Mike Nichols and E = mc2

Mike Nichols gave Meryl Streep and me the start to our film careers in Silkwood. That I was 46 years old at the time may have something to do with the fact that mine has been somewhat less spectacular than hers. At least I like to think that is the only reason.

Frankly, I was an asteroid to the sun of Mike Nichols, but his light shone as brightly on me as on any of the planets who were closer to him.

I still feel his light. Maybe when we pass on, what happens is something akin to the formula Mike’s cousin Albert devised: E = mc2, Our matter turns into energy–an energy of love that can continue to touch and support all who loved us. No limits. I have had so many losses of loved ones in the past, and been surprised by such connections and actual help that I developed this unique theory of The Beyond.

The fact that I have felt Mike’s presence and guidance during the time I came to Sarasota, therefore, is not totally surprising to me. Of course, the skeptical part of me continues to doubt. But it does seem as if the angels have been working overtime introducing me to wonderful people, leading me to and helping me buy this lovely little villa in Nokomis–all in a very short time. I have had such truly miraculous help along the way that it would take a long time to relate, so let me get to the story that illustrates my theory.

I moved into my new home on March 9th and unpacked for the umpteenth time in this wild winter of moving around. Late that afternoon I drove to the beach to relax and watch the sunset. I sat there knowing that sudden and scary as it is, this life change is perfect for me. The villa is nearly new and upgraded. I don’t have to do a thing. As I sat there, I began thinking about Mike Nichols. If he did have something to do with all these new, wonderful things in my life, I was grateful. I wrote, “Thank you, Mike Nichols” in the sand as the sun disappeared below the horizon and surrounded the words with a heart.

Leaving the beach, I went to a little out-of-the-way sea food restaurant. As I was waiting for my order, an older gentleman came up to my table. “Would you like to join us?” he asked.

“Oh, thank you,” I said. “But I just moved today and I’m exhausted. I don’t think I could keep up a conversation, but thank you.”

He went back to his table. I ate my meal and felt much better. I stopped at their table  as I was leaving to thank him again for his kind invitation. We introduced ourselves. Amazingly, the man who came to my table is David Shepherd. He gave Mike Nichols his first job at The Compass Theater which was the precursor to Second City.

I’m still stunned. What are the odds of David Shepherd being there at that little restaurant sitting at the table next to mine in Nokomis, FL? And what compelled him to get up and invite me to sit with them?

Was this mere coincidence? Or was it Mike Nichols with a nudge and a wink from The Beyond saying, “Yes, I’m still around. And look at what I can direct from here!”

Me and David Shepher


P.S. Here I am with David Shepherd, taken the next day when we all met for dinner. He’s 91, bright, and eager meet new people it seems.



18 thoughts on “Mike Nichols and E = mc2

  1. What a wonderful story and encounter. Glad things are going well for you in Nokomis. We still wish you had joined us in The Villages!! LOL

  2. I am happy to hear you landed in a warm place. Very interesting experience. I’m still fighting winter, probably until the end. I lived on my sailboat at a small marina near Sarasota from 1990-2005, sailed up and down the Gulf Coast and two trips to Belize. Arthritis has creeped in getting new knees this spring or summer. You are still beautiful. Thanks for the post, enjoyable to read.

  3. Hiker friend sent your site to me. I am happy that you joined a
    team who looking out can look back here from there. Your
    view says it all in another encounter near virtual proof. I’ve
    told all my children for years that we come with two things,
    love and energy and we better use them up as best we can.
    This keeps saying the energy never wears out, nor the love.

  4. Great story, Katherine! I love when life gives us these moments and we are open enough to see and appreciate them.

  5. What a beautiful if not wondrfully eerie tale- I guess by moving to Fraudia I cant take youup on your toast at Lindie’s Celebration of Life ( “having visited the Clark Cape House I would want to marry into that family too.”) I have to rent Silkwood again just tosee you 30 yeasrs ago! so you welcome the idea of permanent snow birding huh? as Jack said I too had a weird email from Lindie — hacking is so ubiquitous.. peace Tucker

  6. This not only gave me goose bumps as I read it but brought tears to my eyes as well… Wow! A powerful start in your new life

  7. Fittingly the yesterday started:
    Tuesday May Be a Day Too Late
    Tom Sheehan

    Greet dawn each day as if a lost friend’s come home;
    Make one and only one promise to yourself
    That you will enjoy the day and all it brings;
    Find in yourself the one extra ounce of reserve
    When you need it, and you will, for each day
    Demands energy as well as love;

    Smile and say hello everyday to at least one stranger;
    Acknowledge the joy of children and the peace
    That elders deserve; be as free with compliments
    As you are with your criticism; bite your tongue
    On the first harsh word you want to say;

    Shake hands as if you were a link in a lifeline;
    Once in a while give something away
    That’s important to you, but not a dream;
    Recall your parents’ faces and a childhood incident,
    And remember their touch, their kiss,
    Their hand on you;

    Retire with a smile to the joy of your rest,
    Knowing tomorrow is at hand; and above all,
    Grasp your dream as if it had handles,
    For you are the only one who can turn it around.

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