Saturday, August 12, 2017
“You know you're in a good place when you no longer are interested in looking back. You prefer to enjoy the journey.” ― Karen Salmansohn
Carol Burnett had a character named “Mrs. Wiggins” on her show in the fall of 1975. We think it was because she met my “Mrs. Wiggins” in June of that year. But first, a little history: back in the seventies a very powerful congressman from Los Angeles was named Charles Wiggins—just like me. He was a very conservative Republican from the same area as President Richard Nixon and was such a strong supporter of Nixon’s that when Congressman Wiggins said he was going to vote for impeachment—Nixon resigned.
Now, for our tenth anniversary (June 5th, 1975), I wanted to take Karen to a special restaurant, Benihana of Tokyo (before it was a chain) on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills (very posh and it’s still there). My secretary tried to get me reservations but, of course, they told her there were none to be had. My secretary said, “Oh, Mr. Wiggins will be so sad. It’s their tenth anniversary.” The lady at Benihana said, “Mr. Charles Wiggins?” My secretary said, “Yes, that’s him.” Suddenly, a reservation opened up and we were to be welcomed around eight o’clock the night of our anniversary. We were driving a VW camper van at this time, and on the night in question, got in the valet parking line with the Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and Ferraris. The valet looked down his nose as he climbed up into our dirty car, so I said, “Don’t scratch it!” We walked on in and to our surprise, we were to be seated in a private room. It was very obvious to us that they thought I was the congressman even though I was in my early thirties and the congressman was in his late sixties. We were seated in a very private room with only Carol Burnett, her art director, and her daughters around the table. She welcomed us like we were really important people. We told her what we thought had happened, and she thought that was very funny. She had the waiters bring us a big ice sculpture for the table to celebrate, and as we were getting up to leave having had a wonderful meal and incredible conversations with Carol Burnett, she opened the doors of our private room, went out into the restaurant and led the whole crowd in singing “Happy Anniversary” to us. When we got back in the car, Karen said, “That was the most wonderful thing I’ve ever experienced. Let’s never come back here.”
She was right—sometimes you can only be disappointed when you try to recapture an incredible time in your life. It’s like they say here, if you want to go forward, you have to look forward. So we do. We don’t look back to regret or to live past events over and over. Christ called us to follow—not to go back. So, in spite of all that holds us back (and there’s a lot), we are still looking forward and planning new projects. It’s what we do, but we did once have dinner with Carol Burnett (if you are under fifty years old, you may have to Google her).