Mark Evanier recommended this tribute to the recently passed ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson. I have several of his records.
The most striking part is this: "Nelson was a legend but refused to act like one. As with most communities, the “ventriloquism community” also has an elite comprised of both the famous and the institutionally powerful. Nelson was known for encouraging people (even if they were not in the community’s elite) who want to keep the old art alive. He was never into exclusion, ego games, glad-handing or cliques."
That is a life well lived. If you have ever wondered what more you could have done with your life but you've ALWAYS put people first, you've made it. That's the way my father was. To all the "legends" who fall into the "honor your betters" category (and I'm not talking about ventriloquists, never met one), who have forgotten who they really are, well, deaf ears I guess.
The main thing is that those of you, no matter what your role in life, remember that Jimmy Nelson may not be the biggest household name in the world, but like Robie Lester and many of entertainment's other lesser-known greats, they had lives well lived and we each get only one.
You matter if you've made others matter and not just yourself.