- Posted August 13, 2014 by
Glen Carbon, Illinois
This iReport is part of an assignment:
My Two Hours With Robin Williams
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
I grew up with Robin. From the time I was a wee lad, I can remember Mork and Mindy playing on our television set. My father was a tremendous fan of Robin’s movies and comedy. Dead Poet’s Society was routinely quoted in my house. To say Robin was a fixture would be an understatement, and getting to meet him was going to be a very special treat for me. But nothing could have prepared me for the experience of sitting down and just talking with him.
I approached Robin when he was coming off stage after a rehearsal (the fundraising gala always had a little show that went with it). I asked him if I could get a picture and ask him a few questions. He gently put his arms around me, smiled that emblematic smile, and said, “I would love to.” We snapped a few pictures and then he sat down with me, and I asked him some questions about some things he had done in his early career – his 1978 standup special at the Roxy, his 1986 appearance on SNL, things that his average fan did not ask him about. He answered my questions and then proceeded to ask me about my life, who I was, who my parents were, what it was like to deal with cancer, what my plans for the future were, and before I knew it two hours had passed us both by.
The entire time I talked to him I felt like I was getting to see something not everyone got to see. When it came to Robin, everyone always expected to see the extemporaneous crazy man who like a juggernaut of perpetual motion blazed up and down the stage like lightning, but the real Robin Williams was much much different. He was calm, gentle, witty, kind, playful, and genuinely interested in the lives of the people he met throughout his life. I have never forgotten how kind he was to me, and how for two hours I didn’t feel like I was talking to a celebrity…just a person who loved life and people. That’s the Robin Williams I knew…and that’s the one I will remember.