Apr 16, 2007

Limited Brain Power and an anecdote about my Big Bro

Recently, my brain has been occupied with many things that distract me from my obligations to keep you, the reader, entertained by my speeling mistakes. Without going into the gory details, I can at least predict that there will be many times between now and August that I will not be posting as much. I have finals in a few weeks and they will be followed by an intense couple of months studying for the California Bar Exam.

On the flipside, I finally have my computer fixed so I will once again be able to post some pictures from my cellphone.

So as to leave you with something substantive in this post, I will tell you an anecdote of fond memory. I told this at Robert D. Meyers' funeral. He was my Jewish Big Brother starting from when I was 14 years old. He was diagnosed with cancer sometime around my first midterms in law school. He was sick for less than a year and he died the first week of my second year of law school. Now I am about to graduate from law school and I am thinking about him. He would have been proud.

So here's the anecdote:

Robert and I used to go on walks in parks including at Will Rogers State Park off Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades, CA. We would often take Swiss army knives and whittle the small parts off of fallen branches of trees and make walking sticks out of them. Later we would sand them down and put resin on them. It was fun and they were beautiful. (In fact, one of the only things I asked for when he passed away was one of his walking sticks.)

So one day, we were at the park and we had found good sticks. We were walking with them up the path which curves clockwise around the hill.

Suddenly, we heard a "THUP, THUP, THUP!!!" from around the bend. It was getting louder and it was scary. In a blink, a full-size deer with a set of many-pointed antlers hurtled down upon us at full speed. It almost knocked both of us over the outer edge of the path and down a steep incline. In its wake, we saw huge holes gouged out of the mud and rock path. The creature must have weighed more than both of us combined. ...and Robert was not an insubstantial guy.

We were stunned for a minute and commented on the close call we both had. It was pretty cool to escape that experience unscathed. We were a little giddy. As a precaution against further deer that might appear, we decided to keep to the inner part of the curved path and to be ready to use our walking sticks as defensive weapons. We would use them to deflect the deer away from us to the left as we ascended the path.

I should note here that seeing a deer was a pretty unusual thing for either of us. It was particularly surprising considering that the part we were in is surrounded by the homes of the rich and famous. We were (are) urbanites in a small sliver of nature surrounded for dozens of miles by sprawling city and suburbia. We have no idea where the deer came from or what caused its charge at ramming speed down the trail.

A few minutes later, there was another "THUP, THUP, THUP!!!" coming down the trail. Rob and I looked at each other and readied ourselves for what was coming. We staggered ourselves. He was slightly ahead of me and I was slightly more to the left of him. We both raised our sticks to head level as if we were going to bat baseballs with our thin 5 or 6 foot dried twigs. We both braced ourselves. We were ready.


Around the corner it came...

...THUP, THUP, THu...?!?!

...it was Anthony Hopkins!

The Actor.

He was long haired and had a few days growth of a beard. He looked like he was taking a few months out between movies. He was jogging on the trail in white sweatpants and (I think) a ratty white and grey t-shirt.

Needless to say, he was surprised to find two men with raised sticks blocking his path. He must have thought we were going to rob him like highwaymen.

Robert said, "Oh. It's you. We loved your last film. We're looking forward to your next one." FYI, this occurred after Silence of the Lambs and before Freejack.

Mr. Hopkins was not too talkative. He mumbled some sort of thanks and did not seem too enthusiastic about Freejack. Maybe it was the fact that Robert and I had forgotten to lower our sticks...

My memory of the event more or less ends there. We must have explained about the deer and wished him well. I don't even think we shook hands. I bet he ran faster after he left us. Robert and I finished the walk up the hill and did not see any more deer or celebrities. It was a good day.

I told that story at the funeral. It literally came to mind as I was walking up to say a few words about him. It was the first time that any of his friends and family had heard of the encounter. He must have kept that day for us. I was happy to share it. It was also the first time my mom or my wife heard me doing public speaking. They were impressed.

I feel good sharing that story with you too. It honors his memory.

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