Sir Richard.

Do you know any honest-to-goodness celebrities?  I’ve had very, very few encounters with that stratospheric set, in fact, almost none.


I do have one encounter, and it’s been something I’ve thought about for many years, because I would dearly love to meet this person again and see if they remember me.  I know, that sounds odd and fairly conceited.  After all, why should a celeb remember little ol’ me?  Well, there is a reason…

Years ago – more than thirty – I went to school at a place called Waterford in Swaziland.  It was a boarding school on top of a hill just outside of the capitol, Mbabane.  Sir Richard Attenborough – yes, he of Jurassic Park and Miracle on 34th Street fame – was a patron of the school, and he visited one year while I was there.  There was a fierce cyclone at the time, and the river at the foot of the hill flooded.  A number of my classmates and I ended up carrying Sir Richard and his wife (and their luggage) across the swollen river, and on to a waiting taxi.  Would he remember me?  Perhaps not – if the story ended

As Sir Richard got into the waiting taxi, I keenly played the gentleman and closed the car door – firmly.  Which was all good except that Sir Richard’s hand was sill on the frame of the car.  He was inside the car, and his fingers were outside.  And the door was latched.

I’ll tell you: the man shuddered and shook and his face changed colours…  but he didn’t utter a word.  And a F-bomb would have been absolutely warranted.  I guess that’s what it takes to be a Sir.  Anyway, as a kid I was so stunned by my enormous gaff that I just stood there like an idiot, and before I knew it, Sir Richard and his entourage were gone.  I never even had the presence of mind to mutter an apology – and I always wished I had.

So whatdayathink?  Would he remember?  Well, I’ve always wondered, and secretly hoped life would toss me one of those circle-closers – where I’d stumble into a chance encounter and get to meet him and find out.  It hasn’t happened yet, but I did discover that Sir Richard has a twitter account…

So last night I said what the heck, and I sent him a tweet.  I wonder if he’ll read my tweet. And I wonder if he’ll remember that rainy day in Swaziland?  After all it was a very long time ago.

I’ll let you know if he does…


5 responses to “Sir Richard.

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The Doubting Writer

A blog by Dan Newman


A blog by Dan Newman

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