Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Kindness of Strangers

Over the course of researching and writing six books (so far!), I've frequently had occasion to be impressed by the courtesies and favors extended to me by people I hardly know. Another instance took place this week, when I received a bulky package of material pertaining to my current project. The gentleman who sent me this (and I use the word "gentleman" advisedly) has never met me. He'd probably never heard of me before last week, when I contacted him via Facebook. But because I'm preparing a book on one of his favorite performers, he took the time to send me video copies of two films for which I'd spent the last several months searching in vain. He also included a disc of supplementary material, plus several beautiful lobby cards that are more than 70 years old.

It's moments like this that keep me going on this quest to document the lives and careers of performers from so many decades ago. And, at a time when hard-fought, oftentimes ugly, political battles have so many of us on edge, it's nice to see that this type of thoughtfulness still exists in our world today.

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