Sunday 21 June 2009

Fame is But a Fleeting Thing

I suspect deep in us all is the desire for fame of a kind. Perhaps even some of us would relish the fame Judith O'Reilly has achieved, quite rightly with her excellent blog 'Wife in the North.' Is this not part of the reason we blog, to gain attention, to be liked and admired, however tiny our audience when compared to the seasoned professionals. John Dewey, the American philosopher wrote of 'the desire to be important', Sigmund Freud talked of 'the desire to be great'. If I remember right Legs Diamond, the American gangster once said all he wanted from life was to be liked. And surely we wouldn't be blogging, in public if we weren't attention seeking. (I appreciate for some it is therapy, a type of release, which is slightly different.)
It's a funny thing, fame. Andy Warhol is perhaps best known for his statement 'In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.' My fifteen minutes seems to be a long time coming.
Surely there must be things in my longish life that are exceptions to the rather mundane (I hasten to add I enjoy my life) happenings that are the norm in a working class existence.
I've got Len Shackleton's autograph, plus Nat Lofthouse's and Wilf Mannion's. Super heroes of the past. I once saw Wee Georgie Wood on the street in London, albeit fleetingly. Plus Princess Margaret in Lincoln, back view only. William Roach comes from Derbyshire, plus Arthur Lowe and Alan Bates, only I never met any of them. Mike Brearley, ex England cricket captain is a distant cousin, or so I'm told. I've never met him either! We don't shout the odds in Derbyshire, we consider it somewhat vulgar. Our football team Derby County scored the lowest points ever in a season in the Premier League and our county cricket team is probably the worst of them all. (High hopes for both in the future.) So no need for bellicose belligerence there. (The Derbyshire motto is said to be 'Derbyshire born, Derbyshire bred, strong in the arm and weak in the head'.)
I have difficulty in naming three three famous people with Derbyshire connections. Florence Nightingale was a Derbyshire lady. Joseph Wright the painter was Derby born and the first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed came from near Derby, my home town. Then I'd start to struggle.
As a schoolteacher of some considerable years fame eluded me in the main. True I was known for my ability to mirror write. (Almost certainly connected with the fact that I am left handed.) Plus I was the only teacher who boomeranged and flew kites with pupils in dinner hours. No mean feat on a playing fields containing awesome electricity pylons. Kites, boomerangs and pylons are poor bed fellows.
The oldest pupils I taught will now be around fifty years of age; a mind boggling thought. But the thing that thrills me most is when ex-pupils still come up to me in the street and say 'Hello sir, how are you?' Absolutely brilliant, a tiny example of 'fame' that fills me with pride even after all these years.
If I am to become really famous it has yet to come. I suspect everyone has had moments or longer when 'fame' has landed on their shoulder. Dare we suggest that some may be 'infamous', perish the thought!
So besides writing the best blog since fried bread have you had your moment of fame. What are you famous for?


Jennytc said...

Mike Brierley eh? I always thought he seemed so nice. Wonder what he's doing now?
My only claim to fame is that I taught Heidi Range of Sugarbabes fame when she was six. Oh and I am the great, great, great granddaughter of a baronet.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Nice blog-I think fame is relative and worthless without money attached-:)

I'm famous for my choclate cookies.


Anonymous said...

I once shook my fist and hurled abuse at a large rangerover who swung around the corner into a side street in Norfolk, nearly knocking my small son over.

I wonder how many other people could say they'd shouted, "F*** off you b******" at Diana, Princess of Wales.


Strawberry Jam Anne said...

No fame whatsoever Ken and I prefer to keep it that way.

However, back in the early 60's I worked in a restaurant in Weymouth which was used by the film stars and crew who were filming "Far from the Madding Crowd" in the area. I was lucky enough to serve dinner to Alan Bates and Peter Finch (separate occasions)and also saw director John Schlesinger. On another occasion I was thrilled to see Kirk Douglas, who came in for a meal.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I was once on ITV Calendar News, speaking about a pupil who needed a heart and lung transplant. It never happened and the lad died.

In my view, fame is massively over-rated. What I admire is men and women who have grafted away for their families for years - ordinary people who never gain any public recognition. They are the ones who matter - not frivolous pop stars, models and sporting figures. The ambition to become famous is both shallow and sad.

cheshire wife said...

I am happy to be anonymous.

Shammickite said...

I'm not famous and never aspire to be.
But my one claim to fame (and I was very excited at the time) was to be helping out on the hoopla stall at our local fairground, and I sold hooplas to Cliff Michelmore and Jean Metcalfe.
Oh, and almost forgot, Terry-Thomas' mother tried to teach me to swim but I made such a fuss that she gave up.

Reasons said...

Nothing that paid anything I'm afraid. Your type of fame with the students is probably the healthiest kind.

Oh but I once kissed James Taylor and got him to sign my family allowance book!

E. VERNA said...

You have such a wonderful way of making us proud in the Blogworld.Yeap, we're not asking for instant fame nor 15 minutes of fame. I and the many bloggers of today's generation wants nothing but LEGACY!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Evidently he was very bright and became a psycotherapist or something like that.
Baronet indeed!

Agree with you. chocolate cake sounds better!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Not Waving

Alan Bates of course came from Derby. Died rather young.

Very true but when was life ever fair. Fame must be frightening at times.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

cheshire wife
Must be nice just once though. just for a day.

Great! Wonder where they all are now.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Cheerful 123
James Taylor indeed! Sixty one in March. How time flies!

Thanks foe visiting. Legacy, now theres a word you dont hear here. Not even sure what it means. Will visit your blog again shortly.