Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Brushes With Greatness

We all have those stories, those "brush with greatness" stories. Take me, for instance. Fabian kissed my hand and I flew a flight with the guy who was once the Secretary of, hmm, uh, he was on Clinton's cabinet.

Anyway, I recently viewed
IMAX's Journey Into Amazing Caves on DVD and as soon as the water cave images appeared, I said "I bet Wes filmed that". I was right, he was the Director of Photography for the segment filmed in the Yucatan. Wes Stiles is globally known for his skills and talents as a water cinematographer but I met him while filming "Company of Animals", a show that appeared on HGTV during the network's first season. He was one of the photographers and I was a production assistant. I remember listening intently to his travel tales and truly being in awe. Wes was so animated that I couldn't help but be enthralled by his experiences as a cinematographer with National Geographic and his work here in his home state of Florida. His natural storytelling skills mixed with his vast knowledge of water ecosystems educated me as a listener.
Speaking of brushes with greatness AND Company of Animals...
In 1995, I was walking the shoreline at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. I treated myself to ten days in the Pacific Northwest and, at the time, had never seen the Pacific Ocean. It was a semi-cloudy day, which comes as no surprise to those from the area, and I'd just gathered a few small pieces of smooth driftwood to take home. (I collect itty-bits of nature from places to help remember beautiful places I've seen... i.e. raw cotton balls from a field in Alabama, stones from state parks, shells from sandy beaches, etc...) With my stash tucked away in my pocket and my camera in hand I continued my stroll when I heard a very distinct voice. This voice was one I was very familiar with... I knew it from television and from work. The voice belonged to Ted Brown.
As the voice came closer, I took a look at the man whose voice was so, so... distinct and said: Ted??
Ted: Juli??
Me: TED????!!
Ted: JULI????!!
Ted's Wife: T E D !? ?! !?
We were in complete disbelief. How could it be that we were on the same beach at the same time considering that beach was at the opposite corner of the country from where we call home?!? We were laughing in amazement and his wife was relieved to know that we knew each other from working on CoA back in Jacksonville. In fact, she and I probably met at the season wrap party but couldn't place the faces. At any rate, it was a true believe it or not experience or a brush with weirdness encounter and a reminder, yet again, of how small the world can be sometimes.


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