Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Please don’t just sit there; Come on and sing!

Checking Twitter last night to see if there was news in the world, I found my mind rushing back to the summer of 1981 – one of the best seasons of my life. Just 22 and weeks away from getting engaged, I had been selected for a Pulliam Fellowship at the Indianapolis Star. Unlike many of my fellow Fellows, I was not chasing fires or seeking scandal at city council meetings. I wound up in the Arts & Entertainment office, where I reviewed concerts and movies, and gave my parents in New Jersey much to talk about by interviewing aging celebrities who were rolling through Indianapolis on the summer theater circuit.

Among the most charming – and the one that most impressed my dad – unquestionably was Mitch Miller, who died Sunday night at age 99. Briefcase and umbrella in hand, I remember walking from The Star offices across downtown to his swanky hotel, where he chatted with ease about his popular ‘60s sing-a-long show and the many artists whose careers he helped launched.

When he walked me back to the elevator to leave, he noticed that my eyes were glued to two tall glass canisters filled with amaretti cookies. Draped in their familiar pastel paper wrappers, they were as pretty as they were tempting. “You like?” he said, playfully tugging my briefcase from my hand. He dashed over to the canisters and dumped as many cookies as would fit into my bulging bag. “Enjoy!” he said instructed cheerfully, pointing at me as if he held his magic baton, as I stepped into the elevator and back into the reality of a summer downpour.

I returned to the office drenched, but the prized cookies were as crisp and fragrant as my memories of them today.

No comments:

Post a Comment