When I was a newspaper reporter, I interviewed a lot of interesting people: the woman who had been taken from her Ukrainian village and forced into slavery by the Nazis; the woman whose childhood recovery from leukemia was deemed the third miracle that led to the sainthood of Elizabeth Ann Seton; the dog owners whose Bouvier de Flandres won more competitions than any other dog in a single year; and actor Benicio del Toro, not long before he won an Academy Award for Traffic.
|Oh, boy, I wish the interview with del Toro|
had been in person and not on the telephone.
Shhhh! Don't tell Elvis Aaron Schwarz.
But because of circumstances, I missed out on a couple of interviews I really wanted to do.
For example, I had a "date" with my favorite historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, that I didn't get to keep.
And now that I've seen Argo, I'm really kicking myself over the time I almost met retired CIA operative Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck in the movie, which I reviewed HERE). Tony Mendez retired from the CIA quite some time ago and married another former CIA agent. The two of them, along with Tony's son, have become artists, with a studio in rural Washington County, Maryland. The county where I lived. The county where I was a reporter.
The Mendez family very graciously invited children from an elementary school to visit their art studio. In the county where I lived. In the county where I was a reporter.
Guess who got the assignment to cover the story?
Although I didn't know at the time that Tony Mendez had been such a big deal in the CIA, I knew he was a former agent who had written a book about his work called The Master of Disguise.
Before I was to go to the Mendez's studio, I studied my map. The studio had to be in a place close enough to the elementary school so that the kids could get there. I looked and looked, and absolutely nothing seemed familiar. I had never been to that part of the county.
In the end, I missed the visit to the art studio. I just plain couldn't find it.
So that's the time I almost met Tony Mendez, who helped rescue six Americans from Iran during the hostage crisis and was involved in many other high-end hush hush operations. I guess he was still so good at hiding that I couldn't succeed in my part of the hide-and-seek game.
I told my boss I was sick, and that's why I didn't get the story. Shame on me for lying, but now that I've seen the movie, I feel as if I've really been punished because I didn't get to meet Mendez.
Oh, why hadn't the GPS been invented yet?
Infinities of love,