How many times have you been in a restaurant, waiting for your name to be called, and, when you finally hear it and approach the hostess, you find another party doing the same? I guess if your name is Smith or Jones that might happen fairly frequently. But when your name is Blatt, it’s a pretty rare occurrence: In fact, it happened to me only once in the last sixty some odd years of my eating out.
Living in Denver in the ‘ 70s I regularly listened to the local classical music radio station, KVOD. One of the announcers then was named Steve Blatt. One evening my date, Ann, and I were waiting for a table at an Italian restaurant in Larimer Square when the hostess called out “Blatt, party of two.” When Ann and I arrived at the hostess desk, we were face to face with another couple, also a “Blatt, party of two.” That couple, it turned out, was Steve Blatt, of KVOD, and his wife. This was a rare experience for both of us, so we arranged to have a table together.
During the course of the evening I discovered that Steve had attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, as had I. Steve talked about being the son of a professor and how that affected his college experience. His father, it turns out, was Josef Blatt, the director of UM’s symphony orchestra and head of the opera department.
Well, it is a small world. I didn’t know Josef Blatt, but I met his daughter, Katherine, Steve’s sister, when I lived in Ann Arbor. My then wife, Carol, and I had a couple of cats, one of which had become a mother. Steve’s sister had responded to our ad and adopted two of the kittens. When she introduced herself as “Kitty” it was only a short trip to the comment that “Kitty Blatt adopted Blatt kitties.”
KVOD is now part of Colorado Public Radio, and Steve Blatt is still around. Whenever I visit Denver I set one of the rental car radio buttons to 88.1 FM. Perhaps I’ll hear a familiar voice introducing a classical music favorite.