Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Dom DeLuise and Emily Rubin, My Sister

Most people who will write about the passing of Dom DeLuise will probably focus on his funny movies. They will tell you what a great actor he was. He was a great actor and starred in great movies, but I want to focus on the real Dom and his kindness to a fan of his, my sister Emily.

Emily teaches high school English in Arizona. For a class assignment, Emily gave her students a choice of four celebrities to write a letter to requesting an autograph for their teacher. Dom DeLuise was one of those four celebrities. I will not say the names of the other three because I do not want to appear critical of them. Emily estimated that seventy percent of her students wrote to Dom.

I do not blame the other three celebrities for not writing back because they did not get that many letters. I cannot judge how one of them would have reacted if the celebrity had received the attention that was given to Dom.

If I said that Dom gave my sister an autograph, you may think that it was very nice of him, but he did a lot more than that. He sent a package to my sister containing:

1. An 8 x 10 head shot that was signed, "To Emily, the best teacher ever. Love, Dom DeLuise."

2. A postcard of Dom and a parrot that he signed with a message for her students letting them know that he loved their letters.

3. Two children's books autographed by him.

4. A picture of a cat that he drew personally for my sister which he also autographed.

What Dom DeLuise did for my sister and her students went above my expectations for any celebrity. He showed a level of appreciation that is rare in any person, celebrity or non-celebrity. It is not only the kindness that he showed my sister and her students that touches me, but the fact that their letters meant so much to him. He appreciated the students for writing to him.

This is how I will remember Dom DeLuise.

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