There was a certain glow about Doris and Richard Sugarman Saturday as they made their way to dinner at the Hartford Hilton Saturday, an anniversary glow.
But that "something, something" had nothing to do with another year of being married but rather another year of their CT Forum, a significant 20th anniversary year for the couple that launched the popular program series.
"It has flown by," said executive director Doris Sugarman, about the diverse and entertaining panel discussions the forum has delivered the past two decades. "We have succeeded in getting topics out to the community and that was our plan when we first started."
The 20th season opened Saturday with a pre-event dinner and reception at the Hartford Hilton.Guests included panelists Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the post-2011 established Department of Homeland Security, journalist and author Robin Wright (not Sean Penn's ex-wife!) writer/commentator Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning and NPR personality,Michel Martin.
So after 20 years, the question posed to the anniversary couple was 'what has stood out'?
"Watching Walter Cronkite, the most trust man in the history of television," said Doris Sugarman
"Having 3 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias and Jody Williams on stage talking about war and peace on the first night of the Iraq War was powerful," added Richard Sugarman, the forum's founding president.
Both agreed the Yankees/Red sox forum with Bucky Dent and Carlton Fisk, together for the first time 6 months before the Red Sox broke the curse was another landmark program in the forum history.
And then there was the "90 Minutes with 60 Minutes" program featuring tv personality and writer,Andy Rooney, now 92-years-old and who said his show goodbye's on Sunday's "60 Minutes."
"Having Andy Rooney grudgingly go through the evening, not happy about our pre-event dinner, not willing to sign autographs or have his picture taken, being like Andy Rooney," Richard Sugarman recalls. "And then on stage, totally spontaneously he says 'Geez...here it is Hartford, Connecticut and somebody's trying to do something good in a sensitive and intelligent way for the community," Rooney said referring to the forum's positive efforts. "So there are some reasons to be optimistic about our world."