I put cats there to make it sound gool There are no cats, only two men.
1. Dan Dan Dan Dan Dan!
See the difference? It’s all aboout Dan. The whole week would have sucked without him. First, he came to pick me up last Sunday when my car broke down on I-78 near Phillipsburg. Poor Harley had to wait for the tow truck and come back to PA, then find a way to work for the week. Dan and I made it back to Green Brook, NJ in time for the 50th Birthday Dinner and Family Bash that honored Kenny, who was in from California with Nancy and the girls. Bruce was here from Prague and Zinnia and Verbie from NY state. Then there was Marcy and one of her three kids, Lail, who brought his girlfriend. I knew everybody and talked to everybody, as far as I know not having any memory lapses. Andrea and her husband Bob arrived a few days later. A retaining wall was built, utilizing the labor of several of the guys.
Bruce (shirtless) and Kenny
But the point of the week was Stephen Colbert. I had tickets to a taping on Monday, June 13, and tickets to the opening of the movie Stephen Sondheim’s Company on Wednesday, June 15.
I’m supposed to write a taping report for ColbertNation, but I’ve talked about it so much I feel like I’m finished.
I was given very special treatment because of my disability. That included being let in to wait before anyone else, and being seated after everybody else, and they saved us two front row seats closest to the entrance. There was an opening act, a young stand-up guy whose name we both forgot and who addressed Dan, telling him he looked like a man with his own show on PBS — about building structures with Lego. The guest was Henry Kissinger; I was pretty close; I could have conversed with him without shouting. And Stephen was — Stephen! Shreeeeek! There’s nobody like him. He came out before the taping, running around the studio and slapping hands and answering questions, and Dan’s observation was the he seemed pretty much like the Character. I was able to catch his eye, waving my hand at the corner there, and he called on me, addressing me as, “Young lady.” I said, “Young!” which did not elicit any laughter. On thinking about it, it’s pretty silly to expect anybody to find you funny in the same room as Colbert. Anyway, I asked if he liked Salinger. He lit up and said that he certainly did, that he had quoted him on the show and wished he could have gotten him to come for an appearance. My impression (and this is probably a judgment) was that he was surprised I didn’t know these things; his body language took on something it didn’t in any of the other replies. Its possible that I am just looking for something to point at and say, “You see? I distinguished myself to him.” A shot from that night.
The One. The Only. No, not the guy with the towel!
When it was over, outside, I waited for Dan (he was parked five blocks away) on the steps that led to the offices (there was no other place to sit) and said, “Watch your step” to everybody that came down. I wanted Stephen to emerge so bad I could taste it. I could just see the jeans and the baseball cap and the care in stepping around my oxygen tank and avoiding the tubes. I wondered what I’d say and settled on Thank you. I also prayed while I was sitting there, thanking God over and over for such a wonderful day and a wonderful Dan who loves me so much no matter who I am currently obsessed with, and for the cool weather and for the ginger ale I had on the way in to Manhattan and for the driver of the sedan across the street, pacing, and for being sober, that more than anything, being able to participate in the day because I was sober.
So Danny picked me up and we drove around the corner to 11th Ave and had dinner at a Turkish restaurant. I wanted to remember the names of dishes for the Istanbul scenes in Walking Among the Dead, but then I decided I could just as easily find them online. I didn’t photograph Dan in that restaurant, so here’s a screencap from the bad ten-second video I took.
So much of life is making the best of situations you can’t change. But there are times I insist on the impossible, and that’s what this past week was. I wish I could thank Stephen for that.
Wednesday night we had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant in Montclair, NJ, down the street from the Claridge 6, where we saw Stephen in the film version of Sondheim’s Company.
Dan enjoys an Ethiopian dinner.
I chose that cinema from several, partly because of the restaurant and partly because Montclair is Stephen’s home, and I wanted to feel close to him. I knew he’d be in NY taping, so there was no ulterior motive. I was blessed with a “sighting” of part of his family, his wife and daughter who climbed over some people and sat almost right in front of us. So I blessed them! I asked God to help them enjoy the show and have a safe trip home. And when I left the theater during the movie to powder my nose, I crossed paths with the daughter and asked her where the ladies’ room was. (It was way up a long hall and across the lobby.) After the movie, when I was waiting for the last people to ascend the steps and exit, I perceived that those two were fiddling around with some money (the girl dropped some when she came in with popcorn), and I said, “Do y’all need any help?” and the mom said No. Here’s a cute shot I found on the Internet, showing the whole family. You can see that the daughter is of an age to be embarrassed by her father’s behavior.
After the movie we walked the long block and considered whether to go get in the car across the street and look for a place to have coffee. Dan was the one who saw the Starbucks. Good old Starbucks. After we were there for half an hour or so, the fire alarm went off and everybody got evacuated. That was a bit of excitement.
Montclair, NJ has a Starbucks.
Oh, and Wednesday we stayed in a hotel room. One night only, but that was all we needed. Andrea and Bob came the day before the Kenny family left, so there was nowhere for Danny and me to sleep. It worked out well. There was even a free continental breakfast, though Dan said he’d rather have slept through it. Here he is in the room.