If you’re clever, you can find nearly anyone on the net. Early on, at least 8-9 years ago, Steffie was writing a school report on penguins. She wanted to know more about the sleeping habits of the Emperor penguin. I was lost.
Back then I probably reached for Yahoo and looked around. There were a few citations, and I found a website that was close, but didn’t really have what she wanted.
Actually, by this time we had gone way beyond what she wanted. I was now doing this research for me.
I wrote to the website’s owner, and he wrote back that night. Yes, he knew about the Emperor penguin – in fact he was considered an expert on the Emperor. And then, he proceeded to explain their sleep patterns (very light sleepers).
It didn’t impress Steffie, but it did me, that he was from a university in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. And he was totally available.
Since then I have found a way to contact the head of programming at NBC, when they were considering a reality show which would have put a ‘contestant’ on the Russian MIR space station – which, I argued, was a death trap. More recently I wrote to a Nobel Prize winner at the University of Texas and got a pretty funny reply.
Until her accelerated departure last week, I had been writing to Shelley Ross, executive producer at Good Morning America – a show I used to do weather fill-in for – and would move heaven and Earth to do weather fill-in for again. I wrote her more than she wrote me… but she did reply, and even told me I was funny.
A few years ago I wrote the late Jack Paar, who had a very interesting website, but he never wrote back. I was always worried he had seen me (our station can be viewed in Greenwich, though residents there tend to believe they’re actually in New York and primarily watch New York City TV), not approved, and decided to snub me. I hope I’m wrong.
Tonight I wrote Shelley Berman.
In the 60’s Shelley Berman was as big as a comedian could be. A 1963 documentary was his undoing. He still plays Vegas, travels around the country, and teaches at USC, but he should have had more for the last 40 years.
He is extremely active on his website, and I assume I’ll get a response… or maybe he’s seen me… or Paar tipped him off before he died. Who can tell?
Meanwhile, it’s just cool to know I have this access.