This is a very special day for me, because it is Stephen's birthday. Every one of us has his or her heroes, people we admire, try to emulate and learn from. Most of my heroes have been out of reach for me - either because they have passed away long ago or because they are not accessible for a struggling writer from Germany. In some cases that may be a good thing. Heroes tend to lose their luster when seen up-close. I had the good luck to meet Stephen more than once, and my admiration for his work was enhanced by enchantment. He is a kind, helpful, very open person, never condescending though always demanding. The advice he gave made me a better dramatist, and I am a better colleague for the example he set. All of his musicals are masterworks, and his "A Little Night Music" is a gem.