This is one of my two favorite This Made Me Smile posts.
I loved Isaac Stern for his talent as a violinist, for his many public services (frequent charity concerts and leading the effort to save Carnegie Hall from the wreckers' cranes) and for not taking himself too seriously, as the following story illustrates.
Stern was being interviewed by Bill Moyers or some other supercilious NPR-type who kept mentioning his age, 72 at the time, and asking Stern questions like: "As you look back now over your career, what do ..." and "Do you have any one concert you'd like to be remembered for?"
Stern was very patient through it all until the interviewer asked him to sum up his "legacy in a few sentences."
Stern responded with a gentle rebuke and a little fun poke at himself:
"Look, I may be 72," he said, " but I don't think my career's over. In fact, I feel like I'm just in the middle of my life and career. Of course, it would help if I knew someone who was 144."Stern died in 2000 at age 80. You can read more about him here. The site includes a link to an interview with Stern (not the one I mention here)