A few weeks ago I attended an event that featured a living legend: Cloris Leachman. There was a short documentary, followed by a Q & A with Ms. Leachman, led by Sharon Lawrence. It was kind of amazing.
Living in Los Angeles for a few decades now, I don’t always notice the stars and celebrities in my midst. You kind of get used to standing in line at the ATM with so-and-so from that show, or waiting for coffee behind that guy. Honestly, I take note, but that’s usually about it. Once in a great while, there will be a reason to share a laugh with someone or to comment on the day, but most of the time we all just go about our business, be it celebrity or otherwise.
But I do still become starstruck. It happens. Not with just anyone mind you, but with someone of such stature as to cause me to catch my breath and laugh nervously. That’s how I felt at the event with Cloris Leachman. I adored the documentary and the Q & A was terribly fun. Ms. Leachman was humorous, smart and lovely. At 90 years old, she’s working more than ever and sharp as a tack. She made me laugh out loud and it was awesome. My giddiness lasted all the way through the event, and by the end, I was so glad I’d attended.
After the presentation, loads of people walked to the stage and took selfies with Ms. Leachman, who obliged each and every one. I decided to just get a snap of the great lady, from afar. Then I walked around and talked with friends who were also there, checked my watch and decided it was time to leave. On my way out, I saw Ms. Leachman, apparently waiting for her car to arrive. As I walked by, I said, “Excuse me, Ms. Leachman. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your talent with the world. We are all better for it.” She reached out, took my hand, and thanked me for being a fan. With nothing left to be said, I smiled and wished her a pleasant night. I walked to the parking lot, got in my old car and drove home.
Some days are seemingly ordinary. And on some of those ordinary days, you cross paths with an extraordinary soul. In L.A., you never know who that might be. I’m keeping my eyes open.