Okay, sure, I've had a few Forrest Gump moments with famous folks but really, my actual friends are pretty famous and amazing in their own right. I've already bragged enough about Michael but here's a couple of others I haven't mentioned:
Heidi Nye: Knowing Heidi is to meet someone from another world - a better world - where there is endless light, love, adventure and honesty. We met in the late 80s in the CSULB journalism program. Heidi has faced a number of medical challenges over the years but the kidney dialysis has really tested her strength.
She recently went to New York to be a subject of an HBO documentary on the plight of those needing kidney donors when - whoops! A fence she was leaning on gave way and she broke her hip. (Dialysis makes your bones quite brittle.) Then, while in the hospital, she broke it again! When I called Heidi to see how she was faring, her response was true journalist: "Well, at least it makes for more interesting filmmaking...."
Here is Heidi's story in the New York Daily News. She even looks glamorous in her hospital gown! (Photo by Taggart.)
Andy Isaacson: I met Andy years ago when we were both cubicle rats in San Francisco. He's since gone on to live the life that everyone else dreams about. He basically travels around the world, writing and photographing his journeys for the rest of us to enjoy. (He's skilled at both, of course.) His latest adventure is worth sharing, as it involves peanut butter.
As Andy explains in a recent issue of AFAR: "I once invented a dessert sushi, in Laos. It was made of bananas, peanut butter, sticky rice, sesame seeds, and honey. My then-girlfriend Lauren and I created it spontaneously one December afternoon in 2002, while dining on the deck of a restaurant in Muang Ngoi, a rural fishing village on the Nam Ou River in northern Laos. Scores of backpackers lay up in Muang Ngoi, so we called it the Falang Roll, using the Lao word for “foreigner.” The owners indulged us by providing the ingredients, and we promised them that the roll would be a sensation. They added it to their menu."
Seven years later, the Falang Roll caught on and is now offered as standard fare to those traveling through Laos. When he saw it referenced in a Lonely Planet guidebook as something that now included 'veggies', he packed up his bags and headed back to the same village to protect his culinary legacy. It's quite a story and Andy's photos are, as always, exquisite.
Everybody collects something. Me? I collect amazing people - they're entertaining and require no storage.