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 »
May 11, 2008â€”I remember it just like yesterday. My grandmother and I went to a concert I thought she would like...and I ended up bonding with her most of the time after the show.
Apocalyptica is a Finnish cello metal band, as in they play heavy metal on cellosâ€”very awesome. I'm obsessed with every Finnish band I listen to, because to me they make some radical music!
Back … Read more »
It was a rainy date night in Seattle, one of those rare times when parents manage to sneak away to watch a movie on the really big screen. The theater was full, but the seat next to me was empty, saved by a woman to my right.
We chatted and jokedâ€”whether about kids or defending the lone seat from predators, I donâ€™t remember. I felt jovial, and it … Read more »
A friend at work recommended a book embarrassingly titled _How to Get to I Do,_ which advised that, in order to be successful (which all losers know means getting married), a women needed to decide if she's the woman or the man and then stick to that role in a relationship. It all starts with that first glance, the book said. If you're the woman, you've got to smile and … Read more »
I was staying at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis in early March. Coming back from dinner, I saw a crowd of people standing around the side exit. I asked what was going on, and someone replied, "Samuel Jackson is doing a movie."
I race up to my room, grab a pen and a napkin, and come back down. I sneak under the security ropes (much to the chagrin of … Read more »
J'ai heurtÃ© quelqu'un, et, avec un bruit d'avalanche, toutes nos courses sont tombÃ©es par terre: les petits pots, le chocolat, le thon en boÃ®te, sur le carrelage.
"Oh, pardon," ai-je dit.
"C'est rienâ€”je vais ramasser."
Je me suis baissÃ©e pour faire un petit tas de mon butin. En relevant les yeux, j'ai vu une main saisir un paquet de pÃ¢tes. Le glisser dans un sac en cuir. … Read more »
It was a warm day in New Orleans. Mardi Gras had the streets full of mischief and fun. Most of the day's harshness had passed, and the sun was setting beneath the horizon. I was drifting down the crowded streets of the French Quarter with a few friends.
We were chatting and taking in all the sights our eyes could handle. My focus was ahead of me. The sounds … Read more »
I met Christopher Reeve at a water-conservation rally in NYC back in college. "I'm the hugest Superman fan," my best friend awkwardly gushed, leaving me red-faced.
Reeve smiled and thanked us, then went on to congratulate us on our environmental work. He struck me as being very tall and possessing a sort of grace that is indescribable.
A few weeks later, he suffered a tragic spinal-cord injury, but … Read more »
It was my curiosity that drove me out of my office that dreary day in 1993.
I worked as a congressional page for then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-WA). Based on Capitol Hill, I manned the phones in his Steering and Policy office.
On this day, I'd heard that First Lady Hillary Clinton would be appearing in Statuary Hallâ€”a round room, filled with statues, into which my … Read more »
During an opening-night Hollywood party for some world-premiere play, I glanced over toward concessions and saw someone so alluringly familiar. It drove me a little crazy that I couldnâ€™t remember who it was, particularly because I had just had a conversation with a friend about fading memory.
When I was younger, I used to make endless fun of my parents for forgetting names and dates, and with the arrogance … Read more »
As a U.S. Army draftee, Iâ€™d been assigned to "SHAPE Headquarters":http://www.nato.int/shape/ in the autumn of 1957, serving as chauffeur for Air Vice Marshal Hector McGregor of the Royal Air Force. The hours were long, but he considered my needs and respected my service. I enjoyed the privilege of meeting famous generals and even a United States presidentâ€”Dwight Eisenhower. I knew several general officers and enjoyed a mutual respect with some. … Read more »
Yup, this is a true story, and that was almost the headline six years ago when Dave, a friend from North Carolina, came to spend the weekend in New York with me.
His only request was "to see everything in _Home Alone."_ So there we were in the middle of NYC, at a traffic light between two large trucks. Dave in the back, Terry in the front, and … Read more »
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