It’s been an interesting few years, hasn’t it Sullivan County? Our tiny little corner of the world has become increasingly popular with Hollywood celebrities trying to escape the high life for a little slice of normal.
We have become accustomed to seeing the star of the summer blockbuster buying milk and cheese one cash register over, to the singer with that hit you couldn’t get out of your head in the ’90s lining up behind you to pay for gas.
There have been moments I’ve been ashamed of my fellow natives for the way they’ve reacted. Some hushed awe is one thing; celebrity stalking is quite another.
But I don’t want to talk about the celebrities. They’re big people. They decided to take jobs that put them in the spotlight.
They can handle it.
But let’s talk about their kids for just a second, shall we?
What I’m about to say may get me black-balled from certain journalistic circles, but I’m proud to say that the Democrat backs me in full.
I do not shoot photos of our local celebrities’ kids.
Oh, I may get one or two on accident before I realize just who that little munchkin is, but we don’t run them in the paper. And I’ve never thought of selling them to the magazines.
No, never. Really, I know what I could do with the money … but I know I couldn’t sleep that night or many after.
Is this special treatment?
You could think of it that way. I tend to think of it as just the opposite. When the children of celebrities are out on the streets of Sullivan County, enjoying the same events my daughter loves, I like to think that my decision to point my camera in another direction is giving these kids a chance to be something other than special, to be just like normal kids.
Isn’t that why their parents brought them here, after all? So that their little girls and boys can do what my daughter does?
Get their faces painted and dress up in Halloween costumes? Make Christmas crafts and pet cows? Watch fireworks and eat ice cream? Sit on Santa’s lap and meet the Easter Bunny?
These are the moments that make childhood precious. To think fear of me and my camera could make parents keep their kids from experiencing them is a sobering thought.
What if that was my kid?
What if I was that mom?
Because at the end of the day, no matter how many magazines covers they grace, no matter how much money they bring it at the box office, they are just moms and dads trying to do right by their kids. Is it too much to ask to let them?
What do you when you encounter celebs in real life?
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