Gregory Peck

I missed the memo about Gregory Peck.

It’s Oscar night, so I thought it appropriate to think and write about, Oscar winner and former president of the Academy, Gregory Peck.

Like most people of my generation, my first experience of Gregory Peck was sitting in English class and watching him as Atticus Finch in the film adaptation of  “To Kill A Mockingbird.”   I’m thinking that if Gregory Peck had never made a film before or since, his performance in TKAM would have easily placed him in the Hollywood firmament as an enduring star.  But his role as Atticus Finch was just one of dozens; and thanks to Netflix, I’m slowly working my way through his body of work.

I blame credit Gregory Peck with planting the seed which ultimately germinated in my decision to attend law school.  I don’t do the kind of life-or-death work that Atticus Finch was doing, but sometimes, I get a tiny glimpse of how empowering and humbling it is to be an advocate.  Someone says, “Here…I have this problem that I can’t handle by myself.  I need someone to help me figure this out and be my voice.”  Wow.  

If that were the only memo that Gregory Peck helped to deliver, that would have been more than enough.  But there’s more.  Recently I happened upon a broadcast of “A Conversation With Gregory Peck” on PBS.  I was spellbound by his grace, his humility, and his quiet wisdom.  And even as a septuagenarian, he was still gorgeous.

Hearing  Gregory Peck reflect on his long life and some of his extraordinary experiences was pretty amazing.  It makes me mindful that it’s not quite enough just to live a good life,  you also have to connect with other people and share the things you know.  As a famous movie star, Gregory Peck had easy access to a platform for talking about all the things that he had and hadn’t figured out.  I’m just me, but I’ve got this little blog, so I’ll do my best. 

In the meantime, I’ll look forward to watching “To Kill A Mockingbird” about a hundred more times and I’ll hope my little Atticus gets the memo, too.

Memo received.

© 2011 Jamie Walker Ball


2 thoughts on “Gregory Peck

  1. Mary Burt-Godwin June 21, 2011 / 5:31 am

    LOVE this! And yes, he’ll get the memo.

    Can I admit here that my daughter’s middle name is Grace partially because of Will & Grace?

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