Friday, February 03, 2017

Dear Cindy

While I originally wrote this speech for when Cindy is to be awarded the Mark Twain Prize, I make an exception and give it here:
Cindy, as I put fingers to keyboard to make note of this most glorious of occasions, it is to look back on the career of one of the true giants of the industry. And by the industry I of course mean the business. While our paths crossed for such a short window of our lives, it was like a comet burning brightly across the daytime sky. Or perhaps a UFO. I quickly realized you were a major player in the Living Science theatrical universe, a solar system I knew I wanted to explore. You took me under your wing and accepted me into your cast. For this I am internally grateful. For that as well as your delicious cookies.
It is only the greatest among us whose talent and personality can lift those around them to greater heights. This is certainly true for Cindy Switzer. To have personally benefitted from your knowledge, experience, and mere presence is something for which I am truly grateful. Yet Cindy yields all this glory to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   
Ah, the memories. One of our first collaborations was on the Sandy Delenick / Tammy Johnston comedy as aptly named “The Videographer’s Assistants.” Little did I know that your hilariously devious mind would write me into the skit. Forever after the world would know me simply as Krypto. Yet few knew it was your genius that led to the stardom I enjoy to this day.
We move forward in time to Gulf Shores Alabama: an unlikely land of tigers and clowns. To this day whenever I come across a clown, I buy it and have it shipped to your house. Fortunately for you and Cliff, but tragically for Cynthia Switzer of Woodstock, WA, my poor handwriting has erroneously shipped countless clowns across the country. It is also interesting to note that the infamy that clowns in today’s society now subsist can be traced back that fateful week.  
And to this day, though I may go weeks or months without crossing paths with Cindy, when we see each other we continue to have the same reaction – we both burst into laughter. I’m sure it will be this way for the rest of our lives. And for this too I am thankful.  
In life we are not always fortunate enough to be able to choose every part we play. Since you all last saw me I have begun a deep preparation for a new role, for a major part for which I have been cast. For this reason when next you see me, you may not recognize me. I have been cast in the role of an older middle-aged man. But do not fear, for inside my mind I am still the immature person you know and love.
Cindy, however, has defied the aging process: looking younger every time I see her. No wonder Cliff always has a smile on his face – he gets to live life with Cindy.
Best wishes for a most Happy Birthday!

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