I ended my last column talking about three people — picked from anyone in history — who I would want to go for supper with given the chance.
Naturally it’s been on my mind ever since.
Last Monday I picked Meryl Streep (my favourite actor), John Hiatt (my favourite musician) and John Steinbeck (one of my three favourite writers). The other two writers are W. Somerset Maugham and Vladimir Nabokov; they both interest me too but I could only pick one.
I stayed away from family for a reason. I would find it impossible to pick between much-beloved grandparents and other family members who have left us.
I had a dream about my maternal grandfather recently and it was startling how clear his voice was and how well I remembered it.
I’m comfortable with my memories of the people who have passed and that seems like enough.
This exercise began because I have been asking members of the Prince Albert Raiders this question for the weekly posters that appear in the Friday edition of the Daily Herald.
A lot of the Raiders picked comedians and that opens another can of worms. I’m a huge fan of Kathleen Madigan, Ron White and John Caparulo, who all appear often on the comedy channels that I have on my XM satellite radio.
Athletes are another minefield. My childhood hero was Ken Dryden, who I actually had a chance to speak to many years later in Brandon.
Canadian triathlete Simon Whitfield is a hero, but so is British Ironman champ Chrissie Wellington. I enjoy watching MMA, so Georges St-Pierre, Clay Guida, Pat Barry and even Dana White would be on my list.
As a music writer for many years, I’ve already had conversations with people like Don Williams, Burton Cummings and Anne Murray, icons of the period I grew up in. But they were other people’s favourites, not mine.
Chatting with my personal musical icons like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bob Mould and Ice T intrigues me.
I’m also a history buff. Imagine listening to Julius Caesar or the great general Hannibal as he guided his war elephants and army over the impassable Alps prior to the battle of Cannae.
Or Winston Churchill as he was thinking about one of his speeches during the Battle Of Britain. Or even Martin Luther King Jr. as he preparing one of his civil rights marches.
I chose not to wade into religion because it’s a no-win conversation.
I admire art but not enough to put a Michelangelo or Picasso on my list.
That’s the beauty of the question. There is no right answer and no wrong answer.
It’s another one of those personal Rorschach tests. What you see in the question reveals more about you than what anyone else answers.
And where I’m concerned, dinner and conversation with my family and friends is just about perfect anyway.
• • •
I’m excited about a new partnership the Daily Herald has developed because it’s going to lead to some beautiful newspaper pages.
I went for coffee in October with Geoff Payton, who started the Northern Image Photographers club in 1993. He had a novel idea; instead of creating a competitive environment where people are outdoing each other to win awards, he would provide a nurturing environment where photographers could grow in their hobby.
It’s easy to see in the short time that I spent with the club last Tuesday that Geoff has succeeded. At one of their meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Arts Centre, people sipped on coffee and chatted before they began.
It’s clear that some good friendships have been made in what can be a very solitary hobby.
Anyway, back to my exciting news. The club has agreed to provide six to eight images for full-page displays in the Daily Herald.
I went for coffee with club member Philippe Gaudet last week and we hashed out many of the details, although the frequency of the page will be decided as move forward with this project. But very soon, you’ll have a chance to see the artful images captured by your friends and neighbours in the community.
And to end with a bad pun, that’s an exciting development.