One For Hawking

18 Feb 2005

One week ago, last Friday, the band was getting together to prepare for a performance at Spaceland here in Los Angeles. After work, i headed to Altadena and the new official band studio.

Bloggs and I had some time to kill before we started and that usually means food. We met Steve and his lovely wife for Indian food in Pasadena.

We sat near the door, though I had my back to it. Over Taj Mahals, we were discussing what mutual friends Lamonte Young and Philip Glass might have had when the conversation stopped. Abruptly. I noticed that the others at the table were looking over my shoulder at whoever had just entered the restaurant. Before I could really turn around, a party of about 10 filed by toward their table. One was in a wheelchair and I really only got a glimpse of his profile and then the back of his chair as it smoothly moved past us. No matter, I understood the silence.

Now, I’m not the type to get too star-struck. I grew up in Los Angeles. Movie stars and musicians are a dime per dozen. But this was a little different for a couple of reasons:

  • I’m a big geek. This is my Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods. John Lennon.
  • Its not like we traveled to Cambridge, England to find him. This is in a little Indian restaurant in Pasadena, California.
  • I have approximately one action figure on my desk at home.
  • Its Stephen freaking Hawking! He’s the freaking Lucassian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge freaking University!

The rest of the meal was somewhat out of body. Bloggs was freaking and I was right behind him. We thought about approaching him, but then thought better of it. He was seated out of our sight, so we did our best to sneak a glance or two on our way out, but with little success. and while Bloggs’ subtle use of the cameraphone was smooth, the resulting image doesn’t capture what all the fuss was about.

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Franklin Henderson