Sunday, August 18, 2013

Other jobs I'd like...

Yesterday's post was so well received, I thought I'd share another one along the same vein. Forgive me if this is shorter than usual. I feel terrible and it is Natalie Wood Day on Turner Classic Movies.

Here are a few other jobs I wish I had -- ones I think about during those Walter Mitty moments...

Being Charles Kuralt -- Longtime Pull Up A Chair readers know this one. I have often dreamed of taking what I do for the Shopper-News and doing it from sea to shining sea.

Oh, I couldn't do it with Kuralt's eloquence and mastery of language, but maybe I could do it in print, about a quarter as well as Kuralt. His "On the Road" segments were my favorite part of the old "CBS Evening News." I own a lot of them on DVD.

After all, Kuralt said two things I very much believe:

"It does no harm, just once in awhile, to acknowledge that the whole world isn't in flames, that there are people in this country besides politicians, entertainers and criminals."


"The everyday kindness of the backroads more than makes up for the greed in the headlines."

Being Ed Murrow -- I'm not and never will be anywhere near Murrow's universe, but, gosh, I admire that guy. In addition to all the important work he did with Fred Friendly, he also hosted "Person to Person," interviewing everybody from Bing Crosby to Liberace, all while the wisp of smoke floated up from his fingers.

Being on "What's My Line?" Yet another fact that won't shock all five of my longtime readers. I love this show. It is by far the classiest, coolest, most stylish "game show" in network history.

Half the time I want to be John Charles Daly, news reporter during the week for ABC, erudite host  of "WML?" on Sunday nights for CBS. The other half of the time, I wish I were Bennett Cerf, the hokey wit of the panel, but as his day job, co-founder of Random House at the high-water mark of 20th century American literature. Heck, Arlene Francis and Martin Gabel were his next door neighbors!

"That's three down and seven to go...Mr. Cerf?"

(Look up some of the mystery guest segments from "WML?" on YouTube. It's a "Who's Who" of 20th century stars from all galaxies.) Here is my favorite.

Working for The New Yorker in the William Shawn era -- Every writer's dream. A few years ago, Garrison Keillor played out my fantasy in a fun novel called "Love, Me" I would have missed had it not been for my friend and fellow bibliophile, Mercer University professor Dr. Bridget Trogden. Read it, if you're of a certain persuasion.

Being "The Announcer" -- Johnny Olson, Ed McMahon, Gary Owens ... I know, for example, I lack the talent to be Carson, so let me be Ed. For years, introducing the guests and saying, "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!" was on my bucket list. I also had this incredible urge to exclaim, "Get ready to match THE STARS!" every time I watched "Match Game." And, yeah, I sometimes say "From beautiful downtown Burbank!" when nobody's listening. Sock it to me!

Have a good week, y'all. See you in the Shopper. Don't miss my column this week on Archie "Hee Haw" Campbell. Some things may surprise you. (This particular link will work for one week.)

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