One of my favorite Ken Burns films is the 1994 series Baseball. Now, don’t get me wrong – The Civil War is arguably his best and it’s truly iconic and totally magnificent. However, if a non sports fans like myself can be riveted to every minute of a nine-episode mini-series about America’s pastime then that’s pretty special. Also, it was during promotion for this documentary series that I met the esteemed director so that no doubt colors my affection.
With that in mind, I spied this poster for Baseball in a co-worker’s cubicle a while back and snapped the pic. Play ball!
As you might imagine, working at a TV station like UNC-TV allows a person to meet any number of celebrities, big and small. Some have appeared as guests on original programming we produce, others have assisted with on-air fund drives to promote their own shows. Some have stopped by to take part in events and others were just passing through. Regardless of how they got here, an encounter with someone whose name recognition far exceeds my own can range from run-of-the-mill to downright thrilling.
So I thought I’d put together My Top Five Public Television Celebrity Encounters. These only include folks I met in person – someone I talked with face to face, rather than just stood with in the same room (otherwise Julia Child and Bill Nye would be on the list). Also, the list does not include people with public broadcasting connections whom I met outside of work at, say, a Doctor Who convention (Elisabeth Sladen and Jon Pertwee, for example). And I obviously do not include celebrities that stopped by UNC-TV if I did not meet them in person (oh so close, James Taylor and Nathan Lane!).
Regardless, it’s a fun list. All these lovely people I did get to say hello to at least once. So enjoy MY TOP FIVE: PUBLIC TELEVISION CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS. Continue reading →
“It is played everywhere … in parks and playgrounds and prison yards … in back alleys and farmers’ fields … by small boys and old men … raw amateurs and millionaire professionals. It is a leisurely game that demands blinding speed … the only game in which the defense has the ball. It follows the seasons, beginning each year with the fond expectancy of springtime and ending with the hard facts of autumn.” – John Chancellor, narrating the first episode of Ken Burns’ Baseball (“Our Game”)
Documentary-filmmaker Ken Burns has been named as grand marshal of the 2016 Rose Parade. The award-winning director of The Civil War, Baseball and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea will do the honors on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California.
Happy birthday to documentarian Ken Burns! From baseball to jazz to war, it’s hard to imagine a segment of American life he hasn’t tackled and presented to viewers in a fresh, exciting way. So blow out the candles, Ken! I expect the birthday video will soon become a five-part series, complete with Peter Coyote narration.
What so special about a baseball? I think having Ken Burns’ autograph on it makes it pretty special.
The baseball pictured was a souvenir I picked up at the 1994 PBS convention. Mr. Burns was there to promote his new documentary mini-series, Baseball, and the balls were given out by the producing station, WETA. Ken Burns was doing the meet and greet and signing said sporting equipment for the attendees, myself included.
I amassed a lot of keepsakes during my time at UNC-TV and I have to say this one is surely among my favorites.