Thursday evening as I was leaving a reception for the upcoming Hot Stove Cool Music charity concert (June 7th at Metro), I checked my twitter feed.
"What the heck!" I muttered. There were tweets and re-tweets in numbers that could only be explained by my embezzlement of millions of dollars and I didn't do nuthin'.
"What have I done?" I wondered.
And then I found the root of the activity. It was an invitation from Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yeah, the guy who wrote Hamilton.
Was he just doing his due diligence publicizing the new Hamilton Exhibition? Well, of course. But there is something deeper here. Let me take you back a couple of years.
The musical sensation of the new millenium was coming to Chicago and the star of the show in New York and its brainchild, Lin Manuel-Miranda, was coming to Chicago to do some PR. A well-meaning XRT listener and Hamilton fan wondered capriciously whether there would be a meeting of her Lin on XRT and her Lin in Hamilton.
I joked, "Lin-Manuel has ruined my Google future."
Out of nowhere, Lin-Manuel responded, "The same thing happened to me with Jeremy Lin. Your time is coming."
Many XRT listeners found it amusing to find this Lin versus Lin conversation and that might have been the end of it, but we began exchanging messages with the blessed brevity of twitter.
There is a side of us that finds humor and distractions in the simplest things. Like two Lins trading inspiration on social media.
As Mary Dixon observed on the air, "One of you is a genius. The other is on the radio."
So every couple of months, we have continued this bit. Dear Lin, It's Lin. We had never met. Never talked. Never hung out together. And then.
Lin-Manuel returned to Chicago for the opening of Hamilton: The Exhibition and Mary Dixon, the Hamilton savant, and I attended the press conference. I was unprepared for the size of the building on Northerly Island. It's big.
Mary and I sat in the front row at the press conference. I asked the first question of the man I had never met.
At the end of the press conference, Lin-Manuel bounced off the stage to a semi-circle crush of press and photographers and said to his assistant, "Give me my phone. I need a selfie with Lin."
Various members of the press approached me and asked, "Who are you?"
But a man who knew a Lin Summit would happen one day.
We exchanged pleasantries and he was off. But we'll always have those interludes on twitter.
Hamilton: The Exhibition opened on Saturday with long lines waiting to get in. Mary Dixon has written a preview of the Hamilton exhibition experience.
I may see you there.