Originally created 05/20/05

Pop culture expert was light-years ahead

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future.

- Niels Bohr

The sixth and, some say, final Star Wars film is out this week, and I keep thinking of my old friend Don.

He was a college fraternity brother, a brainy engineering student who had a sixth sense when it came to popular culture.

Usually, we talked about music.

We walked into a record store back in the mid-'70s and I asked him who I should be paying attention to.

"Bruce Springsteen," he said.

"Who's he?" I asked.

"A guy up in New Jersey. He's going to get big."

To show him I valued his advice, I found that the store did indeed have an album by the aforementioned artist, and I bought and liked it very much.

So did a lot of other people.

Less than a year after our conversation, Bruce Springsteen was on the cover of Time magazine.

Don did stuff like this all the time. He was ahead of just about everyone on entertainment trends.

So naturally I was curious when he called me at this newspaper back in early 1977 and asked whether we got the publicity packets for upcoming movies.

I told him we did indeed receive such fare, usually a thick folder filled with publicity photos and other goodies meant to encourage free promotion for upcoming shows.

"See if you can get the one for a new movie called Star Wars," he said. "I think it will become valuable."

I asked him what this Star Wars movie was about, and he told me it was sort of like Star Trek but much cooler.

I would like to say I quickly saw the value of his insight and went out and began acquiring every bit of Star Wars memorabilia I could find.

But I didn't.

I think I simply reminded him that Star Trek had been kicked off TV years before and I doubted many people cared to see either it or something like it.

"That might change," he said mysteriously.

The Force, as usual, was with him.


TODAY'S JOKE: A rural doctor decided to take a vacation, and turned over his practice to his son who had just finished medical school.

When the older man returned, the youngster told him, among other things, that he had cured Miss Vanderbilt, an aged and wealthy spinster, of her chronic indigestion.

"My boy," the doctor said, shaking his head, "I'm proud of your expertise, but I really must tell you, Miss Vanderbilt's indigestion is what put you through college."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.


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