One spring break, my family went to Florida when I was 9 and in third grade. We stayed with my grandparents, who had a small winter home there in Winter Haven, outside Orlando, and after a day spent splashing in the neighborhood's pool, we sat down in the family room. Grandpa turned on the TV, and found a TV special featuring Luciano Pavarotti. I thought the big Italian was okay.
When we got home, my teacher, Mrs. Wright, asked what I did on spring break.
"I went to Florida," I answered.
"And what did you do there?" she pressed.
"We watched Pavarotti," I said.
"Pavarotti!" she gasped. "Ooooooh!"
When you're an opera singer and known to the residents of Muncie, Indiana, well, that's the definition of popularity. Rest in peace.