Monday, July 9, 2012

Kids Take Celebrity in Stride

Things that would make our bucket list, often don’t even register with our kids. I was reminded of this twice in recent weeks. 

First, I read about Stephanie Decker visiting the White House with her husband and two children. Decker is the woman from Clark County, Indiana, who saved her kids by covering them with her body during a tornado. In the process, she lost parts of her legs. President Obama heard Decker’s inspiring story and invited her family to visit. 
Clark and Rondo
The opportunity to visit the president of the United States in his home is heady stuff for anyone ... except, perhaps, kids. “My kids don’t get it because they’re young,” Decker explained. “But one day they will understand.” 

As a father of two, I relate to Decker’s comment. Although we’ve never met the president, my kids have had lots of opportunities, too. They are always grateful, even if they don’t always appreciate the gravity of the situation. 

For example, my son, Clark, recently had the opportunity to play basketball with Rajon Rondo at Rondo’s basketball camp. Yes, that’s Rajon Rondo, the NBA All-Star. Just a few weeks earlier, we stayed up late at night to watch Rondo confound the world champion Miami Heat on television. Now, Clark was passing the ball to him. Yet, when I picked Clark up, he neglected to mention it. In fact, I wouldn’t have even known it if the camp photographer hadn’t told me she snapped a picture of them together. 

Clark was more likely to tell me about the french fries he ate for lunch. That’s just the way kids are. As I’ve previously written, they are more impressed by ice cream than celebrities, sports superstars and political leaders.

Nevertheless, you can bet that I’m framing that Rondo picture. Like Decker said, Clark will eventually come to treasure it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Matlock or Mayberry?

Like everybody, I knew of Andy Griffith from the Andy Griffith Show. I enjoyed that show. But for me, the enduring Griffith is the one from my afternoons – the man in the seersucker suit and not the one in the sheriff’s uniform.
To put it another way, I’ll take the Fulton County Courthouse over Mayberry.

Lawyer or Sheriff?
For as long as I can remember, national cable network WGN has broadcast reruns of Griffith’s “Matlock” in the afternoons. Whenever I was at home during the day, for whatever reason, I usually watched it. Afternoon television could be pretty meager without Ben Matlock, particularly in cable’s early days.

Ben Matlock was there for me when I was at home sick, with a sick kid, freelancing, job searching or working from home. I could always squeeze in Matlock between Benadryl, naps, interviews, phone calls, errands or assignments. When I couldn’t watch closely, Matlock still provided the background noise.

I often joke that I realized it was time to kick up my job search after I’d been through the whole Matlock series once and started through it again. That’s a lot of people wrongly accused, hot dogs eaten and $100,000 fees collected.

During that time, I even started to take note of guest stars that I previously missed, such as Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame.

Although the series ended in 1995, Matlock holds up pretty well. In fact, when I recently dressed for the Kentucky Oaks, I patterned myself after good old Ben. Matlock’s longevity is quite a tribute to a guy who could’ve been forever typecast as Sheriff Taylor. In Griffith’s honor, WGN should run a Matlock marathon. I might not tune in though. I’ve been through the entire series already … one afternoon at a time.