We had just attended a Voice Male concert at Utah State University. At the time, Voice Male was the hot, popular, don't-they-just-make-you-swoon vocal group on campus, and as most of the members were single, the crowd was full of college-age girls, all at some level of infatuation with one or more of those dapper young men. One of those dapper young men just happened to be our neighbor at the time, and in addition to being our neighbor, he was a very good friend of ours as well.
Well, at that particular moment (as we were leaving the concert), I was feeling rather brave (and silly), and as I looked around me at all the girls chattering and giggling, I very loudly (too loudly, actually) said to Heidi:
"AREN'T YOU GLAD THAT PHIL KESLER IS OUR CLOSE, PERSONAL, FRIEND?"
Several girls turned around to look at us at that point, and Heidi was just one step above being mortified. I on the other hand, was laughing uncontrollably.
I still smile to think of that memory.
So, in memory of that auspicious moment, I give you a short list of influential people with whom I have some kind of a close-ish relationship.
Tom Williams, host of "Opera Saturday" on Utah Public Radio (and co-host of "Open Forum" on the same station), has been known to lend me books and play "Zilch" with me.
Bob Bennett, U.S. Senator from Utah is my first cousin twice removed. (I don't believe we've ever had a face-to-face conversation, but still.)
Michael R. Hicks, composer and arranger of LDS music (and other music), served in the Santa Rosa California Mission at the same time that I did. I think we might even have been in the same zone at one point or another.
Michael Ballam is my boss (although he prefers it when I call him my "colleague"), and willingly sang three songs at my wedding luncheon.
Fred Adams , founder of the Utah Shakespearean Festival, has a daughter (named Dorcus) who used to babysit me.
David Miller, tenor in the group Il Divo, used to have my autograph. (I signed his checks when he worked as an ensemble artist for the Utah Festival Opera years ago--back before he was propelled into international stardom)
Phil Kesler, baritone in the group Voice Male, used to make me (and my roommates) dinner at least once per week, and let me practice his piano whenever I asked him to.
You know how they say it's not what you know, but who you know that matters?
Oh yeah baby, I am peachy keen.