Monday, April 7, 2008

My Stretch Limo Ride With Charlton Heston

Dennis was the president of the Government of the Student Body or GSB for short. I had been introduced to him by another mutual friend who knew my love of debate would make me great friends with Dennis. Together, we often spent hours in-between classes debating everything under the sun and since he was definitely a lot more conservative than me, we had lots to talk about. In fact, I credit Dennis for teaching me the art of debate and forgoing the all to common tactic of just throwing out catch phrases that seems to have taken over most people's sense of debate these days. He taught me to stay on topic and go over it point by point until you had a mass of points in your favor. If you didn't and yet agreed on the points, then you had the wrong belief.

Anyway, one day Dennis as part of his duties, had to go pick up someone at the local airport and asked if I wanted to go along. I wasn't too keen on going to meet some stranger but he said a stretch limo was involved and being a farm boy from rural Iowa who had never ridden in any limo much less a stretch one, I said yes. Dennis wouldn't tell me whom we were picking up so when Moses got out of the private jet and started walking towards us, I was shocked. I hadn't yet seen Charlton Heston in other films such as Ben-Hur or the Ten Commandments so I just knew him as Moses.

We shook hands, climbed into the limo and drove off for the quick ten-minute ride to where ever he had been heading. Dennis of course made pleasantries with Charlton but I was tongue-tied. I did get the sense that although Charlton seemed to be a nice guy, he had a sharp tongue when need be. When we got to the speaking engagement, I bid my goodbye while Dennis and Charlton went inside.

Since then, I have seen the Ten Commandments and parts of Ben-Hur, something that I need to see in its entirety someday soon, along with Planet of the Apes, The Greatest Show On Earth and other movies. I followed Charlton's non-Hollywood life as he transformed from a human rights crusader to the head of the National Rifle Association. Though I have always been a supporter of our right to bear arms, I have never been a fan of the NRA and his "From my cold dead hands" comment kind of through me off of his shining star for the rest of his life that ended this past Saturday. Still, I wish he God speed and can't help but wonder if God and Charlton are sitting down watching Ten Commandments about right now and having a good chuckle over it.

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