Question is provocative, worth consideration


By Jim Donovan

Resident, Del Mar

In recent years I have found the interviews on your first Lifestyles page to be its most potentially interesting features, primarily because of one of its standard questions: “If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?” A question I’ve found so provocative that I’ve asked many of my friends to think about it so we can exchange lists. But most of the published interviewees limit their choices to spouses, family and other personal choices, which of course blunts the interest as far as newspaper readership is concerned.

An exception was Woodrow Wilson, the interviewee in your April 2 issue. Every one of his eight invitees was someone most readers would know at least something about, but he didn’t stop there. He went on to explain why each invitee deserved to be on his list in such detail that it became the dominant part of his interview in terms of space. His justification for including Hedy Lamarr was especially interesting. Darwin was another surprising choice, as were the reasons.

Why do I think this question and Mr. Wilson’s responses to it significant enough to comment on and, more importantly, encourage future interviewees to be inspired by? Because I see the question as one of the most unique and original contributions of the Del Mar Times to its readers. I also wanted to underline the words of Mr. Wilson that said more about him than anything he could have said about himself.