Growing up in suburban New Jersey usually felt mundane. Nothing exciting ever happened here. We couldn't wait to go to college and leave. In fact, I fantasized taking off in my high school graduation gown -- never to return.
Who knew then that ? Or rather, next to greatness. Or more likely, kind of near future greatness. Occasionally. Twice removed.
As a kid, I thought my chance at greatness by minor association was a miss.
Did I ever see Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Stone Pony before they were famous? No. But my grandfather was the CPA for drummer, Mighty Max Weinberg's … mother.
By then Springsteen and Weinberg were already legendary. I asked/begged my grandfather to please, please, please get me a backstage pass or even a ticket to a concert or just an autograph. He felt it was unprofessional to ask so he wouldn't. Did I mention I was the oldest of his two only grandchildren? Still, nada. We had to sleep on line for tickets, like everybody else.
The only celebrity -- and I use that term flexibly -- that I knew while she was famous -- again, famous being used loosely, was Julie Montgomery. She played a fairly big role on the soap opera One Life To Live. She would miss high school to do the show and would come to school sporadically. I recall being at a Sweet 16 with her. We were secretly envious. Or maybe not so secretly. Later, she appeared Revenge of the Nerds.
What I didn't know then, was that I was surrounded by future greatness. Or sort of semi greatness. I went to camp with Ian Ziering who would later achieve Beverly Hills 90210 fame. He was friendly with my sister. In those early days, he was mostly on television commercials. A few years back, I rooted for him on Dancing with the Stars.
I remember knowing a boy in high school, who was also in television commercials. OK, I didn't really know him, but because he was in commercials, I was aware of him when passing in the halls. His name was Jay Greenspan and he was a couple of years older than me. Years later, he looked different without his hair, but I recognized him immediately when he changed his name to Jason Alexander and played George Costanza on Seinfeld.
I graduated high school with "it girl," , older brother. Sadly, he passed away at a young age, in a hiking accident that I learned from an interview she gave.
I took classes with now a renowned economist. He was nominated by President Obama to be U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for economic policy. Clearly, I must have been placed in those classes, in error. We didn't have computerized class lists, then. It's pretty safe to assume that I wasn't in his math classes. Must have been art or study hall.
Saving the best for last, I think, I may, possibly, have taken gym with a potential future President. That's right, our governor, who was one year behind me in school. So, for that reason, and that reason alone, I implore him to please make a run for the White House. I need a major brush with high school greatness. My others are getting rusty.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that veterans of Rudy Giuliani's 2008 campaign are now assessing, strategizing and advising him on the feasibility of a Presidential campaign with less than 100 days until voting will begin. With the clock ticking, perhaps I can help.
While doing intense research for this column -- taking out my yearbook -- a piece of paper fell out. It was a memo to all graduating seniors, titled Commencement Instructions. The first instruction was who would lead us in and stand out in front, the Marshalls. Yes, the first of two Marshalls -- was Chris Christie. He was the President of his class.
Clearly, this man is a natural leader, chosen to stand out in front. If he can lead graduation, why not the country? No need to fritter time or money on research -- tick, tick, tick.
Here are the facts: A tabloid claims that Rick Perry has ties to the KKK, Mitt Romney is no longer looking Presidential, Michele Bachmann -- need I say more? We need a good horse race. And I need good cocktail party conversation starters. Come on Christie: You're from New Jersey. Baby You Were Born To Run!