Friday, April 17, 2015


Marz and I went to see Carl Bernstein (Watergate!) speak last night at a free Town Hall Forum downtown.
You know, he's Dustin Hoffman in All the President's Men (to the right; Bob Woodward, Robert Redford on the left).

I went because he was kind of a hero of my youth––not that I paid a lot of attention to politics, but he was a good guy in a rotten time––and also because after just one week of working at home again, I remember how isolating it is and that I must be careful to get out among people.

It's always impressive to see people at the top of their game, of course, and Bernstein was a lot of fun--humorous, serious, engaged... but what impressed me most was that before the event started, he sat gazing with interest at the audience in front of him--looking all around, even up to the balcony. 

Marz said she'd noticed that too: it was clear he was studying the crowd, and you could see that after fifty-five years of reporting (he started when he was sixteen), he's still actively curious.
Really neat!

I'm always looking around at audiences too, to gather impressions. 
As usual at these Town Halls, the crowd was mostly affluent and middle-aged or older. 

What struck me most last night was people's hair: almost every head was coiffed to perfection.
If you could count how many dollars this crowd had spent on hair care in the past month, it'd probably equal the numbers of hairs on their heads.  (Given that this crowd had thinning hair...)

Marz commented, "We're in the middle of NPR [national public radio]."

I feel better about my writing job now--I don't get to [have to] meet my informants in underground garages, and it's not original reporting, but it calls on the same kind of attention: 
being curious enough to find and collate and share, in Bernstein's words, "the best obtainable version of the truth."


Zhoen said...

There is a wonderful Secrets of the Dead called Dick Cavett's Watergate, just came across it this week. Bernstein is interviewed there. D did his Thesis on Watergate. He'd loved to have been there with you, as would I.

The Truth, - T. Pratchett, has many references to Deep Throat.

Fresca said...

Oh, how fun it must have been to research Watergate in depth! Disturbing too, though in the end, the bad guy does depart...

Fresca said...

P.S. I mean, what a cast of characters! Terry Pratchett could hardly have created a weirder crew.

poodletail said...

What an excellent way to spend an evening. Was it held at Westminster Church (as the Town Hall Forums of old were)?

Fresca said...

Yep, that's the place, POODLE.
They usually hold the Forums at lunchtime, as you may remember, but sometimes they're in the evening, like this one was.