Anna Deavere Smith...Uncovered
She said there were three significant questions one should ask oneself:
1 When have you come close to death?
2 Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do?
3 What were the circumstances of your birth?
So, in the interest of full disclosure and eyes wide open:
1 Yes, when I was working as a construction grunt in the summer of 1974, in Macon GA, hauling up plywood and such to a high rise building. I climbed out on some high steel 6 or so floors up and almost pitched over. I relive that instant every once in a while, groin aching all the while in remembering. I also fell on some exposed rebar that summer while grunting along on a cigarette factory construction site. That hurt!
2 I have, but who has not? There were certainly times growing up when this happened. When I was associate dean and interim department head at my present university, I am sure things were said about what I did. I am not sure this question is all that illuminating. Maybe ADS had something more elemental and less mundane in mind...
3 Well, the circumstances of my birth were not that spectacular. About the same time Lucy gave birth to Little Ricky on that new medium, TV, and all America watched. Now, that was spectacular!
ADS also said something like "...being "cool" and uncommitted does not serve democracy." I will drink to that one!