Day 192- Chris Matthews

Hello once again from frigid, beautiful New York City! Today, the weather was very beautiful, like yesterday. It was just a little windy, but the skies were beautiful– not a cloud in sight. Tonight, I hope to tell you about MSNBC anchor and political commentator Chris Matthews. Before anyone says anything, let me tell you about a piece of information (a fact, apparently) that I did not know about him. Although he may appear on the surface to be radically liberal, he describes himself as being “more conservative than people think I am.”

So, that should even things out, hopefully. In the end, he is simply a person, but an influential one at that! He has worked for four Democratic politicians, and was a speechwriter for Pres. Jimmy Carter.

Matthews is the published author of four books, and is currently the host of MSNBC’s primetime program, “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”

He is admired for his candor on his personal health issues, particularly when he revealed during a broadcast that he has diabetes. Also, he and his journalist wife, Kathleen, are co-chairs of a campaign for D.C. Catholic Charities.

Always a passionate individual, he can also be counted on to be the ultimate “watchdog” journalist. And, since he grew up on the right, and has worked on the left, I’m confident he has learned to view issues from both sides of the coin.

Are you ready to play "Hardball?" Matthews is, but he's also a softie!

Tonight was a whirlwind, to say the least. My parents and I spent the day conducting “research” into the prices and times for shows we might possibly see. I’m a total sucker for Broadway. Perhaps it’s my four years in a high school theatre program that helped nurture that interest, but I’ve always had a passion for the performance arts.

We got tickets to see “Jersey Boys,” a phenomenal musical based on the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. We had pretty good seats, albeit somewhat obstructed. (We had two in the first row, one in the second row, but you couldn’t see the whole stage because of a winding iron staircase on the stage!) Still, the sound and the lights and the singing and the choreography took my breath away and made me want to clap along!

As we made our way toward the exit after the show, we passed a group of people with developmental challenges. I believe they are from a group home of some sort, and that they were treated to a field trip to the theater. I thought to myself, how great it would be if there were a quality-of-life program that takes people with different physical and mental challenges to the theater! I consider my experiences with travel and the fine arts to be critical to my socialization skills, and to my self-esteem, as well. It feels good to have been exposed to so many cultures, and so many genres, from a young age.

By now, we don’t hesitate to gather a few playbills and head outside to the stage door, where all the actors and crew members have to exit the theatre. It seems to me that, perhaps because there was a much smaller cast, this was a much better meet-and-greet experience than the ones I’ve had in the past. The actors didn’t immediately don their dark glasses or whip out their cell phones, in an arrogant attempt to evade the awaiting crowd. In fact, they were incredibly sweet.

As one of the “Four Seasons” signed my playbill and posed with me for a picture, I had a genius idea. I said, “Mom, grab a flyer!” I was able to take the time to explain to each of them about “Holdin’ Out for a Hero” and my mission, and one of them promised he would post my flyer in the backstage area, where all of the cast hangs out.

Really, they could not have been more remarkable. I was humbled by their own humility of character, and their eagerness to spend a little time with the audience members.

It made me think that some days, I feel like “the little people”– the fans that are helping others get to the top. Other days, I feel like I truly have arrived! I think it’s okay to have days where you feel like both. I think it’s also critical that I remember both. I wouldn’t be a complete person if I weren’t sometimes the follower, and sometimes the leader.

(Yeah, man. That’s deep.)   

I’m going to bed.

Love, Laura 🙂

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