Over beers a colleague raised my eyebrows by beginning a sentence with, “So I walked in the Oval Office…” like walking in the Oval Office was just a casual thing everyone does at some point. It turns out he acted as a science advisor for two Presidents. And not just a meeting with a cabinet member here or there, but regular meetings lasting more than an hour.
I decided to think of some of the brushes with serious greatness I’ve had. I don’t know if the following list is bragging or not, since I didn’t do any of those things. To the extent we are the average of the people we know, it says something about me.
- One guy I know met regularly with two Presidents—Ford and Carter—as a science advisor
- One guy I know (and sang karaoke with) won an Oscar
- At least one guy I know met Albert Einstein
- I work with a four-time Olympian
- I’ve met four Nobel Prize winners
- I danced next to a President’s daughter at a friend’s party and might have said a few words to her
- A guy I knew worked with the Rolling Stones, the Doors, and Igor Stravinsky
- A guy I know works with Ornette Coleman