In 1995, I was in Chicago visiting a friend's child who was dying from cancer. While I was in town, I stopped in at Steppenwolf to see _Buried Child,_ which was directed by Gary Sinise.
The next day, I'm in the airport, and Gary Sinise sits next to me in the waiting area. I get him to sign my program. We talk about the play, and we board the … Read more »
Is there a name for a brush with fame in the distant past? Would you call it an antique brush, or a vintage brush, or maybe just a piece of history? What if the encounter is through telephone wires? This is how an ordinary response to the ringing of the phone left an indelible impression on the auditory cortex of my brain that has stayed fresh for 42 years.
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I spent the last seven years in Virginia, a heart's beat off the Appalachian Trail, where "Dave Stories" are standard fare. I'd hear a friend let on in a casual tone that her best friend from elementary school just happened to be related to Dave Matthews, and so she'd seen him on many occasions; I'd listen to people debating where, exactly, his hometown isâ€”is he a South African or an … Read more »
"Hello, how are you?"
"Care for a toke?"
"Sure. We're about to go on. Where are you from?"
"Maineâ€”same as the weed."
"Great, thanks. Catch ya 'round."
"See ya later, Bob. Thank _you_ for all the music!".
A brush with the famous singer Toni Braxton made my wedding day extra special.
I live in Houston, and decided to have a destination wedding in Las Vegas. I have always wanted to get married in fabulous Las Vegas.
I selected the Little Church of the West for our ceremony because of the history that chapel holds. It was built in 1943, is quaint and romantic, has rustic … Read more »
A most memorable day in my life involving a brush with fame started as a very ordinary Sunday at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston. Now, this story happened in February of 1993. That was before Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell became the spiritual adviser to President Bush and was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight.
Houston has nice weather the majority of the time, and this particular day was … Read more »
The stunning black woman at the next table at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association dinner was unmistakably Lieutenant Uhura of the starship _Enterprise._ I never recognize celebrities (except Joe DiMaggio once, on the street in Los Angeles), but Nichelle Nichols I know.
At the SCIBA convention, writers change tables between courses, so as to push one's book to the maximum number of mom-and-pop bookstore owners. When we changed … Read more »
I was so lucky to be in the right town on the right day. A doctor's appointment in St. Louis allowed me to be present for a book signing byâ€”yes, sighâ€”Emeril Lagasse.
I waited for hoursâ€”he was so sweet and encouraging to the children among the throngs of people wanting to speak to him. He had a wonderfully kind and nice aura.
To my embarrassment, I lost … Read more »
It was getting late, almost 3:00 a.m. Cody and I were still hard at work editing. Our workspace was an old school bus that had been converted into a mobile studio with room enough for three workstations. We were parked in a dark alley just east of Abbot-Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, California.
"Hey, Tao's back," Cody said.
"Huh. He doesn't usually drop by this late."
Tao … Read more »
I was eating with friends at Chaya Venice. As I came inside after a cigarette, I held the door open and let an older couple exit. I entered and looked back through the etched glass to the street. I turned forward, eyes looking down. All I saw were brown shoes and the cuffs of crisp slacks.
Startled, I stopped, gasped, and shuffled to the side. My eyes followed the … Read more »
It was my 16th birthday, and I stood in a Philadelphia alley with my middle-aged mother and aunt waiting for Patti Scialfa (known mostly for being Bruce Springsteen's wife) to come out to her tour bus. I was not thrilled to be spending my 16th birthday at a Patti Scialfa concert.
My aunt was looking for Patti, most likely so she could put a curse on her that would … Read more »
Back in 2002, I was at my favorite watering hole, "The Yale":http://theyale.ca/â€”a famous blues club in Vancouver, Canadaâ€”when Jim Belushi walked in. He was standing behind the bar across from me, waiting to do a few numbers with the band, so I struck up a conversation with him.
He was in town for the filming of _K-9: P.I.,_ and coincidently he had been walking his dog that afternoon in … Read more »
Rushing toward MOMA, years ago, I was nearly knocked over by a large hat and enormous mustache on an interesting-looking older man. He was exiting a yellow cab on the side of the street with a flourish I'd see again only in Europe years later.
I caught my breath and said hello to Salvador Dali. He responded with a very soft "Yes" and swept passed me, almost hitting me … Read more »
My mother and father came up from Florida to meet my husband, Don, and me in New York City. Our trip from California was uneventful, and the hotel was cramped and small. We had an agenda full of places where we wanted to eat and things we wanted to do.
Don had gone out at 1:00 that morning to eat and listen to jazz at the Village Vanguard. The … Read more »
One thing I love about Toronto is that we don't tend to get star-struck here. Famous people live next door, take the subway, and have Toronto Public Library cards.
And we're snobs: Seeing someone like Ben Kingsley or Helen Mirren will cause a murmur on the street. We will wave at Danny Glover, 'cause he's here so often. Paris Hilton? Who cares?
But sometimes, even I … Read more »
My husband, Don, and I wanted to eat at Robert De Niro's restaurant in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. We got there ten minutes before our reservation and decided to hit the restrooms before our meal. Don comes out of the men's room and is waiting by a pay phone. Five minutes go by, and I haven't come out of the women's side.
A gorgeous lady with … Read more »
I've always been huge Bob Dylan devotee--before this event and even more so today. I was 17 years old, babysitting for Amerika, Abbie and Anita Hoffman's toddler, while Abbie was underground. Anita invited me to a benefit concert for the Chilean leader Salvador Allende at Madison Square Garden in NYC.
After the concert, we were led backstage into a dressing room where Dylan was holding court amid Joan Baez, … Read more »
Iâ€™d better say up front that I had knocked back a couple when this incident happened. Now, I know what you're going to say, but you have to understand that I was of the age when such things were de rigueur. Besides, I was due to fly out the next day on an extended tour, and such behavior is expected.
Better start afresh. I was a British soldier stationed … Read more »
Growing up in L.A. in the '70s and '80s as a kid who loved sports, I could not help but be swept up in the drama of the Lakers. Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird is still possibly the best matchup basketball has ever had to its credit. But the ambling, goggled grace of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ensured that all playground pickup games featured the pluck and flair of the sky-hook, a … Read more »
For a small-town Arizona boy recently moved to Hollywood, getting a job at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard was hitting the big time.
I'm totally dating myself by telling you I worked in the cassette section of the store. On one very slow night, I was working with another employee behind the counter when one of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen walked in, accompanied by a man. … Read more »
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