5.03.2009

Day 15 -- Waking the Dead

10 people no longer living I would love to have met (and why)


1 and 2: My grandfathers.
My grandpa Lehman died a year or so before I was born. My grandpa Buz died years before that, on the day of JFK's funeral. I never met either of them, but I feel like I know them a little from hearing my parents' and my siblings' stories about them. Mostly, I feel sorta left out.

3: Abraham Lincoln. First off, I'd love to know whether the artists' renderings of him did him justice. Was he really that tall and skinny and, God love him, homely? But more importantly, I would love to hear him speak, to hear his passionate views on the Union and the need to end slavery.

4. Amelia Earhart. I once lived in the town where she was born. And I would LOVE to know whether she even cared at all about the little town. She didn't live there long. Yet that town was the one to throw a huge celebration on what would've been her 100th birthday. I also would be curious to know whatever happened to her, obviously, and I'd get a kick out of congratulating her for making "aviatrix" a household word in Atchison, Kansas.

5. Laura Ingalls Wilder. I'd like to ask her whether she realized just what a horrible thing Hollywood did to her lovely books. And as an aside, I'd like to see whether she looks one bit of anything like Melissa Gilbert.

6. Helen Keller. She was deaf and blind and still managed to change the world. She was the first deaf&blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. She fought for women's suffrage and workers' rights. She would've been an amazing person, even without the physical challenges she faced.

7. Ernest Hemingway. I'm not the biggest fan or anything. But we're both writers (I'm not sure I should put myself in the same category with the God of prose...) and we share another quirk: bipolar disorder. It's actually amazing how many famous creative people have/had the disorder. Edgar Allen Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Vivien Leigh, Ralph Waldo Emerson...the list goes on and on.

8. Matthew Shepard.
I'd just like to talk with him and know him for something other than the way he died -- brutally tortured and left to die, alone, in rural Wyoming because of his sexual orientation. And to say I'm so sorry that people hate.

9. Jesus.
I'm not sure why I'm listing this. Maybe because it would be nice to see whether he really looked like Ted Nugent in robes. And because I'd like to see whether he's really the "all that and a bag of chips" folks say he was, as interpreted by Bible translators. And because I'd like to ask him what he thinks about other people getting Playstations and Wiis and iPods just because it's his birthday.

10. Georgia O'Keefe.
What an amazing painter. She also was buddies with Ansel Adams. So she could bring him along on this little "see the dead people" tour. Plus, you gotta love and appreciate the honesty of an artist who says this: "I hate flowers -- I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move."

Edited to add: Whoa. There's your lily-white, anglo-saxon list of dead people. I could've picked others, like Martin Luther King, Jr., for one, but let's face it. There are lots of dead people I would've liked to had lunch with. Let's view this for what it really is, people.

1 comment:

emawkc said...

At least Jesus was a Jew (and neither lily-white nor Anglo nor Saxon), so you've got some diversity there.