OK, I'm dating myself here, but I'm old enough to remember Andy Warhol.
If you are into printing as much as I am, then you know that he is the Patron Saint of Printers (and photographers who like to do funky work).
He was prescient enough to know that "in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Holy heck, was he looking into a crystal ball and seeing the creation of social media? Instagram and Youtube and Tiktok?
Well, I almost attained world-wide fame for LIFE (not just for 15 minutes) because I almost killed this guy. And it wasn't my fault, people. It was HIS, the man who said, "the idea is not to live forever; it is to create something that will."
Back in the day I was a biologist, but at the time I didn't work in a lab. I sold scientific equipment to researchers. We're talking chemicals, microscopes, incubators, Petri dishes and yes....dead rats soaked in formaldehyde. New York City was part of my territory. I called on scientists at places like Sloan Kettering Hospital, NYU and Columbia University.
I was an art student/printer on the side. Andy was my icon! My hero! Gritty downtown streets and subway stations were full of graffitied references to his work, along with homages to Keith Haring and Basquiat.
One fine spring workday I was driving my car down Fifth Avenue. If you're not familiar with the street system in NYC, the avenues are one-way. Fifth Avenue has about 4 or 5 lanes of traffic all heading in one direction, and I was driving down the middle of it. Stopped at a light down around 18th Street. It turned green and off I went, doing the speed limit, I might add.
You know how you can sense movement from your peripheral vision, but it's fuzzy? As I drove along, I suddenly sensed that someone was sprinting across Fifth Avenue from my left side, into oncoming traffic.
Now, I am from the New York area and we tend to do some stupid stuff when crossing the street. If you want to cross and the blinking light says that there are 3 seconds left in which to do so, most New Yorkers will dash across.
The ones with A Lot Of Attitude will saunter across slowly (some pushing baby carriages no less), giving the drivers sitting at the red light a nasty look that says, "I f***ing DARE you to run me over when the light turns green."
But I have NEVER seen someone sprint across the street while 5 cars were actually bearing down on them, close enough to run them over. You only see that stuff in the movies.
I saw the blur....realized that some moron was going to be smack dab in front of my car in 1.2 seconds...and hysterically slammed on the brakes. Said moron ROLLED UP on the hood of my car, which was far better than going underneath the front of it, to be sure.
And then I did what any well-bred young lady would do at such a moment: I flipped the bird, screaming "You stupid f**king idiot! What the hell is the matter with you? I damn near ran you over!", followed by lots o' expletives that delicacy does not permit me to expound upon here.
It just so happened that the man in question had ended up in a crouched position, literally squatting on the hood with both of his hands on the windshield.
He was peering at me through the glass, as if I were a goldfish in a bowl, and I realized.....that's Andy Warhol. On the hood of my car. With the huge mop of white hair, the glasses, and the turtleneck and one hell of a surprised look on his face.
Fortunately for both of us, he wasn't injured, and off he ran.
I almost had my 15 minutes of fame, or should I say infamy? I could have been the girl who killed Andy Warhol.