Sunday, March 14, 2010

Good night, Mr. Phelps

Peter Graves, most famous for his roles on the television show Mission: Impossible and the movie Airplane!, died earlier today.

Graves died of an apparent heart attack outside his Los Angeles home, publicist Sandy Brokaw said. He would have been 84 this week.

I was a sophomore in college in February 1991, and a part of the college concert chorale, which toured for four days every year. On that particular year we sang in a few churches around Washington, D.C. We were fortunate enough to savour a few Saturday morning hours by wandering around the Mall. After walking by the Lincoln Memorial towards the Korean War Veterans Memorial, I passed by a particularly gloomy group. They were led by Peter Graves, whom I immediately recognized. I was feeling rather plucky, so I approached him and asked, "Sir, are you who I think you are?" He responded with a whispery, "I suppose so," and walked on. A woman, whom I could only assume was his wife, gave me the dirtiest of looks. I didn't care. I had spoken to Captain Clarence Oveur, and he spoke to me.

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