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Harold Ramis's visit to my high school

Luis Gomez

About Last Night

12:37 PM CST, February 24, 2014

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You’re going to hear a lot of Harold Ramis stories over the next few days, so here’s mine.

Ramis spoke at my school when I was a senior at Highland Park High School. Because my friends were incredibly immature, we dared a buddy to call Ramis “Egon” (the name of the character he played in both “Ghostbusters” films) during the Q & A portion of the speaking engagement and ask if he still speaks to Slimer (the green ghost in the films). It sounds stupid now, but teenage me thought it was hilarious.

Sure enough, my buddy did it. He said everything I told him to say, word-for-word. “Egon – can I call you Egon?” my friend said. “Do you still talk to Slimer?”

Ramis could have put us in our place as we cackled directly in front of him. We would have deserved it. But instead of calling us punks and reminding us that he directed and co-wrote “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day,” Ramis laughed the whole thing off and reminded us that Slimer isn’t real.

I had the opportunity to interview Ramis in 2010 at a "Meets the Oscars" exhibit at the Shops at North Bridge. During our conversation, I told him that I grew up in Highland Park, which is where his office was located, and saw him speak at my high school.

Of course, I left out the part about Slimer.

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

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