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After a divorce, I moved to a place about as far from Oklahoma as I could think of: the state of New York. People from the South imagine that New York is a place separated by distance and culture to the point where there is no common ground on which to build.
I ended up living in Peekskill and found an apartment, which was a real accomplishment. Employment was … Read more »
It was my job. I worked for a paper and had to write a few lines about "Peter Cincotti":http://www.petercincotti.com/'s gig in Switzerland. People think that because it is your job you are going to be less impressed. They could not be more wrong.
I actually chose him because I am a fan. The pressure was huge: meeting him and trying to shut down that voice inside my head saying, … Read more »
In the early '80s, our family made an annual two-hour jaunt to Palm Springs to attend an AA convention at the Ramada Inn. This was the Hollywood chapter, so it was usually brimming with celebrities.
My brother and I, ages 10 and 12, didn't think much about that aspect of it. We were too thrilled with the prospect of spending our time playing hide and seek in the hotel, … Read more »
He said "Hey" leaving the restroom, holding the door for me.
I said "Hey" back.
I now have zero degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, and you have one.
I took a gentleman's order through the speaker box at the Starbucks drive-through. He ordered a drink and a blueberry scone. "Absolutely," I chirped to him over my headset. "Come on up to the window!"
As I gathered his order, I realized we were out of blueberry scones. "Crap!" I thought to myself. "I hope this guy doesn't give me a hard time about the scone."
The man … Read more »
I always liked the character of Chewbacca in the _Star Wars_ movies. He just seemed lovable and cuddly. So I was excited to hear that Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrays Chewbacca, was going to be in town at the comic-book convention.
It was my first year at the convention, and I was overwhelmed, in awe, of how many celebrities were there! I saw Jason Mewes and Joss Whedon, … Read more »
I was leaving a Sears department store in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1960 when I noticed a phalanx of police, reporters, and people gathered as a parade of sorts. So I thought, Who is coming down the street?
The streets and sidewalks began to fill up to the doors of the store. I needed to get home, so I pushed my way toward where my car was parked, but I … Read more »
I thought, Why is this weird black guy with a fro staring me down?
Then Corbin Bleu smiled and took off his glasses, and I freaked out. I feel bad that I thought he was creepy.
Although at the time I wrote to Norman Mailer I was a 36-year-old rounder, con man, and literary hack, I pretended to be an 18-year-old cheerleader named Buffy. He wrote back and extolled the virtues of my story "New Jersey Turnpike," which I had sent him.
After I few months, I revealed my true identity. He still continued to write. Said that his favorite author was Tolstoy and that … Read more »
My son Simon loves celebrities. But Simon, age 25, is different from most fans. He has fragile-X syndrome and is mentally impaired. His disability is obvious: He has the typical odd, long face and stick-out ears of fragile-X. His speech is difficult to understand; when he does talk, he often repeats the same few phrases over and over. One of those sentences is, "I met Tim Gunn!"
Simon is … Read more »
The old truck had been giving us problems. We decided to take it in for service before work one morning, but we had to get a rental car at the airport firstâ€”it was the closest location for my partner and me. So off we went, extra-early, so that we could maneuver through the traffic on the roads and the traffic of the business travelers hoofing it through the wide hallways … Read more »
I work in a hotel in San Francisco. Tom Waits's son (also kind of cool as people go) was staying with us.
One evening, around eight o'clock or so, the son ran past me at full tilt. I didn't think much of it. By and by, I guess two minutes later, a white SUV the size of an aircraft carrier somehow squeezed into the loading zone. Once again, I … Read more »
My stepmother and I were getting horrible service in a restaurant, simply because we were wearing jeans. After we we sat down, a young couple was seated next to usâ€”so they could get terrible service, too.
Well, my stepmother and the young man were soon up in arms, standing next to each other and screaming at the maÃ®tre d' a number of expletives not really fit for print. I'm … Read more »
I couldn't stop staring at his hand. The hand that had thrown so many touchdown passesâ€”the hand that had passed the Colts to victory in the Greatest Game Ever Playedâ€”was a mangled claw. He held the Sharpie in his closed fist, yet still managed to scratch out one perfect autograph after another. He was presented with all manner of memorabilia and other objects to sign, and did so with grace … Read more »
Every time I hear the remastered duet of Natalie and Nat King Cole singing "Unforgettable," I think of what a cool guy Nat was.
The year was 1959. There I was, 19 years old, not quite star-struck and cursed with the inability to recognize anyone famous. Great skills for the receptionist at a theatrical business manager's office.
One of the clients was Nat King Cole. He frequently came … Read more »
It was summer, hot and steamy, and we were in the second-level bleachers watching a Reds game. There was a commotion, hard to describe, but the word _Dustin_ was coming out of many mouths and heads looking over the balcony.
Of course, curiosity gets the best of us, and I looked, tooâ€”just in time to see a tiny little leathery-tanned man with a huge head and messy black hair … Read more »
My sense of fame is off-kilter. I worked at _The Tonight Show_ and got this close to Halle Berry, Hillary Clinton, Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Tom Petty, Steve Carell, and a slew of others. But I was never totally amazed by any of it. You walk by someone that famous and you sorta feel like there's nothing to it because it's a setupâ€”it's staged, this Hollywood thing.
I was … Read more »
Everyone has their moment with someone famousâ€”well, almost everyone. True to type, I remain the paradigm for "Murphy's Law":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy%27s_law, a legacy I lay at the feet of my grandmother, Maggie O'Guin.
While I was living and working many years ago in Bloomington, Indiana, my coworkers had various brushes. One, for instance, was having ice cream at a local shop, where he was able to meet and talk with John … Read more »
I'd never seen a famous person up close in my life, and I had tickets to the opening night at the "Woolly Mammoth":http://www.woollymammoth.net/ of _The Fever,_ a play written by Wally Shawn. I know. "Inconceivable!":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-b7RmmMJeo
The night of the play, I went out for a beer and a meal, and cut down to the theater. It's a small place where everyone is seated close together, and I was … Read more »
I don't get to big-name concerts much (still on the to-do list: see Prince, Madonna, and Tina Turner). But when Joan Jett came to "Webster Hall":http://www.websterhall.com/, I jumped at the chance. I'd loved her when I was in grade school and had rediscovered the joys of her music as an adult when she did a "cover":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgMbxZwxFeU of the "theme song":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCL3B5LgUCo to _The Mary Tyler Moore Show_ a few years ago.
Read more »
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