As part of my recent blind-diving into social media -- starting the Elisberg Industries website and signing on to Facebook -- I was also brow-beaten by a friend to sign up for Linkedin. It seems like a perfectly good site for serious business interests, but utterly pointless for my purposes. Though we’ll see.
Anyway, on Linkedin they have a Northwestern Alumni area, and there was a discussion about Northwestern University winning the Gator Bowl, its first bowl win in 64 years. Most people wrote a sentence of two about "Go, rah, team" and wasn't that nice. I went further, though, and wrote a long note (that I basically reiterated here) about my dad having season tickets to Northwestern football for 51 years and a favorite story that involved him going to the Rose Bowl 15 years ago.
After a few private email exchanges that that brought, I got an email two days later from their boss, Morty Schapiro. I am sure that that name will mean nothing to you. But...Morton Schapiro is the freaking president of Northwestern University! He was so touched by the stories that he invited my dad and me to be guests of him and his wife next football season for a pre-game lunch and to sit with them at the game. He also had sent Gator Bowl “gear” to my dad. The graciousness was beyond expectation. I asked him one favor -- to write this all directly to my dad. And he very thoughtfully did.
By the way, it turns out that my pal Morty – as he signs his notes -- actually has a pretty close connection to the Writers Guild of America. He said that his wife, Mimi Rothman Schapiro, wrote six Lifetime movies. Perhaps her best-known is a biography of the Olympic gold medal skater, Oksana Baiul, (A Promise Kept: The Oksana Baiul Story.) In reading through her credentials, though, other than that one, she seems to like to write about killers. (But then, that’s good ol’ Lifetime network for you.) I figure that it must make for very different dinner conversation when he gets together with university presidents compared to most. There's even another Hollywood connection. His brother-in-law, Robb Rothman, is a successful agent.
Back to what's important. If I post nothing else on Linkedin, it's all been worth it. My dad was so pleased by the acknowledgment from the university president, particularly since he taught at the medical school for decades. He's also the envy of everyone at the residence with his Gator Bowl wardrobe. Yet another reason why I love Northwestern.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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