I got to be a celebrity once, kind of. It wasn't at Barnes & Noble or the Academy Awards or anything like that, but at Girls Inc. of Orange County. I had covered a few stories there as the Daily Pilot's education reporter, and when I arrived to write another, a pair of girls shrieked, "You're here!", then raced over and gave me a bear hug.
Journalists may win Pulitzers, but they rarely get the paparazzi treatment. On the other hand, it's second nature for a man like Kelly Slater, who visited Huntington Beach on Tuesday evening to receive the key to Surf City.
Ernest Hemingway once defined courage as "grace under pressure." I don't know if facing a constant barrage of camera flashes, autograph requests and reporters' questions counts as pressure, but regardless, I'm always impressed by the grace that people like Slater show in the spotlight. Evidently, they're used to it. If 200 more girls had run up to me shrieking that day in Costa Mesa, I might have begged for sanctuary.