Time to finish a thread started back in May, when I wrote about an unexpected encounter with Jerry Kramer, the former Packers guard whom I admire more as an author than an athlete.
As I said then, I’ve worked in the media for a long time, enjoying the occasional access that comes with it. Meeting people, famous or not, comes with the territory. It’s not that the thrill is gone, but the list of famous people I’d like to meet is pretty short.
Which brings us to Batman.
“Batman” was must-see TV in the mid-’60s. I was in grade school, and role models didn’t get much better than Batman. Back then, Batman was more like Superman — truth, justice and the American way — than the brooding Dark Knight we’ve come to know in the last 25 years.
So, all these years later, I still would like to meet Adam West.
I’d like to thank him for two things. First, for being that role model for a kid from Wisconsin. Second, for being a role model in the years since “Batman,” for showing how to handle career disappointment with grace, and how to embrace it and turn it into an asset.
I could meet Adam West this weekend. He’s appearing at the Comic Con convention in Chicago. But that wouldn’t be much fun. I’m not into autographs, nor into getting my picture taken with celebrities. Which is why West was booked for the show. I get that. It’s just not my thing, and especially not after reading this Chicago Tribune story, which makes certain aspects of those shows a little sad.
So maybe someday I’ll be waiting for a plane with Adam West — as we once did with Robert Urich. Or maybe someday I’ll ride a hotel elevator with Adam West — as we once did with Sam Kinison.
Those encounters also were completely unexpected, completely informal, as it was with Jerry Kramer this spring. That’s way better than forking over admission and queueing up for hours.
And if not Adam West, then … let’s see … Bart Starr or Ringo Starr or Paul McCartney.
“Pleased To Almost Meet You,” Colin Hay, from “American Sunshine,” 2009.
Oh, I’ve met Colin Hay. He’s as gracious and good-natured as his songs suggest.
Who’s on your list?