Saturday, June 30, 2012


Gerald and I attended a recent fundraising event for Sherrod Brown and the hosts were former Senator John Glenn and his wife Annie.

As if that weren't excitement enough, the keynote speaker was Martin Sheen. I have been a fan of Martin Sheen since I first saw him in the movie The Subject Was Roses; Sheen originated the part of Timmy in the Broadway play and reprised the role in the movie. I followed his career from marvelous movies such as Badlands, Catch-22, That Certain Summer, Wall Street, and Apocalypse Now to the television series The West Wing.

Sheen has also narrated numerous documentaries, directed, lectured, and started theater companies.

Introduced by Senator Brown, Sheen gave a rousing speech. My favorite quote from his speech: "Arrogance is ignorance matured." [Later, rushing home to the computer, to check the source of the quote, I expected that the quote was borrowed, but I was enormously pleased to learn that it is an original quote of Sheen's.]

In addition to his acting, I appreciate his activism, passion, and commitment to causes which I share!

I was able to shake hands with him, but not able to have him autograph his newest book Along The Way which he co-authored with his son Emilio Estevez. As I was standing behind the rope line, a woman shoved past me, nearly knocking the book out of my hand. As I tried to maintain my place in line, she said, "I have something I want to say to him." I would not yield my place in line. She circled behind me and was suddenly on the other side of me. As Sheen shook my hand, she interrupted and said, "I just wanted to tell you that I wished you were my President when you were on The West Wing." Sheen responded graciously and continued greeting others. The obnoxious woman seemed very pleased with herself and I said, "As if he hasn't heard THAT said to him a MILLION times." She asked, testily, "What's that mean?" I said, "I had a book for him to autograph and you said that ridiculous cliche; he was probably embarrassed FOR you!" She said "Well!" and turned and left, obviously irate! I was just irritated that she had caused me not to get an autograph!

Below is a letter from Sheen.

Hello, Sue,

I’m Martin Sheen. You know me best as an actor, but I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and early on in life decided I wouldn't sit on the sidelines when it came to issues of economic and social justice. When a true leader crosses my path -- one who doesn’t just talk about progressive values but embodies them -- I act. And I hope you will, too, by supporting Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

Sherrod is dedicated to the middle class, to seniors, and to women and families. He doesn’t work for the special interests -- he works for the middle class people who make Ohio great.

We place a sacred trust in our elected officials. We expect them to stand up with courage and conviction for the things we believe in.

That’s exactly what Sherrod has done. He showed up on Day One a fighting progressive who cared first, last, and always about Ohio’s working families -- and that’s the man he remains today.

I played a President on TV who could change the debate with a single speech. But in real life, it doesn’t work that way. In real life, it’s up to progressive fighters to protect the vulnerable, hold the special interests accountable, and defeat a right-wing agenda so radical no screenwriter could conceive it.

Sherrod is one of those fighters. I hope I can count on you to join me in standing with him.

Thank you,

Martin Sheen

CLICK HERE to see the book review of Along The Way.


Anonymous said...

My favorite is Badlands!

Anonymous said...

As A liberal democrat I have the entire West Wing series on DVD. I have been a Martin sheen fan as long as I can remember. He's an incredible person. Write him a letter about you're miss chance at getting his book signed. He will be back in Dayton soon.