This month, Gabby out-glitters the glitterati at The Common Wealth Awards.
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A Wealth of Accomplishment
Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Glenn Close, Bob Dole, Colin L. Powell, Toni Morrison, Ken Burns, Larry King, and Christopher Reeve make only a small sampling of the 150 leaders and achievers acknowledged annually by The Common Wealth Awards.
This year’s event marked the 30th anniversary of the awards for distinguished service and exceptional accomplishments. The honorees were Kevin Spacey for dramatic arts, Doris Kearns Goodwin for mass communications, Don DeLillo for literature and Buzz Aldrin for science. They received their awards and a cash prize during a four-part event hosted by PNC Bank Delaware at the Hotel du Pont.
During a press conference moderated by WHYY’s Nancy Karabjanian —ever the consummate media professional—your Gabby had direct, if brief, access to the recipients. “Why Mars?” we asked Aldrin, a staunch advocate of exploring the planet. “To put America back in the premiere world position in science and technology,” the former astronaut replied. “What about those occasional accusations of plagiarism?” we asked presidential historian Goodwin. “How could or should a public figure handle them?” she said. Goodwin’s very own husband called U.S. Senator Joe Biden when he was accused during the 1988 presidential campaign. “Things worked out pretty well, after all,” Ms. Goodwin pointed out.
Press conference concluded, cocktails commencing, the room emptied. The honorees graciously greeted each and every one of the 350 tuxedoed, gowned and, in one instance, kimonoed guests. Nice.
Inside the Gold Ballroom—standing room only—we elbowed our way to Governor Jack Markell and his wife, Carla. The guv was eager to hear Aldrin’s views on government spending on earth and in space. Expenditures in both areas were good, Governor Markell said, “as long as revenues are not wasted or defrauded.” He pointed the benefit of technology that resulted from the space program. “The choice starts with education in our schools,” he said. Mrs. Markell switched the convo from politics to pop culture, explaining that she and the governor had been studying up on their Spacey earlier in the day by watching “American Beauty,” one of her favorite movies.
Wilmington City Councilman Charles Potter Jr. and his wife, new State Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter, wearing satin in coordinated tones of chocolate and champagne, were also self-confessed Spacey fans. Charles on Spacey: “He owns it.” Velda: “Love his movies.” Which ones? “All of them.”
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