Word and Image

Archive for December 4, 2011


More than ten years ago, when my kids were of an age when their school mates were all having Bar Mitzvahs, I found myself in the lobby of the Temple face to face with Judy Collins. Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws) was also nearby. There had been two ceremonies in the Temple that morning. The other group was a bit heavier on celebrities. My wife soon saw Ms. Collins as well. In New York, most people will allow celebrities space. But there in the crowded lobby, we were really shoulder to shoulder with the other party. Lisa was not able to resist and spoke briefly with Ms. Collins. I could not overhear. As Lisa stepped away she had a neutral face.

“Well?” I asked.

“Nothing.” She replied. “I started to tell her how much her songs had affected me as a teen, and, how much she had influenced me.”

“So?” I prodded, curious now.

A bit crestfallen Lisa continued, “Well, she leaned in close… and asked, ‘Where’s the bathroom?’

That was pretty deflating. But you have to admit it brings you right down to earth. The picture was taken in Barnes and Noble the other day while I was on my trek cross-town to deal with government business. Her book reminded me of the story that I thought I’d share.