Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Today's Blind Items - You Seem Familiar - Kindness - Anniversary Month

Several years ago I was house sitting for a friend. Honestly, it was more of a please please can I stay in your guest house while you are out of town for a few months, and also by the way, could I do so rent free. Divorce is expensive. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. It is the moving out from one place and finding another and getting stuff to fill the place. It is so much easier to just sort things out at a friend's house while using their cable and internet and the occasional pay per view order you hope they don't notice. It was a pretty down point in my life. Lucky for me, my friend said yes and for the next three months I experienced a life journey like no other.

I was flipping through the channels one evening. It was summer and this must have been about 6 or 7pm. I had been sitting there a couple of hours and I was bored. I did something that night I don't normally do. I went for a walk. Yes, the time honored tradition of taking a walk through the neighborhood. In this case, the neighborhood was filled with leafy trees and nice wide sidewalks and no one ever seemingly using them. Oh sure, there were a few people out, but not many.

I started walking and about a half block from the house I saw a really tall guy walking who was wearing shorts and a t-shirt with a baseball cap. He was pretty thin but I remember so bronze. Like a spray tan every morning kind of bronze. He was walking in the opposite direction and we both said hi to each other as we passed. The kind of awkward hi when you know you are supposed to say something, but don't really quite know what to say.

A few days later, the same scenario played out with my boredom and who should I see again, but the same guy wearing the same clothes but a different hat. We said hi a little more pleasantly this time around and again continued on our merry ways.

i started walking on a fairly regular basis but didn't see him again for about a week. When I saw him again, he was in bad shape. I didn't know it at the time. All I noticed from about a block away was him holding on to a tree to keep from falling. As I approached, he was even more thin and the bronze was not quite as bronze. I asked him if everything was ok and he said he was, but I was really doubtful. I asked him if he needed some help. He said he would be ok. He took off his hat to wipe the sweat beneath it and I got a good look at him for the first time. I asked him if we had met before because he looked really familiar. He said that he didn't think so. After he had caught his breath, he seemed to get a second wind. It was then he told me he had been undergoing chemo and this last treatment had really taken a lot out of him. He said he would be ok and after a couple of assurances we both went our separate ways.

A few days later we were going to pass each other, but he stopped and said thanks and that he apologized if he didn't act appreciative over the offer of help. I didn't think he had anything to apologize for but he wanted to make sure. We started talking and started walking. He told me he was a doctor. It was the truth, but not the whole truth, but I didn't know that at that time. He started talking about his cancer and the treatment and explained how chemo worked and the side effects but did it in such a way that it was more like story telling than a doctor being all medical.

Over the next month or two we would often run into each other and he would talk and I would listen. He railed against health insurance companies. Not for himself, but for others he saw in treatment. he knew people not covered at all because of pre-existing conditions or others that had reached their policy limits. He confided in me that he was currently bankrolling about ten such people. Ten doesn't sound like a lot, but their bills were costing him about $200K a month. At some point that summer he told me he was not going to live, but was trying to drag things out as long as possible. It was close to Labor Day when he told me he was up to supporting 35 patients and was spending close to $1M a month. He had set up a foundation which he hoped would be able to support 100 or more patients at a time for the rest of time. He talked about everything and but would give these 30 minute lectures about life and what people can do for each other and the miracles of science. He said he should have died months ago but because he had a purpose to help others that it had given him a lift. He talked about wondering if that lift was some type of chemical in the body and whether it could be found and produced. I last saw him about the middle of September. I was walking less. He was walking less. I was about to move out of the guest house. There was no goodbye. Just one day I was gone and I assumed he would be doing his walks. We never even exchanged names.

The first week of November I was looking at Variety and there he was, just staring at me. He had died the previous day. It was quite the shock to the industry he had died. Apparently no one knew. I think it is fair to say he was a permanent A+ lister. Behind the scenes guy, but A+ list. You can't look at that body of work and the things he did in life and the things he set up for after his passing and not make him A+ list.

27 comments:

sandybrook said...

I think this is wrong but I'm going to say Dr. Jerry Buss who was the owner of the Lis Angeles Lakers

MontanaMarriott said...

I want to say Tony Scott, Ridley's brother but he was not a tall guy per the BI.

Me said...

And then enty woke up. It was all a dream.

Tricia13 said...

Bruce Paltrow?

sandybrook said...

He died of cancer in 2013

MontanaMarriott said...

Like that guess since he was 6'1 but says he died in Italy. Could be that he traveled there towards the end?

JMoKo said...

Steve Jobs? 6'2", Pancreatic Cancer

Majik8bong said...

Totally Michael Crichton.

Tricia13 said...

@MM also timeline doesn't fit if only a few years ago I think...sandys guess makes sense

Tricia13 said...

Oh- Michael Crichton is a solid guess. He was a physician with medical degrees from Harvard I think?! Great call

The Troublemaker said...

Script doctor?

back again said...

+100000---I totally agree @Majik8bong!
I was shocked when Michael Chrichton died and he's been responsible for our hughest sellling books & movies--Jurassic Park, Coma,Westworld,ER

back again said...

He was literally a genius & he did have a medical degree which iswhy his books like Coma, Andromeda Strain,etc were so detailed & accurate....but Maaaaan, that guy's imagination & variety of topics was astounding...I loved Rising Sun to Prey!
Nice one @ Majik8!!!---you made me nostalgic because i remember devouring Jurassic Park in a day & thinking this guy's a fun writer!!

back again said...

ohhh, and I loved his book "Disclosure" reverse sexual discrimination--genius & topical.

LilbitofHope said...

Michael Crichton

back again said...

hugh + biggest=hughest

back again said...

By The Way, Good Blind Enty!!!!

NV said...

Gary Glasberg?

back again said...

oops, Robin Cook wrote " Coma"...not Crichton.....still,i loved that page turner too!

david said...

Universal Pictures vice chairman and COO Rick Finkelstein

LilGator said...

100%. He was incredibly tall (6'9"), had a medical degree, died of cancer in LA in 2008, and he had a charitable fund designated in his will.

david said...

I want to change my answer to Micheal Crichton.
He was a doctor.

cebii said...

Crichton wrote a biography called Travels. It is a great read if you can find it. He was a really really brilliant guy.

Pearl said...

"...but did it in such a way that it was more like story telling than a doctor being all medical." Definitely Michael Crichton. He was so wonderful. F**K CANCER

back again said...

*harassment

Catherine said...

Michael Crichton fits the timeline, having died in November and Entry seeing the article around that time.

Sheepie said...

Sounds like a diamond of a guy. Rest in peace

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