Running His Lines

"You're a cantor?" he asked. I nodded weakly, still unable to speak.

Small airport holding area. I walk in and there he is, lines in his lap, phone headset perched on his head.

It was snowing, and the huge plate-glass window behind him backlit his face. I tried to exhale and remain calm, but this was Mandy Patinkin. I felt winded, as if all the air had gone out of me as I tried just to remain standing.

I was carrying my "Cantors Conference":http://www.accantors.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Content.default bag. "You're a cantor?" he asked. I nodded weakly, still unable to speak. I extended my hand and said, "Karen Gilat." He stretched his arm and introduced himself: "Mandy Patinkin." I smiled and nodded.

I suddenly had to pee. "Would you watch my duffle?" I asked. "Sure," he said in that confident tone that makes him a legend.

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