Question: How to Live Life
Who knew celebri-nerd Ken Jennings, famous for his record-setting wins on Jeopardy, had words of wisdom for The Gracious Posse? On Wednesday I was fortunate to be a guest at the Tuckahoe Woman’s Club where Mr. Jennings spoke to a packed house.
I’ve been a Jeopardy fan for 25 years. My husband lBd and I started watching Jeopardy as newlyweds. On Friday night we’d have our Geek Night, settling in after a long work week to BBQ from the Old Brick Pit in Brookhaven, GA (any Atlantans remember that gem?). We’d watch a week of taped Jeopardy episodes on our VCR, then catch the McLaughlin Group on PBS. I miss those pre-ESPN days.
When our first-born learned to walk, she’d light up and do a jig when the theme song played. Ah, fond memories. Then, in 2004 we witnessed Ken Jennings win his astounding 74 wins and a $2,520,700 payoff and hated to see his streak come to an end. Kinda like watching the 1991 worst-to-first Atlanta Braves lose to the Minnesota Twins in the seventh game of the World Series.
Flash to present day when cCo asked if I wanted to attend the meeting featuring my favorite TV nerd. I expected to hear a tell-all of Jeopardy taping secrets, insight into Alex Trebek’s personality, and Ken’s technique for mastering the tricky signaling button. He did not disappoint me and reminded us that saying “trivia” is verboten on Jeopardy. It’s knowledge.
Then serendipitously Ken began expounded on the virtues of growing your body of knowledge. His ideas were so similar to my mother’s advice to Keep Moving. Ken’s motto is to Live Life as a Question Mark, i.e. be curious and exercise your brain like you do your body. As an example of why we need to do so, he noted that our children’s widespread use of GPS gadgets to get from A to B rather than reading a map has diminished the section of their brains that provides navigational skills. So grab your crossword puzzle, take piano lessons, get lost in National Geographic, or, for me, read The New Yorker before picking up that tempting issue of Veranda. After all,
Being a nerd really pays off sometimes. - Ken JenningsGratefully, Ellen & Alison