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10:43am on Wednesday, 1st August, 2012:

One Away from Marilyn Monroe


I heard this morning that Gore Vidal had died. Ordinarily, it wouldn't matter to me when a privileged upper-class Americans I've never met died, but Gore Vidal is different for the simple reason that I did, in fact, once meet him.

I was in Thames TV's Teddington Lock studios in the mid-1980s to be interviewed about MUD1 for the show 4 Computer Buffs. Gore Vidal was there to record something for some other programme, but apparently he knew the presenter of 4 Computer Buffs, Tony Bastable. He showed up in the green room, Tony Bastable stopped mid-anecdote and said "Gore!", then they chatted for 10 minutes. He introduced himself to me and the others present (I think David Braben might have been one of them), shaking our hands as he did so.

Given that he's shaken hands with pretty well every famous American writer, actor, president and socialite since the 1940s, that puts me one handshake away from all of them.

Yay! Vicarious influence!

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).