Monday, April 16, 2012

Alex Trebek

Who was the famous celebrity that my father recently guided around the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center?

I'm pretty proud of my father. He is a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, he was a great father and now in his "golden years" he is a first class docent at the Air and Space Museum based at Dulles International Airport.

My Dad and Alex Trebek
In my humble opinion he is the best docent they have, but I'm obviously biased and have only had tours given by him so it is probably not fair for me to judge.

Recently he drew the enviable assignment to conduct a museum tour for Alex Trebek.  At the end of the tour my Dad had his picture taken with the Jeopardy host, but I'm almost 100 percent sure he never asked for an autograph.

He has also done VIP tours for an ambassador and some other notable dignitaries. He is as comfortable with those folks as he is with the third graders from a Virginia elementary school.

My Dad, who is a very humble man was involved in an advertising agency during his real life work and I recall times when he had contact with celebrities. Although my memory is dim I recall asking him once after learning that he had met a celebrity if he had gotten an autograph.

"He didn't ask for mine and I didn't ask for his," my father answered. In his own way, my father was not impressed with celebrity and frankly that trait was passed on to me. During my career I have met a number of famous people and except for Chris Chelios, who signed my Red Wings jersey, I have never felt compelled to ask for an autograph.

Mr. Trebek offered my Dad two tickets to a Jeopardy taping, which my father declined.

It reminded me of another lesson my father taught me that served me well in life. One time he came home from work and told my stepmother, brother and I that he had been offered a free trip to the Caribbean for the whole family by a client.

"When do we leave?," was my immediate thought.

My father told me he didn't take the trip because if he did, despite the client's protests to the contrary, he felt that would put him in a position of 'owing' the client something and he didn't want to be in that position.

Maybe the best gift and lesson my father taught me was integrity. Anyway, enjoy the photo of my father and Alex Trebek.