Saved by a cornflake eater!

The influence of public personalities in the US is not a modern phenomenon, in case you thought it was. A little incident, bordering legality, from my youth:

I hitch-hiked to most corners of the US in my early twenties, In the course of this adventure I visited good friends of my parents, the Nivens, who lived in Rochester NY. Howard Niven was CEO of the Xerox Corp (part of Kodak), but he and his wife also “moonlighted” as actors in TV advertisements, just for fun (they didn’t need the money). They were a very handsome couple, with a huge illuminated picture of themselves, about thirty feet high, on the concourse of New York’s Grand Central Station at the tim.

The Nivens took me on an outing to the Niagara Falls, and we duly crossed into Canada. On the way back I suddenly realized that I had not brought my US visa or British passport to return- enter the US. General consternation. Howard Niven wasn’t the least concerned. He approached a junior border official and explained the situation. No I couldn’t enter the US. Then the supervisor appeared, took one look at Howard and exclaimed, “I know you – you advertise Kelloggs cornflakes on television don’t you, with your wife! Yes, I know you!” Please, go on through. Peace of mind restored, Howard receiving an avalanche of thanks.
Could this help with ataraxia happen nowadays? Just asking.

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