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CDA: Nicholas Hitchon

I just read in the NY Times that Nicholas Hitchon had died in July at the age of 65. I didn't recognize the name but instantly recognized the face. He was one of the participants in the series of *Up* documentary films. They started with a TV special called *Seven Up* in 1964, directed by Paul Almond. The producers gathered 14 seven-year-old children from different backgrounds and used them to examine the British class system.

Director Michael Apted made a second film in 1970, *Seven Plus Seven,* revisiting those same children, who were now 14. He then continued with seven more films: *21 Up,* *28 Up,* et cetera, culminating in *63 Up.* I'll quote the NY Times obit: "They [the films] became a fascinating portrait of ordinary people growing up, changing and reflecting on their lives."

Nick (as he was known) ended up moving to Madison, Wisconsin in the 80s to teach in the physics department. He spent the rest of his life in Madison, teaching until his retirement in 2022.

I met him sometime in the 90s. It might have been my very first celebrity interaction. I was working at Telecommunications, the university office where people would call to get phone numbers. You might feel like that's incredibly old fashioned - - I'll blow your head off by saying that when I started there our records were on microfiche! Anyway, I went to Cousins Subs to grab dinner during a break at work one night and who was next to me in line but Nick. I recognized him from the films and said, "Excuse me, are you Nick from the *Seven Up* films?" He laughed and said yes and we had a very warm conversation. A few months later I saw him and his wife on bikes going down State Street. I waved, he remembered me, and smiled and waved back.

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Sep 01, 2023

So interesting!! And how did he have the presence of mind at that young age to even SAY "I don't answer questions like that!" - so impressive and lovely!

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