My heroes include some of the usual subjects; Abraham Lincoln, William Wilberforce, Mother Theresa. Also included are some little known people, friends who have demonstrated through their lives what sacrifice and giving and doing the right thing are: Craig and Kathi S. who took us in after a flood, when we were strangers; Fred F., whose lifestyle of generosity is an inspiration to me still; Jack B., my "pops" whose unfailing kindness and humanity never knew a person in too low or too high a position to be a friend; my brother, Kris, whose protection and care while we were growing up made him my forever hero; my uncle Rich, who taught me what forgiveness is by forgiving the young man who deliberately ran him over and nearly crippled him for life. I have others, but the one I am thinking about tonight, perhaps because I am inspired by OS's own Patty Jane, who is writing about her new quest into sales, the guy who is on my mind tonight is Bill Porter.
Bill Porter, for those who don't know, is the subject of the docu-drama Door to Door. Bill Porter was born with cerebral palsy, but with determination and a devoted and inspiring mother, he became a successful door to door salesman with the Watkins Company. For decades he walked his route, made his sales and succeeded beyond all odds, with grace and good humor and a joyful spirit. Bill Porter's attitude alone puts me to shame.
The docu-drama is one of the best I've ever seen and William H. Macey's performance is genius of the kind rarely caught on film, as Macey becomes invisible and Bill Porter shines through. If you watch this, and I highly recommend that you do, you will forget that there are such heavy hitters in the production (Helen Mirren, Kyra Sedgewick and Kathy Baker, to name a few). What shines through this is the humanity of these people. The people in Porter's life inspire him or are changed by knowing him, as I have been.
My husband will tell you that I often don't remember having seen movies. I don't know why, some of them leave me with literally no recollection of having seen them, perhaps because they are so very forgettable, or because the story and the characters do not move me. Bill Porter moves me, inspires me. Sometimes his struggle and his victory makes me ashamed of how easy I am on myself. He lives with daily pain. I live with daily pain. He never quit. I need to pick myself up and get back at it. Bill wouldn't do it any other way. Once I heard about Bill, first having seen a story about him on one of the news magazine shows (60 minutes, perhaps?) and then having seen this movie, I have been unable to forget him.
If you need inspiration today, and you want to see a performance that will move you, put this on your must see list. I think Bill Porter will be on your hero list as well. I think I need to get a picture of Mr. Porter for my wall. Surely that would serve as inspiration and a kick in the pants when I need one.