There were a handful of cool kids in the music room, but they were totally outnumbered. The closet cases stuck together near the back of the risers — us and the fat kids. (There was some overlap.) Even when I stopped singing in college, my allegiance to nerds and other social misfits remained strong. It still does. I have family and friends who run with the Cool Kids, but I’ve never felt comfortable in those packs.
Holy crap, I keep getting sidetracked. This is not meant to be about me. This is about Zelda Rubinstein, the woman perhaps best remembered for her turn in Poltergeist, but also a devoted friend of the LGBT community and one of the first Hollywood types to become involved in HIV/AIDS outreach and education. Short and heavy-set, with a curious voice, she was an unlikely actress — an outsider if ever there was one — but maybe that’s why we loved her so much, and why the feeling was clearly mutual.
I was sad to hear of her passing yesterday, but kind of excited to learn that one of my friends used to exchange birthday cards with Zelda. It’s like a brush with a brush with amazing fame.