Sometimes you feel like family with people who are not relatives, actually often. I have a brother who is not my “real” brother. For any of you who knew me in my radio days you’d know Dr. Dean Edell is a very important person in my life. I produced his radio show and he gave me a chance to become not only his on-air foil, but to co host a TV show of his. Professionally I owe a great deal to him. In Addition, his influence on my life as a mentor is so immense I have called him my “second dad”, sometimes I have even suggested that he “re-raised me.” Some people need to grow up again, I was one of those people. As if that were not enough, he and his wife Sharon have been warm friends to me.
I reluctantly stepped away from the show, because I felt I had to grow professionally and creatively. If you’ve ever had to separate from a mentor you know how hard it can be. I gave him 10 months notice.
That was in mid 1999. We have kept in touch and I have even filled in for Heather sometimes, my friend who took over my producing job. But, I have missed talking to Dean and getting his counsel. This past weekend Vivien and I went to Northern California and spent the weekend with he and his wife Sharon in their home at the intersection of nowhere, and where the hell am I? It is really, really remote. I loved catching up with them, but most of all to see them with Vivien filled my heart.
You know how you feel when your parents and your kid are digging each other? That’s how being with Dean and Sharon felt for me. Dean kept trying to connect with Vivien and make her laugh, sometimes she was shy, and sometimes it worked. He is a pro, he and Sharon have 8 grown children between them and about 7 grand kids.
We were walking back from the river one day and Vivien, who was walking with Sharon and I suddenly said, “I want to run and catch up with him.” She dashed to catch up with Dean (her floaty on his head), and took his hand. They walked hand and hand back home.
Another family portrait.