Steve Jobs, Ryan White & Steven Tyler

In preparation for an upcoming “team building” exercise at work, I was recently asked to name three people, living or dead, that I would like to invite to a dinner party and to explain my choices…I think my choices would surprise most people. I know there will be folks on the team who list names like “Jesus” and “Ronald Reagan”…I suppose both are perfectly fine responses, but not for me…

The first person who came to mind as I sat down to think about this was Steve Jobs. Man alive…what a visionary! If you haven’t read his biography – do so…what a complicated, driven, creative, insightful man…there are many stories of how difficult he was. But, I would’ve loved to have worked for him. I know myself well enough to be fully aware that I would have hated him as a boss, but…good God almighty…what could I have learned from him?  And I wonder what brilliant, whiz-bang technologies did he take to the grave with him…the world lost a dynamic leader when Steve Jobs passed away.

The second person may not be someone that you remember…back in the ’80’s there was a young boy named Ryan White who contracted HIV through contaminated blood he was given as a treatment for his hemophiliac condition.  He was just a young teenager when he was diagnosed with AIDS.   This all happened back when HIV/AIDS was an absolute unknown and the medical community had no idea what it was or how to treat it.  Also, people who tested positive were treated like lepers…outcasts.  Even though the doctors stated that Ryan posed no health risk to the other kids in his school, he was expelled.  When his mother tried to take him back to school, due to the sheer ignorance, there were protests and rallies against this poor child and his mother.  I cannot imagine how this family got through such an ordeal.  I think they are shining examples of perseverance and grit…both which of I need and want more of.  I would love to talk with this innocent young man to find out how he coped…facing a frightening terminal illness on top of dealing with horrible humans who were saying terribly hurtful things about him and his mom.

And…my final dinner guest would be…wait for it…the Demon of Screamin’ himself…Mr. Steven Tyler from Aerosmith.  This is the guest  who I think will surprise most of the folks who really do not know me.  I guess I don’t really fit the image of a rocker chick but…I admit it…I am smitten with Steven Tyler.  The truth is…most women either adore him or find him disgusting.  I find him to be fascinating…I met him briefly backstage at a concert a few years back.  He was ULTRA charming…did not fit the image of a rock legend.  He was humble…I was falling all over myself…gushing…not able to get many words out…just “Oh my God…I cannot believe I am standing here talking to…YOU!”…he smiled and said “Baby, it’s because of people like you that I have the most amazing life.  I will stand here and talk to you as long as you want…”  How cool was that?  Aside from the fact that the entire Aerosmith crew puts on one hell of a show…and if you haven’t been to one of their concerts, do it before they retire…I love their entire story…virtual unknown kids who worked their asses off…found their way to fame and fortune…lost it due to drugs and really bad decisions…worked their way back up to success.  Most people do not find a fraction of the success that Tyler found the first go-round…let alone find it a second time.  I’d just like to pick his brain to find out how he did it. (BTW…this is  a photo I shot of Steven at a concert in DC a couple of summers ago…my seat was right next to the catwalk…HEAVEN!…and check out the “Yo Mama” on the bottom of the mic stand! LOL!)

And so…that’s my fictional dinner party…nice being the only girl!  Good Lord…what on earth would I feed them…and where would hide the cats…what would I wear???  Glad this is a fictional dinner party…I’d be a total wreck by the time my fictional guests arrived!

Thanks for stopping by!

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