Monday, February 27, 2012

The good

Bill Murray from "Ghostbusters II"
One of my long-held beliefs: The good is never wasted.  Nor is it forgotten.  Reminders bloom in unlikely corners and their reappearance warms me.

During the In Memorium segment of Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, my son and I saw a name that connected us to an event, at the time so kind, so enormous and surreal, that we will never forget it.

My son, a fan of Star Wars and Superman, inhabited another realm with his Ghostbusters, shall we say, appreciation.  He could recite the dialog, he constructed tiny sets on the shelves in his room, he cobbled together versions of their equipment and uniforms.  He was enchanted.  He WAS a Ghostbuster.

The name we saw Sunday night was that of a previous Oscar winner, film professional and father of a co-worker and friend at my last real job.  When Ghostbusters II  was being shot in Burbank, father and daughter arranged a surprise visit to the set for my son, then around 8 or 9.   I stayed at the office and he went off for his own adventure, which ended up including banter and teasing by Bill Murray, being present for filming and between-takes goofing around and simply, inexpressibly Being There. To this day, he has rarely told the story to friends, old or new, thinking they might not believe him, and also being, by nature, a low-key sort of fellow.  (When my sister moved to North Carolina, then Virginia, she stopped telling our grew-up-near-Hollywood stories, like sitting behind Paul Newman on the opening night of a Noel Coward play.  Or our then-teenaged mother, sitting near Errol Flynn without swooning and then collecting his discarded cigarette butts at a Beverly Hills tennis match.  But I digress.)

After the ceremonies, I Googled and found the woman I believe had been responsible for such a peak experience, sending a note of condolence and repeated thanks for such a great-hearted, thoughtful and loving act more than 20 years ago.

Life in its spirals brings us back to familiar-seeming places, opening doors, at least of memory, giving us further chances to affirm ways in which we matter to each other.  Earlier in the day on Sunday, at her blog Twisted Knickers, Susan T. Landry with her gift for vision told us to: pay attention.  everything matters.

12 comments:

T. Clear said...

Everything does matter.

Not much to say here, just that this notion of paying attention has been on my mind all day.

Lovely story.

Kass said...

Beautiful. I'm lifted up at the beginning of this day.

Marylinn Kelly said...

T. - About 18 years ago, among my early rubber stamp designs, is the one that says, "There is no substitute for paying attention." I stand by that. Thank you. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. Nothing I like more than beginning the day lifted up. xo

Robert the Skeptic said...

My mother grew up in pre-WWII Hollywood. She saw famous people all the time, it just was second nature. She actually felt embarrassed for people who would run up to them asking for autographs.

susan t. landry said...

i love name-dropping and celebrity spotting but pretending you're too hip to let on that you saw him/her.
my favorite less-than-six-degrees-of-separation story is that i used to have as a boyfriend a guy whose mother had danced with humphrey bogart the night before he (my bf) was born...oooh la la.

xoxo

Jayne said...

Ha! That's exactly what my daughter's Geography teacher told Lulu--no substitute for paying attention! Everything suffers under inadequate attention. Grades in and out of school. ;)

Oh joy, just looking at a photo of Bill Murray makes me smile. Have you heard Mr. Murray introduce Billy Collins (from Billy Collins Live at the Peter Norton Symphony Space 4/2005? Have I asked you this before?!) He seems like a genuinely sweet, and entirely naturally funny guy.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - We, too, had many occasions of celebrity sighting. The only autographs I ever collected were at bookstore signings, intended for just that. Imagine how difficult it must be, taking your famous face out into the world, hoping for something like normalcy. I imagine your mother and mine could have traded some stories.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Ooh, la la, no kidding. I think my semi-dream-come-true was seeing, but not actually meeting, Marlon Brando, who had been my favorite for years and years (I was an odd child). As a reporter, I was sent to a reception aboard a yacht at which he was promoting tourism to Tahiti and, I imagine, the island he owned. It was good enough. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - Impossible to weasel out of paying attention, no matter what the circumstance. And no, you haven't mentioned - that I recall - the Bill Murray introduction and no, I haven't heard it. He was, by all accounts, very funny with my young son, including him in the general foolishness. One of the things I love about Wes Anderson's movies is his being part of them. xo

molly said...

marylinn kelly, i'm so glad my sister sent me your blog link. i could sit here all day reading, being inspired, and thanking the universe for small links.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Molly - Thank you. I'm so glad you found your way here, where your comments affirm for me, and all who read this, that our seemingly random links are not accidents. Through a post on Mar. 4, 2011, we declared we were all "with the band." Welcome.