By the time this post posts, the 2012 Olympics will be only a smattering of sweat, endorsement deals, and a few medals Michael Phelps dropped on the way home. Among the standout performances, two American gymnasts in particular caught my attention. Not for their cute outfits, toothpaste smiles, and medal counts, but for what was (and wasn’t) said about them. Gabby Douglas is African American; Aly Raisman is Jewish. These are facts. Sure, there were a few easy comparisons and benchmarks, as American media likes to put everything in tidy, “newsworthy” categories. But I considered these strong young women as Olympians and stultifyingly talented, well-trained athletes first, before even thinking about their cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Two weeks ago, I was scheduled to do a live radio interview with the talented Mr. Cyrus Webb on Conversations Live! Radio. Cyrus and I had worked together about a year ago, and I knew him to be professional, enthusiastic, and passionate about books. I was looking forward to the interview despite the fact I dislike doing promotions.
Cyrus Webb does his homework. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do mine. I had planned on having all three Mr. Pish children’s books in front of me, as well as print drafts of the three currently in the works. I was going to have a list of all the states and provinces Mr. Pish has visited. The call would take place in a relaxed, quiet setting, on a fully charged phone, and I was going to be the consummate professional.