Friday, May 7, 2010

He Once Slept On Our Couch

Bringing back memories of when we were "the place to stop" for all sorts of journalists.  I'd clean up the living-room/den/guestroom while the family and visiting journalist, or other big-wig guest, would be eating dinner, because the room generally wasn't fit for guests, distinguished or not.

One of the journalists who stayed over was Gerry Seib of the Wall Street Journal.  Davka, this week the National Council of Young Israel Weekly E-Update quoted from a recent article of his.

Seib's visit was quite a long time ago.  We were still living in the temporary prefabricated cement house.  We moved into this one twenty-four and a half years ago, so he was probably our guest the week of Israeli Independence Day in 1985 or 1984.  I remember the season, because he went with us on the Yom Ha'atzmut march in the Shomron, Samaria.  Over that week, he visited a few times, sleeping over at least twice.

Seib wasn't the first, nor only, journalist or big-shot we had over.  Our kids were experienced and rather blase` about them.  Growing up in Shiloh they saw and hosted more journalists, politicians and diplomats than relatives.  TIME Inc, BBC, New York Times, our kids knew them all.  Bobby Kennedy's daughter Kathleen Townsend was once over with a group of distinguished citizens from Baltimore.  I was furious with myself for not taking out the camera beforehand.  My luck she was davka sitting in front of the camera closet, and I was too embarrassed to ask her to move so I could photograph her.

One of our children was very suspicious about Gerry Seib:
"There's something wrong with him.  I don't think he's a real journalist."
"Real journalists take pictures, and he doesn't have a camera."

Kids, especially ours of course, can be pretty clever, so I mentioned her suspicions to him. Seib was impressed and told us to tell her that The Wall Street  Journal (at that time) almost never published pictures.

We moved to Shiloh for strong religious and ideological reasons.  We never expected to become media "stars."  But I guess in those days it was considered "news."


YMedad said...

My memory.

Batya said...

He was one of the nices of the many journalists we hosted.