Thursday, January 12, 2012

Celebrity Biographies

My grandmother loved to read, especially biographies. Dad bought audio books to entertain her since she rarely left home in recent years. 

Grandma listened to Seabiscuit so many times it no longer played. So dad bought a second copy. (We show love in the tiny, considerate things we do, eh?)

Since she passed away last month, we have been slowly and methodically taking her things home with us. I asked dad if I could borrow the books.

I’ve finished Betty White’s Here We Go Again and Carol Burnett's This Time Together. I’m now on my third, Dick Van Dyke’s My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business. (Coincidentally, Dick Van Dyke just made news because he’s engaged at age 86.)

Hearing Betty White, Carol Burnett, and Dick Van Dyke talk about life in show business has been incredible. It’s like riding to work with them every day. 

Betty White has told me about her marriages, love of animals, and working on Golden Girls. Carol Burnett has told me about moving to NYC, that dreams do come true, and she tugged her ear for her Nanny. Dick Van Dyke has told me about being too poor to get married, his road to success, and working with Mary Tyler Moore.

One thing common among them is a humble appreciation for doing work they loved and earning enough to put food on the table. They share the recognition that such luck is rare, but dreams do come true and anything is possible. Each took risks, followed their passion and intuition, and worked hard to keep working.

It’s no coincidence that I’m listening to these books—a girl with big dreams about making films, and trying to figure out a place in the world. 

My grandmother keeps giving me gifts, even though she’s no longer here.

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