Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Brush with Celebrity

I don't know about you, but if I come across an issue of People magazine at the doctor's office, I have no idea who 95% of those people are or why their lives are so fascinating. Even on Twitter, most of the "Trending Topics" are pretty much a mystery to me. #mileycomeback? #edhardyis? Not a clue.

And crowds? Forget it. On one visit to the Beaverton Farmers' Market during election season last year, a mob was forming in one corner of the market. When I asked one of the vendors what was going on, she said, "Chelsea Clinton's visiting today." I headed in the opposite direction.

So when my friend Kathryn mentioned that Farmer John, featured in the movie "The Real Dirt on Farmer John,"would be visiting the Portland Farmers' Market and signing copies of his cookbook, "The Real Dirt on Vegetables,"you might think I'd stay as far away as possible. But instead I cleared my schedule and made plans to go.

Why? Well, first off, I loved the movie both for its politics and for the story about a young idealist who tried to make his dreams come true. And failed. Then tried again and succeeded. Kind of. Secondly, he was hanging with Kathryn, who promised she'd be making amazing snacks to sample, and it was all happening at Roger Konka and Norma Craven's Springwater Farm booth, my favorite place to pick up a fungus or two.

And Farmer John himself? A great guy, and totally not the swishy, wacky goofball you might expect. He's very down to earth, warm and funny. A natural listener. Surprisingly normal. And his glasses rock (they were custom-made by a family in Venice who do one-off designs). Though the button he wore on his lapel may have contained a coded message. It said, "Oh, no, please. I'm not supposed to be out."

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