Some people went to school with somebody who later became famous. Or they have famous ancestors like John Hancock or Jesse James. Options like that for me have pretty much been limited to the fact that Alfalfa from the Little Rascals was my grandma’s cousin. And according to my grandma, after he became famous, he came to visit and tore up the family bicycle riding it on the railroad tracks. Yeah, that’s pretty much the whole story. Wow. Aren’t you glad you know me? You want my autograph, don’t ya?
But, folks I’m happy to report that I no longer have to rely on good ol’ Alfalfa to fulfill my famous-person-knowing needs. That’s because one of my old friends is officially famous now. In fact you may have even heard of him. His name is Josh Bell. Uh, no. Not the violinist. Yeah, I know, that would be very cool, too. Especially since I’ve harbored a secret crush on Joshua Bell the violinist since the time that I met him when he played with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra in approximately 1985.
That whole violinist thing has long plagued my friend. Yes, much to his chagrin, they share even their middle name. Hard to make a name for yourself when somebody else has already made a name for themselves with your name.
However, in spite of such adversity, my Josh Bell has still managed to make a name for himself. In the realm of poetry. Indeed he’s a published author. You’re impressed, aren’t you? Is that better than Alfalfa or what? And get this—he’s so stinkin’ fancy that he lives in New York City. (All together now: NEEW YOORK CITY!!) And teaches at Columbia University. You’d think that would make my Josh Bell-The-Poet too good to come home to visit, or that he’d be so busy buying black turtlenecks, and pipe tobacco and just generally being a cliché that he wouldn’t have time to hang with The Little People anymore. (The Little People being me, not midgets, but I’m sure that he still manages to have time for both of us. Generous as he is.) Fortunately for me and my need to have a name to drop, however, that’s not the case.
In fact, this past weekend I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with Not-the-violinist-Josh Bell when he came out for dinner. And I told him, that just as my blog is number two on the google results when you search for Pete’s Pride Pork Fritters, so too, it would soon be one of the top destinations for folks searching for Josh Bell-The-Poet. And he said, “Great! I love pork fritters!” (I know, it’s like every word from his poetic lips is the very nectar of the gods, huh? Amazing.)
So, while I’m sure this post won’t do much to promote whatever mystique Josh Bell: The Poet may be cultivating, I hope the fact that I make a killer black raspberry pie will guarantee that he doesn’t dump me to hang out with the midgets. Or come back to break my bicycle.