Saturday, December 19, 2009

Innermost Interlude

A recent trip to Southern California provided a bit of food for thought. Our daughter Becki was selected as a contestant on Jeopardy. We drove over to meet her; our son Sean flew down from the Pacific Northwest.

Typical of production schedules on a series that must do five fresh episodes per week, Jeopardy films five shows in a day. They turn around and do it again the next day. While the "normal" studio audience attends just the morning or afternoon taping session, the family and guests of contestants stay all day. Side note: Jeopardy has sixty-one answers (the object game is to come up with the correct question) per show. By the end of the fifth show, my brain was woozy with information!

It was the "in-between" times that provided my "thinker" some nourishment. A man named Johnny Gilbert is the familiar voice stating, "This is JEOPARDY!" at the beginning of each show. He is heard at various times, always off camera. He is also the guy who keeps the studio audience entertained between episodes. He has been with Jeopardy for over twenty-five years and has hosted other shows before this one. I think he must be about 110 years old (snicker), but his mind is razor sharp and his vocal chords are the stuff of legend. He has more stories than he can tell in a month, much less a day, mostly about the show or about other things in Hollywood.

Late that day, Cathy turned to me and said, "That Johnny Gilbert sure can talk."

Talking. Telling stories. That has been my life. Put me in the presence of people and turn me loose! Lately, though, I have discovered that I really enjoy writing. Writing focuses my thoughts far more than jabbering words. I can say more in less time and the reader can instantly choose to re-read that last sentence. Or not.

Thanks, Johnny Gilbert, for showing me a picture of the way I have been in the past. Writing has changed things for me.

I'm grateful.


addhumorandfaith said...

Hmmmm. As I read this I thought, "Me too!" I've always been a talker, but I too have found blogging a wonderful outlet for all those words. Not that I think I've slowed on the talking, but it's been very satisfying to add the writing too. I've learned alot about myself, where I come from, and who I really am through the stories I research and write.

In the short time we have known each other, you have blessed me many times with your words. Thank you, Sam. And Merry Christmas.

beckiwithani said...

You know what, though? I bet Johnny comes home at the end of filming days and is as quiet as his family has ever seen him. I seem to remember that happening on Sunday afternoons with a certain talker I know...

Sam said...

Sandy, Merry Christmas to you and yours, too! Thanks.

Becki, who? Me? Surely not! Actually, I think I'm even quieter now.

C. Beth said...

I'm glad you're discovering the joy of writing too. I guess you're NEVER too old to learn something new! ;)