Thursday, April 15, 2010

Celebrity sighting

Boarding the Staten Island Ferry on the Manhattan side early Wednesday morning, I was stopped by the man who raises and lowers the platform that people use to get on and off the ferry. In a thick New York accent, he politely stopped me in the middle of the platform as other passengers streamed by to inquire whether I had ever been on television or anything like that.

I began to shake my head from side to side as memories of my past TV appearances flashed through my mind. There was, of course, the six weeks as co-host of a local cable access program focusing on classic films. And who could forget the interview I did with Stephen Brookfield for PBS Adult Learning? Or the many times my mug showed up on Albuquerque's educational cable station as the result of a closed circuit class I taught on leadership ethics for the University of New Mexico. Finally, there was always the possibility he had caught me on YouTube, where my debut performance can now be seen, thanks to York College's decision to air a recent workshop I did for them on Discussion as a Way of Teaching.

I looked up at the ferry worker, again shaking my head, and for emphasis added, "you must be confusing me with someone else."

He answered doubtfully, "well, you sure look familiar, you really do look so very familiar."

I walked on and then heard him shout as a question, "American Idol?!" I turned in mid-stride, smiled and announced, walking backwards now, "No, definitely not American Idol." This caused me to run into the guy walking in front of me who looked me over and added, "Funny, you do look like someone famous."

Who knows? Maybe last night as these two guys settled down to dinner with their loved ones they mentioned spotting some kind of a celebrity on the Staten Island Ferry. And who am I, despite being both ordinary and inconsequential, to deny them?

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