch we were escorted into the Cabinet Room in the West Wing, and after a moment, in came President Carter. We got to ask him questions for about twenty minutes — I asked about ethanol — and I got to shake his hand and get my picture taken with him. I also got to interview Alfred Kahn, the president’s “inflation czar” and the man credited with deregulating the airline industry. (Full disclosure: I think I got the interview because Mr. Kahn is married to a relative of mine.)

After that would come the playwrights like Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Stephen Sondheim, Edward Albee, and the honorees at the Inge Festival over the years.