I needed an artistic class to graduate from Mumford High School in Detroit and somehow found a class called Stagecraft. The word "nerd" was coined upon viewing this group. As a member of a fairly cool club the Belvederes, and the Mumford baseball team I was deathly afraid my cool friends would find out about my association with the nerds but needed the credits.
The work we did was actually lots of fun. We constructed, set up and tore down sets used for various school performances. When there was nothing on the horizen we hung out and watched rehersals. It turned out to be a cushy class.
Then one day the school photographer showed up to do a story on an upcoming show. I knew the guy and asked him to be sure not to take any pictures of me. Bad idea! The next issue of the Mumford Mercury featured a shot of me in my shop coat. The headline in bold type "Donald Surath... " mortified me at first but then taught me several things about the power of the press.
If you don't want to be noticed, stay away from cameras. I didn't realize what a thrill the photographer got when he outed me as a member of the crew. I hated seeing the name Donald associated with me so have been Don ever since that day. The power of the press is impressive. That one photo brought incredible attention to me that I hadn't sought.
Finally, what amazed me the most is that nobody laughed at me. All they said was, "Hey Don, I saw your picture in the Mercury." As Babe Ruth said, "Just spell my name right". All my friends paid attention to was that someone they knew was in the Mercury. That revelation has helped over the years whenever bad press has found me. I know down deep that bad press is better than no press at all.
Causes Don Surath Supports
Alzheimers Association, Jewish Home of San Francisco, Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education, American Bone Health, American Diabetes...