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Lessons From Big Russ来自大鲁斯的人生道理

(2007-02-27 13:43:06)
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分类: 【A】【新东方英语·抢先看】
【来源:《新东方英语》2007年3月号】
蒂姆·罗斯(TimRussert)是NBC的金牌主持人。他跻身为美国最受信赖和喜爱的电视媒体人之列,周旋于总统与教宗、世界级领袖和新闻焦点人物、名流与运动明星当中,目前为NBC华府新闻部主任、《会见新闻界》主持人兼编辑主任,《今日新闻》和《夜线新闻》的政治分析家,《罗斯秀》节目主持人。本文摘自Tim的BigRussandMe一书,文中,大鲁斯这位长者所指点的人情世故让作者十分受用,体现出作者对父亲的深深仰赖之情。
  
ByTimRussert
译/马俊杰
One night in 1984, when I had just begun working at NBC News, I called my dad, Tim Russert, Sr. — he's known as Big Russ. As usual, we talked about what was going on with my job.
 
I always asked Dad's advice about work, even though his work and mine were very different. When I was growing up, Dad had two jobs. The main one was with the City of Buffalo sanitation[1]) department. He started out as a lifter, the man who picks up the garbage cans and empties them into the truck. He gradually worked his way up to driver and, later, foreman[2]).
 
He left for work at dawn, and when his shift was done, he'd come home around 5:30, eat a quick supper and then sprawl[3]) across the bed for a short nap before heading out for his second job, which was driving a delivery truck at night for the Buffalo Evening News. As hard as he labored, we never heard a single complaint. He considered it a sign of success, and even a blessing, that he was able to hold down[4]) two jobs and provide for his family.
 
I told him about my latest assignment: to help come up with[5]) ideas that would boost the "Today" show's audience. A recent broadcast from Moscow had been a big success, so I suggested doing another show from abroad, going behind the walls of the Vatican[6]) at Easter time.
 
"Good idea," said the producer. "And let's get the Pope."
 
I burst out laughing, but then realized he wasn't joking.
 
I learned the Pope did not grant exclusive interviews to journalists, but maybe he would agree to a special Mass in his chapel[7]) during Holy Week. We could include it as part of our coverage. I actually sat down and sent a letter to the Pope, via the papal[8]) nuncio[9]) in Washington, asking if he would appear on the "Today" show when we traveled to Rome.
 
When he heard this, Dad roared with laughter. "You wrote a letter to the Pope? Let me know if you hear back from him."
 
I told him that I had managed to get an appointment with Joseph Cardinal[10]) Krol of Philadelphia and was hoping to enlist[11]) his help. Cardinal Krol was of Polish descent and a friend of the Holy Father's[12]); when Pope John Paul II was a cardinal, he visited Cardinal Krol on a trip to the United States.
 
Dad said, "Maybe you should write that letter in Polish. I have some friends in Cheektowaga" — a blue-collar suburb of Buffalo — "who could help you."
 
We were both laughing. Then he said, "I'm serious. When you talk to people, speak their language. It shows respect."
 
When I hung up the phone, I thought: Actually, that's a pretty good idea.
 
At work the next day, I faxed my letter to our Warsaw bureau and asked for it to be translated into Polish. When I went to Philadelphia to see Cardinal Krol, I gave him the letter. "This is written in Polish," he said, surprised. "And it's very good Polish. This is excellent. The Pope loves to receive letters in his native language."
 
A few weeks later, a couple of us from NBC were invited to fly to the Vatican to discuss our proposed plans for Holy Week. A short time after that, I got word that the Pope had agreed to say a private Mass for broadcast in the Pauline Chapel. I wanted to shout, "Yessss!" but somehow that didn't seem appropriate.
 
Speak their language, Dad had reminded me. Reach out to them and respect them by speaking their language.
 
He gave me similar advice when I was asked to be a panelist13)on "Meet the Press." At the time, the program included a rotating panel of journalists who participated in questioning the guests. My first appearance was Sunday, September 16, 1990.
 
On Saturday I called Dad: "I'm going to be on 'Meet the Press' tomorrow. Any advice?"
 
"Pretend you're talking to me," Big Russ said. "Don't get too fancy. Don't talk that Washington talk. Ask questions that my buddies at the legion14) hall would want to know about." It was good counsel and, as usual, I took it.
 
A few weeks before Dad's 75th birthday, I called him and announced, "I'm finally in a position to buy you a new car." For his whole life, Big Russ bought only used cars, and when I was a boy, I used to say, "Dad, someday I'm going to buy you a brand-new Cadillac."
 
I sent him Cadillac, Mercedes and Lexus catalogs. "Look them over," I told him. "You can have any car you want, with any options. It's a birthday present. When I come for Thanksgiving, we'll pick it up."
 
On Thanksgiving, visiting Dad in Buffalo, I said, "Okay, which one?"
 
"Let's go for a ride," he said. We got into his Chevy Caprice15) and drove to Jack Adkins Ford. A tall, thin man with a Buffalo Bills jacket came out to greet us.
 
"This is Charlie," Dad said. We shook hands. "He gave me a good number on my trade-in16) Charlie, show him the car."
 
We followed Charlie into the showroom. There, all shined up, was a black Crown Victoria. I couldn't believe it. "Dad, it's a cop17) car!"
 
"Isn't she beautiful?" he said. He opened the trunk. "You can get three suitcases in there, and two cases of beer."
 
As we were heading home, I said, "Dad, you could have had whatever you wanted — a Cadillac, a Mercedes, a Lexus — but you chose a Crown Vic. Do you really think it's better?"
 
"No, of course not," he replied. "But if I came home with a fancy Cadillac, do you know what people would say? 'His kid made it, and now he's too big for us.' This is who I am."
 
I realized then that buying Dad an expensive car wasn't just an expression of my love. It was also, in part, my way of showing off18). Even in receiving a gift, Big Russ was gently teaching me another lesson.  

  1984年的一天晚上,当时我刚刚开始在国家广播公司上班,我给爸爸蒂姆"鲁塞特——人们都称他为大鲁斯——打了个电话。与往常一样,我们谈了谈我工作的近况。
  虽然爸爸的工作和我的截然不同,但我常常向他讨教工作方面的事情。在我成长的过程中,爸爸一直做着两份工作。他的主要工作是在布法罗市卫生局。开始他只是个搬运工,负责扛起垃圾箱,把里面的垃圾清空到卡车上。后来他一步步地干到司机,再后来成了工头。
  他黎明时分就去上班,轮完班之后在5:30左右回到家,匆匆吃完晚饭,爬上床小睡一会,再赶去做他的第二份工作,就是在夜里为布法罗《晚间新闻》开送货的卡车。他如此拼命地工作,但是我们从未听过他有任何怨言。在他看来,这是一种成功的标志,甚至是一种幸福,因为他能够做好两份工作,供养好家庭。
  我跟他说了说我最新的任务:为提高《今日》节目的收视率来出谋划策。由于最近从莫斯科做的一档广播节目取得了巨大的成功,所以我建议再从国外做一档节目——复活节之际探秘梵蒂冈。
  “好主意,”制片人说,“让我们联系教皇吧。”
  我大笑了起来,然后意识到他并非在开玩笑。
  我了解到教皇从不接受任何记者的独家专访,但是也许他会同意在圣周(译者注:复活节前一周)期间在他的教堂里举行一场特殊的弥撒。我们可以把它作为专题报道的一部分。我真的坐下来给教皇写了封信,通过罗马教廷驻华盛顿的大使递交给了教皇,询问他能否在我们访问罗马期间出席《今日》节目。
  听到这儿,爸爸轰然大笑起来。“你给教皇写了封信?要是你收到了他的回信,记着告诉我。”
  我告诉他我设法约见了费城的约瑟夫"克罗尔红衣主教,希望能获得他的帮助。克罗尔红衣主教的祖籍是波兰,他是教皇的一个朋友;在教皇约翰"保罗二世还是红衣主教的时候,他在一次访美期间曾经拜访过克罗尔红衣主教。
  爸爸说:“也许你应该用波兰语给教皇写信。我在奇克托瓦加有些朋友,他们也许能帮助你。”奇克托瓦加位于布法罗市郊区,那里住的都是些蓝领工人。
  我俩大笑起来。然后他说:“我没跟你开玩笑。你和别人说话,就应该用他们的语言。这显示了尊重。”
  我挂上电话,心想:没错,这真是个好主意。
  第二天上班的时候,我用传真把那封信发给了我们在华沙的派驻机构,请他们帮忙翻译成波兰语。当我去费城拜会克罗尔红衣主教的时候,我把那封信交给他。“这是用波兰语写的呀,”他很吃惊地说,“语言很地道。写得非常不错。教皇喜欢收到用他母语写的信。”
  数周之后,我们国家广播公司的几个人受邀飞往梵蒂冈,讨论我们所提议的圣周采访计划。此后不久,我得到消息说教皇同意在圣保罗教堂举行一场专门的弥撒以供播出。我都想大声欢呼,“哦耶!”,但是这多少显得不太合适。
  说他们的语言,爸爸提醒了我。说他们的语言,去了解他们,尊重他们。
  当我受邀担任《会见新闻界》节目的小组成员时,爸爸给了我类似的建议。当时节目组每期都会轮流邀请几位记者,参与向嘉宾提问。我第一次参加节目是在1990年9月16日,一个周日。
  周六的时候,我给爸爸打电话说:“明天我要上《会晤媒体》。有什么建议吗?”
  “你就当是在跟我谈话,”大鲁斯说,“别搞得太花哨。别像华盛顿的政客那样。就问一些我在退伍军人堂的老伙计们想了解的问题。”这个建议不错,跟往常一样被我采纳了。
  在爸爸75岁生日之前的几周,我给他打了个电话,向他宣布:“我现在终于能给你买辆新车了。”大鲁斯一辈子都只买二手车,我小的时候常常对他说:“爸爸,有一天我一定要给你买辆崭新的凯迪拉克。”
  我把凯迪拉克、奔驰和雷克萨斯的产品目录发给他。“你仔细挑一挑,”我对他说,“你随便挑,任何配置的都行。这是我送你的生日礼物。等我回家过感恩节的时候,咱们一起去提车。”
  感恩节那天,我回到布法罗市看望爸爸,对他说:“怎么样,挑好了吗?”
  “咱们开车去转转吧,”爸爸说。我们坐上他那辆雪佛兰随想曲汽车,前往杰克"阿德金斯福特汽车店。一个又高又瘦、身穿水牛城比尔队外套的人走过来迎接我们。
  “这是查理,”爸爸说。我们握了握手。“他给我折旧换新,打了很大的折扣。查理,给他看看那辆车。”
  我们跟着查理走进展厅。在那儿摆着一辆锃亮的黑色皇冠维多利亚牌汽车。我觉得难以置信。“爸,这是辆警车!”
  “难道不漂亮吗?”他说。他打开后备箱。“这儿能放下三个手提箱和两箱啤酒。”
  在回家的途中,我说道:“爸,你想要什么车我都可以给你买——凯迪拉克、奔驰、雷克萨斯——可你怎么挑了一辆皇冠维多利亚。你真觉得它更好吗?”
  “不,当然不是了,”爸爸回答说,“但是如果我开着辆花哨的凯迪拉克回家,你知道别人会怎么说?‘他儿子给买的,他现在可比我们上档次了。’开这辆车的话,我还是我自己。”
  这时我意识到给爸爸买辆昂贵的轿车不仅是我表达爱意的一种方式。它在一定程度上也是我炫耀的一种方式。大鲁斯甚至通过接受礼物也温和地教给我另外一个道理。
 
1.sanitation n.卫生

2.foreman n.工头

3.sprawl v.四肢伸开的躺卧

4.holddown:保住(工作)

5.comeupwith:提出

6.Vatican n.梵蒂冈

7.chapel n.小教堂

8.papal adj.罗马教皇的

9.nuncio n.罗马教廷大使

10.cardinal n.红衣主教

11.enlist v.谋取

12.HolyFather:(天主教徒)对教皇的尊称

13.panelist n.小组成员

14.legion n.退伍军人协会

15.caprice n.随想曲,幻想曲

16.tradein:抵价购物

17.cop n.警察

18.showoff:炫耀

  

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