IF you have met John Chamberlain, then you already know he is impossible to forget. Lighting up the pages of trade news or bringing that brand of creativity and confidence to the retail spread of the show floor, he can’t help but stand out in a crowd. I was lucky enough to meet this enigma in my first years in produce, and I cannot imagine a month without his humor and passion. What would this citrus stunner do with a handful of IFs? We asked him here, and he did not disappoint.
IF you could have been born in another century or decade, which would it be and why?
The 1920s in Paris, along with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, E.E. Cummings, Archibald MacLeish, Hart Crane, Gertrude Stein, and others as part of La génération perdue (The Lost Generation).
IF you had to choose now, what would your last meal consist of?
Lemon-flavored CHEETOS®, baked and crunchy. If they don’t have some, we’ll make them!
IF you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Dining with some of the peeps from the Algonquin Round Table—Franklin Pierce Adams, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Dorothy Parker, and Alexander Woollcott.
IF you wrote an autobiography, what would be the title?
A Tale of Two Cities: Revisited and Repurposed.
IF you had to wear the same thing every day, what items of clothing would you pick?
Sunglasses and jeans. Does a bottle of wine count as ‘wearing’?
IF you had to eat the same thing every day for the rest of your days, what would you eat?
Rocky Road Ice Cream (and lemons).
IF you could enhance one aspect of your intelligence, which part would you want to improve?
The part that is way down on the intelligence spectrum.
IF you could join a musician, dead or alive, on stage to sing along or play an instrument with, who would you choose and why?
John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and John Lee Hooker. Let’s do it in the same diner in Chicago à la Blues Brothers.
IF you had $10 million dollars that you had to donate to someone else, who would you choose and why?
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). A pretty obvious choice, I’m afraid.
IF you had a superpower, what would you want it to be?
IF you could have any actor play you in a movie, who would you want?
Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ice Cube.
IF you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you bring?
The Internet, Amazon Prime, Cracker Jack®.
IF you could redo one moment or event in your life, which one would you choose and why?
I was Tom Sawyer in the sixth grade and also President of Cranberry Elementary in Norwalk, Connecticut. I’m afraid that was the zenith.