Not Cease from Exploration

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Famous Person Dinner

It's something of a standard question asked, occasionally, of common folks during interviews:  If you could have a dinner party with a group of famous (and not so famous) folks, who would you invite?

Well for starters, while I'd like to invite my entire family, the reality is that I have to keep this to a reasonably sized list.  So no offense intended for anyone left off the list.

Here are my guests:

My wife.  I know, she's only famous in my book, but how could I have a famous person dinner without her?  Besides, someone needs to keep me on my toes.  And answer my questions about what fork to use at any given time.

Emily Dickinson.  She probably wouldn't be much of a conversationalist, but then again neither am I.  Maybe she could read one of my favorite poems.  Just not one of them that mentions "bees".  I'd also love to know how she came up with much of her work.  Did the poems just flow out of her?  How much did she edit her work prior to calling it a completed work?

Hunter S. Thompson.  I'm probably the least gonzo human being on the planet, yet I can think of few authors who have influenced how I think about things in general more than HST.  As I've noted here many times before, The Great Shark Hunt was the first time I ever read something that basically told me it was okay to be smart and a bit weird at the same time.

David Gates (the musician).  I've been a fame of David Gates' work for about as long as I've been really listening to music.  I actually got to see him perform years ago, and it was a memorable experience.  He also has a great story: Musically inclined from birth, moves from Tulsa OK to Los Angeles to make it big in the music business.

Berkeley Breathed.  In some ways, Mr Breathed is like an anti-Hunter S. Thompson, but yet they both have (or in HST's case, had) a wickedly funny sense for the ironic.  Bill the Cat is simply genius.

(from THIS website)

Bloom County more or less helped me get through the first year of my first job out of college.  I would buy the morning York, PA newspaper in route to work just to read Bloom County.

Howard Stern.  It's not often that we get to experience a true genius in our own lifetimes, yet that's what it's been like for me, over the decades, listening to Howard Stern's radio shows.  Be it cringe-worthy (and there are many times when I turn him off) or knee-slapping hilarious, Howard basically created a form of radio that didn't really exist prior to his gaining prominence.  Note that if he wasn't available, the substitutes from his show would be, in order:  Fred Norris, Baba Booey or Jackie Martling.  Sorry Robin.

Cokie Roberts.  Man, how cool would it be to talk politics over dinner with Cokie Roberts?  Like many on this list, Ms Roberts is someone I've been listening to for years.  She's a trusted voice in a sea of voices that are mostly not trustworthy.



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