Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Ghostbuster goes to the other side

Harold Ramis as Egon
I saw Ghostbusters at summer camp, with a group of guys whose names I can't remember but who left me with a feeling of camaraderie I guess I'm still trying to find all over again. That film was brilliant, funny and just speaks to me because of when I saw it. And as funny as Bill Murray is, even a comedy icon needs a straight man to throw him setups. That guy was Harold Ramis, who passed on Monday.

I met him once. It was in college, where instead of the normally stuffy business executives I had to work to find interest in (No, I've always dreamed of managing medical device sales in the regional Midwest, really!) an actual Ghostbuster showed up. He was physically bigger than I thought he would be, long past his Egon Spengler prime, but still a bright spot on the closeup schedule. I also remember as the crowd started to thin out as people headed back to class, asking him seriously about writing professionally. Instead of brushing me off, me a young black kid he'd just met, he listened to my concept and gave me a few names of companies where I should submit my work. Now that I go over that moment in my mind I still can't believe he was so gracious.

Thank you Mr. Ramis. For listening. And for Ghostbusters. Stripes. Animal House. Caddyshack. Groundhog Day. But mostly for listening.  

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