Apr 7, 2008

Me and Chuck, George and Abraham

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to meet and introduce Charlton Heston to a crowd of political donors who paid to hear from him and have some fancy hors d'oeuvres. During that time of my life, I had the opportunity to meet many people of his cultural stature, but he was certainly one of the most interesting and the most genuine of those I met during that time. His death this weekend reminds me of something I thought about after that experience.

Chuck and me. I seem to look much older in this pre-contact lens picture.

After meeting him, I called my parents to let them know I had gotten to spend some time with one of their movie star heroes. They were quite tickled about this, being that Chuck Heston really was a huge star in their youth, and always remained a huge star. He was of course Moses, Ben Hur, and of course, who can forget his stirring portrayal of George Taylor.

How odd it must have been for them to consider that their kid would one day meet someone who was a big deal to them in their childhood. At least, this concept seemed interesting to me at the time. This idea, that generations can interact with the same historical figures at different times and with different meanings fascinates me. I picture my mom and dad as teenagers in theaters watching Ben Hur, not even considering that they would have a son who would later chat with the movie's actor about that chariot scene that must have been incredibly thrilling for them. Small world. I love connections like that. Be fascinated and keep reading.

It occurred to me that while sometimes history seems to be quite distant, it really isn't as far off as we think. For example, consider this interesting observation. It is possible that a person could have personally known Abraham Lincoln and later in that person's life, they could have personally known George W. Bush. Its true. Do the math. Perhaps even more profound, someone as a young boy could have personally known Thomas Jefferson, and as an old man, could have also personally known Ronald Reagan. I think that person might in fact be Bob Dole.

I wonder if I will have a kid who gets to meet Harrison Ford. I'm quite certain my kids will know who Han Solo and Indiana Jones are. I asked Heston about the Chariot race. He told me he was nervous about it until the race choreographer assured him that he would definitely win. I hope my kids ask Ford about being dragged from the back of a truck only holding on to that whip.

"I don't seem to have a 20th Century face." - Charlton Heston, 1924 - 2008.

Post a Comment