I receive a phone call from Nina, Michael’s assistant, who apologizes that the interview will have to be pushed back an hour. No problem. If you’ve been in the journalism business long enough, you know this is standard operating procedure. But when I arrive at Michael’s office, Nina apologizes again. “Michael will probably apologize too. I think this might be the first time he’s ever pushed back an interview.”
Now You Know:
Since its creation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation has put 89 cents of every dollar spent toward finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
“He had a commitment at his daughter’s school that ran long. This never happens.” I take my seat in his decidedly unfuturistic office and wait. I’m not alone, mind you. I have Gus to keep me company. Gus is Michael’s part Great Dane/part Chow/part horse mix of a mutt. He looks as though he outweighs his owner, and he clearly has free reign over the office. Gus comes over, sniffs me out, happily receives some head pats and ear scratches, snorts his approval and retreats to his mat.
Moments later, the door swings open, and Michael enters like the tour de force whirlwind of energy we’ve come to expect. He walks right up to me and presents his hand by swinging his shoulder, almost like a pitcher’s windup. “Hi, I’m Michael,” he says with a smile. “I’m really sorry I’m late.”
For whatever reason — perhaps it’s because the voice is so familiar from so many TV shows and movies — I instantly recognize his sincerity. I assure him that it’s no problem, that I’m actually embarrassed that he even feels a need to apologize, and we retreat to another room in his office, which is also remarkably unfuturistic. Gus follows.