The Wind Beneath his Wings

In her acceptance speech this week, actress Patricia Arquette thanked Robert Mueller during the SAG awards on national prime time TV.

Of course expressing gratitude for the special counsel was appreciated by most of the glitterati in the audience and (mostly) everyone watching. The United States will explode with confetti when the investigation is complete, and Bob Mueller will achieve Messiah status. In fact, he already has.

Robert Mueller is being called our patron saint of indictments.

But there’s no one on earth who will be happier when this is all over with than Mrs. Robert Mueller. Without her approval, devotion and support, America might be in a totally different place. Ann Mueller is an unsung hero who should be elevated to sainthood too.

Mrs. Mueller has made the ultimate sacrifice by loaning the country the love of her life to fight for justice at a great cost to her and her family’s personal safety and well-being.

And this isn’t the first time she’s altruistically supported her husband’s work on behalf of the American people. Ann has stayed by his side for nearly 60 years, through many life-changing events. These include the Vietnam War, college, law school, mob cases, job changes and the investigation of the biggest terror attack in U.S. history on Sept. 11. According to The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War by Garrett M. Graff, Ann and Bob met in high school and got married before he enlisted in the Vietnam War. She’s moved across the country and back for his career 17 times (always saying “this is the last time”). I’m sure she never dreamed of her husband being asked to serve again in such a high-profile, dangerous and stressful investigation at a time in their lives when things should be slowing down. (They are both 74 and have been together for 57 years.)

Bob’s approach to the Russia probe, a web of intricate, decades-long, international crimes that makes Watergate look like deflategate, must be as carefully carried out as brain surgery. He must present an air-tight, rock solid case that even the most ardent Trump supporters can’t dispute and he can’t rest until every Stone is un-turned (pun greatly intended). As a result, Bob’s dangerous, demanding and high profile assignment as special counsel has taken him from Ann, their daughters and their grandchildren on weekends, nights and holidays for nearly two years. He could have a cushy, more predictable, higher-paying job in private practice – in a much fancier office. Or, he and Mrs. Mueller could be playing golf or relaxing on a cruise during the comfortable well-earned retirement they both so deserve. Instead, he’s chosen to serve our country once again, with Ann by his side.

Once upon a time, Bob dreamed of anonymity. After 9/11, he told the Chicago Tribune, “My kids are grown up and away,” he said. “But it has affected us in what we do and the freedom we have to move around. But by the same token, it becomes part of the job and it will always be here. And you do it and hopefully down the road you return to anonymity.”

That road has long since vanished. Things will never be the same for the Muellers. Bob will forever be larger than life in our minds and in the history books. Generations will never forget his central role in investigating the biggest political scandal in American history. But no man is an island. He could not get through this alone.

They say behind every good man is a good woman. It couldn’t be truer in the case of Robert S. Mueller III.  We love you and thank you, Mrs. Ann Mueller. We will be indebted to you forever.

Ann Mueller is an unsung hero in all of this and should be elevated to sainthood, too.


Recommended Reading for Hollywood

“Lisa, Bobby Orr is on the line.”

My palms got sweaty and I took a deep breath.  I was organizing an event that the former Boston Bruin was involved with, but I never expected him to call me.  Several colleagues gathered around my cubicle, incredulous that a junior level PR girl was talking to the living legend.  I hung up and swiveled my chair around.  “I’m going to Bobby’s house tomorrow to bring him to the event,” I told the group nonchalantly.

I was cool on the outside.  Inside, my mind raced.  I imagined the look on Bobby’s face when he saw my old Honda Civic croak up his manicured driveway.  What if the car broke down on the way to the event?  Worse yet, what if we got into a crash?  But talk about the publicity!  (As long as no one got hurt, of course.)  I thought about putting the client’s banner on my bumper.  Fortunately, I emerged from my panic stricken mania and good sense kicked in.  I dialed a car service, but before I could say, “Do you have a car available tomorrow?” I got buzzed on the other line.  This time, it was an assistant.  Mr. Orr was all set, no need to pick him up.  To say I was relieved would be an understatement.

The event was being held to promote a local real estate project.  Bobby had been asked by his friend (the developer and my client) to come and sign autographs.  When the event was over, he signed an autograph for me.

OrrautographJust before he left, told him how my grandmother worshiped him. How she and I watched the Stanley Cup playoffs for hours. That she cried when he got traded to the Chicago Blackhawks.  He must have heard these stories on a daily basis.  As Bobby listened politely, I quickly grabbed another photo for him to sign. “You can make it out to Ethel,” I said excitedly.

I was crestfallen when Bobby asked for her address.  I preferred getting his autograph then and there.  “Thank you so much, but that’s alright, I said.  “My Nana will be so happy to get this one.”

Bobby still preferred to send Nana a color photo.  As I wrote down the address, I thought, “Oh well, I tried.”  I imagined the golden opportunity was lost.  Who could blame him if he forgot?  He has hundreds of fans.  Sending an autograph, to a little old lady he never met, wouldn’t stay on his radar.  So I didn’t tell Nana about my interaction with her hero.

Weeks later, Nana called.  “You wouldn’t believe what I got in the mail today!” I played dumb but was hoping it was from the famous athlete.  I was elated when she confirmed this.   “The greatest hockey player who ever lived remembered Ethel!”

Bobby Orr is unique.  In a world where many celebrities behave badly and shamelessly promote themselves, he does things for all the right reasons.  He recently told the Boston Globe’s Bob Hohler,

“If you’re going to help someone, you sneak in, you sneak out… I don’t do things to get ink.”  He also said athletes should live up to a special code of conduct. “Once you’ve turned pro and you’re making the big bucks and kids are buying your sneakers and your skates and your gloves and so on, you are a member of that role model club.”

Years after my client’s event, I attended a function where Bobby was the guest of honor.  After waiting in an endless line, I got to shake his hand once again.  I asked if he remembered me.  Graciously, he said, “Of course I do. ” He agreed to a photo that I treasure to this day.   LRBobbyOrr

His new book, Orr: My Story, comes out this week.  I do not represent Bobby Orr, or his publisher, and have no stake in whether or not it sells.  I have no idea whether or not it will reach the wide audience it deserves.  What I am sure about is that this bio should be read by actors, kids, young adults, parents, teachers and anyone in a position to influence others, or be influenced themselves.  Bobby Orr is the consummate gentleman and an example of how everyone — famous or not — should be.

Come to think of it, he probably wouldn’t have minded my old Honda Civic after all.