The Gray Line Tour: What is in your lifeplan?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2002


Many people make plans for the rest of their life. It’s their ambitions, goals, aspirations and dreams. Most people never realize their dreams, or meet their goals, or see this ambitions finally come true.

I guess I’m kind of lucky in that regard, since I have achieved a few of my early life-goals. However, there’s still a few just beyond my reach. With a little more push, I might make a few more.

There were certain people, heroes of mine in some regards, I wanted to meet. Some have since died, some are just about unreachable and too intimidating anyway. I wanted to meet John Lennon, but it’s too late. I wanted to meet Hunter Thompson. While I saw him at Tulane, I never got within 30 feet of him.

I did meet writer Kurt Vonnegut and got three of his books signed. I only wish I had brains enough to have brought a camera to immortalize the encounter.

He was stunned that I presented a 1962 collection of his short-stories to be signed. Even he hadn’t seen a copy in years.

Back when it came out, nobody was interested in him enough to seek an autograph and since his fame hit, few have gotten copies of this book.

Nice to know we pleased each other in our meeting.

Travel is always on most people’s list. I have made it to London twice, to San Francisco and to Jamaica. I want to see more of all three.

Other places to go? I would like to see the Pyramids in Egypt. Also, I’d like to see more of Leonardo da Vinci’s works, such as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper.

New York City is also on my list and perhaps Washington D.C. Chicago is also on my list.

I saw a tiny sliver of Jamaica at Montego Bay but would like to see more, such as Ian Fleming’s house on the northeast corner of the island.

Another ambition, like most reporters, is to publish a book, preferably a novel.

While I’ve written the novel, I need to get off my duff, seek out a literary agent and get it published somewhere.

I’ve also mostly written a non-fiction book, an expansion of my River Parishes town history series, published serially in L’Observateur during 1999.

Most of those articles had to be cut down, some drastically, to fit on the page. Most also had historical photos I’d gathered that I had to leave out for space considerations.

However, I kept the original “long” articles and all the photographs and added a few more since then. Once I clear up some of the copyright concerns, I hope to see that in book form before long.

Another lifelist item? I want to see an article on me in the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

That may not happen, but who knows? Life is long, and it’s not over yet.

LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur. He may be reached at (985) 652-9545.