The star of the hit prime-time TV show Columbo, Peter Falk, has died. The stage and movie actor was 83. He died on Thursday in his Beverly Hills home. His daughter, Catherine Falk, said he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
A short history of “Columbo” via Huffington Post:
“Columbo” began its history in 1971 as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie series, appearing every third week. The show became by far the most popular of the three mysteries, the others being “McCloud” and “McMillan and Wife.”
Falk was reportedly paid $250,000 a movie and could have made much more if he had accepted an offer to convert “Columbo” into a weekly series. He declined, reasoning that carrying a weekly detective series would be too great a burden.
I needn’t go into Peter Falk, or Columbo any further because the Internet is already flooded with the news of his death, but I will tell you about a man I met in a cozy bakery / coffee shop in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota who was writing new episodes of Columbo. I am certain he is heartbroken today, wherever he is.
I’m Not Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood, I’m Adam Michael Luebke from North Dakota
The man’s name started with an “M”, but that is all I remember. No, this “M” has nothing to do with my good buddy Marvin (who stars in Taking a Shot of Wheatgrass with Mobster Boss Whitey Bulger).We started talking about books and writing while we sipped our coffee and each ate a pastry. We had happened to sit next to one another, and so it was easy to converse a bit.
“M” grew up in Grand Forks, if I remember correctly, and he spent most of his time teaching in a small town in France. After he found out I was a writer, he very enthusiastically told me that he too was a writer. And what are you working on? I asked.
“Why don’t you take a look, give me a writer’s perspective.” He handed me sheets of paper covered in messy handwriting. “Give it a read, tell me if there’s anything there.”
I’m always reluctant to start reading someone’s work while they’re watching me. I feel like my childhood pet dog felt if we watched her urinate. She would look at us out of the ‘corner’ of her eye with an almost verbal question: Why are you watching me pee? She was a wonderful dog. A lovely friend.
Well, I felt the same way reading “M”s material while he looked at me. But I remember reading the first paragraph. It went something like this:
Columbo stepped out of his sports car and jauntily walked up the driveway to the front door. He was going to straighten out some business, but he wasn’t nervous. This was his line of duty. He’d been doing it for years.
Anyway, I’m paraphrasing, and if “M” ever reads this, he will probably fly to Los Angeles just to punch me in the face for taking such liberty with his work. I would have to take him to visit Charles Bukowski’s home just to restore the peace. I handed the papers back to him and looked past his eager face at the chilly weather outside of the warm bakery. Yeah, I said, sure, there’s something there. If you enjoy writing it, keep at it.
“M” seemed rather excited with my appraisal. I hope he was. Everybody should find a passion and then squeeze hell out of it because by the time it runs dry, we’re looking at the end of our lives anyway. Might as well be happy. Truthfully, I didn’t even know who Peter Falk was until I read that he’d died. I’d only heard of Columbo, but I’d never watched it, and I hadn’t thought about it for years until I’d read the first paragraph of “M”s script.
I soon left the bakery and left Grand Forks, North Dakota. I assume “M” also left soon after and headed back to France.
IN OTHER NEWS
What If You Came Home to Find Muammar Gaddafi in Your Bed?
The Onion Gets Big Tax Credit After Hiring Mentally Challenged Writer to do Article about Oprah
Anthony Weiner Invited to Pose for John Edwards Sexy Photo Spread
Indicted John Edwards to Do Sexy Photo Spread to Make up Rielle Hunter Affair to America
Two Melville Fans Arrested for Beating Joyce Fan in Los Angeles Public Library