Elmo Loves Crab Cakes!
Yesterday here in Baltimore, Maryland, it was a perfect day to welcome home a talented, Baltimore son and artist of world renown. Since ten years of age, this Turner’s Station performer has been carefully crafting his passion, culminating in a career of making the people of the world excited to see the color red.
He was giving a lecture and book signing at a local library and I thought it would be fun to meet him and to see what kind of foods he liked to eat. I arrived an hour early and I am not usually star-struck, but I was actually giddy with excitement. Apparently I was not the only one. The swarm of parents along with brigades of strollers and kids descended on the small library. There I was, standing in line, with what seemed to be a million kids, red stained Kool-Aid lips and a sugar buzz that vibrated like high voltage electric lines. The tension was as thick as Jello as we proceeded down the stairs to the room in which we would see the “man”. The children were directed to the front and adults to the rear. I instantly applied my college philosophy and asked the attendant, “define child”. With a rather cool look, I was relinquished to the rear (not fair!). Oh yeah, but, the cookies were in the rear, so there! Anyway, the “man” entered the stage and a small round of polite applause arose from the room. Then his friend was brought onto the stage and the shrill noise deafened the room and probably dogs within a fifty mile radius. The man and Emmy winning puppeteer, Kevin Clash, and his friend, Elmo instantly transformed the room into an almost rock star venue. But, instead of flicking lighters, sippy cups were raised on high with indistinguishable, high decibel babble. Kevin kindly took a barrage of questions. He wasn’t phased as he returned the answers over the crying and yelling kids and the dodging documentary camera man. He was then was escorted to the signing table.
The moving “mosh pit” of drool and screaming, along with the kids, undulated to the cramped room. I was forced to a small hallway where I could observe Kevin, graciously and without much of a bother, he signed his new book My Life as a Furry Red Monster and stood for pictures. I stood in the small hallway off to the side and met the rest of his family his father and mother, George and Gladys, his sisters, Pam and Anita, his brother, George Jr., and his daughter Shannon. I asked Kevin’s little sister, Anita, who was the cook in the family. She emphatically implied, it was her! She said that even though Kevin’s work was in New York his stomach was in Maryland and he loved good crab cakes. She said that the “family recipe” was definitely in Kevin’s collection. I asked if she would share the “recipe” and I received the same look as the attendant when I debated the term “child”. It really didn’t matter, I enjoyed meeting a great family and I eventually did get to meet Kevin for a very brief moment. Maybe I will eventually get to meet Kevin again, when he isn’t being filmed for a documentary, and we can talk about food and his great family. But until then, in a world lately filled with so much despair, we need the pleasant distraction of Kevin’s talents to make us laugh, love and feel the pure joy of our inner child.