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My Brush with Greatness

I was on a flight to Baltimore and as I walked through the first class cabin I noticed a small elderly gentleman
quietly and patiently trying to swim upstream against the incoming passengers to reach the bathroom.

I stepped back, holding up the line so he could pass and he smiled and thanked me. His face seemed familiar
but I couldn’t quite place it. I continued on, found my seat and settled in for what proved to be an uneventful flight.

After we landed I was making my way out and there he was again in the last row of first class and for whatever
reason I recognized him immediately this time. I offered him a chance to step out and he said he needed to wait
for the stewardess to help him with his bag but she was nowhere to be found. I offered to carry it for him and
he thanked me for my kind help.

Once we disembarked I said to him, “Thank you for making me laugh all these years. You may not realize it
but such simple things making someone laugh when the world seems against them can make the world of difference
to a person’s attitude. You certainly helped mine over the years.” After thanking me for my “kind and heartfelt words”
we made some wonderful small talk until he mentioned that he needed to go the “little old men’s room.”

I waited patiently guarding his bag outside the restroom and as he came out (and I truly don’t know what possessed me)
but I said, “did everything come out alright?” Then this nice little old man turned his head at a slight upward angle and
grinned that grin we all instantly recognize as Gomez Adams or “Buddy” from Night Court and said his signature line;
“Oh Yes, but I’m MUCH better now!”

That made my laugh so hard I can’t explain it. I had one of the most pleasant conversations I can recall
about his son the Hobbit, his love of Edgar Allen Poe and his work at John Hopkins.

I walked John Astin down to the Taxi area at the Baltimore airport where he thanked me so very very kindly
for my help and wished me and my family well with a wink. We parted ways and I will remember him forever.
Love ya and keep hammerin’
   Dan Freeman



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