Last night SweetCharity and DallasDirt and I represented the D Empire at at the World Affairs Council’s H. Neil Mallon Award Dinner at the Fairmont. This year’s award recipient was Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the Cooper Aerobics Center. Lots of big shots in the room. I spotted Ross Perot, Tom Leppert, and Roger Staubach without really trying.Â Lots of nice things were said by and about Dr. Cooper. Congratulations to him.
In the spirit of the evening, our table was like its own little United Nations. There were two British government workers, from the office of UK Trade and Investment and the UKTI Defence & Security Organisation. They were in town for a convention. Hadn’t seen much of Dallas other than the inside of the Ritz Carlton. (Though one of them had ventured over to the Sixth Floor Museum and found it moving. She took DART there and she — a Londoner — was frightened by the people riding along with her.)
There were also two women from the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth. They are both Caucasians, but they assured me they’re Japanese on the inside. In making conversation, I quickly fell back on my general knowledge of Japan, much of which is based on having taken History of Korea in college. They became strangely silent when I referenced the decades-long brutal occupation of Korea by the Japanese in the first half of the 20th century. (Note to self: “Don’t mention the war.”) I didn’t even get a chance to dazzle them with my knowledge of the land reforms of the American occupation that allowed democracy to flower in Japan.
Then the keynote speaker took to the stage. His name is Ray Zahab. He’s a Canadian man who ran across the Sahara, averaging 44 miles a day for 111 days, to raise awareness of the dearth of potable water in northern Africa. Later he trekked on foot to the South Pole.
His organization is called impossible2Possible. He left us with the message that we have absolutely no limits. We can achieve anything we set our minds too. And I left thinking, “Nice idea, but exactly accurate, is it? I mean, I’d love to be able to fly, but I don’t see that happening.” Then later I remembered seeing these nuts on 60 Minutes. So maybe Zahab is right.