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Your brushes with greatness!


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Initial post: Nov 18, 2012 11:36:25 AM PST
Rick Shaw says:
So there I was, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge last weekend, when I looked up and walked right by Harrison Ford and his wife Calista Flockheart (Ally McBeal). I don't get star struck, as I grew up in LA and San Diego. But it's always fun to see a movie star, nevertheless.

I've had many more "brushes with greatness" over the years, but I'd like to hear some of your stories (I'm sure some of you have some whoppers).

Have fun! Beat Han Solo / Indiana Jones!!

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 11:43:15 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 19, 2012 11:09:39 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 11:55:42 AM PST
SLAYER® says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 12:12:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012 12:17:59 PM PST
I'm an old-guy. I told this, at work, a few months ago. The twenty-year-old cashier hadn't a clue who either of the --- now dead --- guys were:

It's 1970. I used to always fly military stand-by --- cheaper, but infrequently fast.
So I get a seat on a TWA plane and sit down. The stewardess bends over and
whispers in my ear "I'm sorry, sailor, but your seat has been sold. Quietly go to FIRST CLASS, and ask which seat is free... should be in the MIDDLE!"
I do so.
I sit in the middle and look to my right. I'm 6'4", and rather large, besides.
It is obvious that I am sitting next to John Wayne. I'm quietly freaking out,
and notice he is wearing a toupee. Not wanting to be a pest, but unable to
contain myself, I talk to the guy to my left.
He is a small guy way-less than HALF my weight... he is wearing a CHEAP
toupee. "Wow! Can you believe it? First Class! These seats are like Cap'n
Kirk's on the Starship Enterprise, and John -- freakin'-- Wayne is on my right-
hand side!"
The little guy made a peculiar, familiar, facial expression. I did a double-take
and said "Barney Fife!" He winced and said "Don Knotts!"
I only had a picture of my ship on me --- it'd break in my duffle bag --- I
got "John" and "Don" to sign it. I'd bet 40% of the people looking at that picture
(of a stupid ship) wonder why John Wayne and Don Knotts signed it...
or was I full of bilge-water...
It's strange -- but true!

Michael "Big Mac" McCluskey
USN & USA, Retired
- - - GERMANY- - -

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 12:16:32 PM PST
Pookie 3.14 says:
LOL this isn't a big star, but it was still funny.

We were dropping my husband off at the airport to go back overseas and on our way through the door this short dude ran right into us while looking at his cellphone. Most days, my husband and I are pretty even keeled but on the days we drop him off to go away again we're on edge to begin with, and my husband looked up and called the guy a choice word.... before realizing that it was Chris Kattan from 90's era SNL. Chris btw apologized and was nice about it :)

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 12:19:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012 12:25:40 PM PST
BenB says:
I met Ansel Adams when he was taking photographs where I was working. I didn't know who he was then, a co-worker had to fill me in.

Also shook hands with Sviatoslav Richter, the Russian pianist, after a performance. He had huge hands!

I knew Susan Ruttan before she moved to LA and performed in LA Law.

I took a comedy class from Donovan Scott, who was in the Popeye movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 12:27:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012 12:29:02 PM PST
Onoñdagegá says:
As funny as Carol Burnett was on TV, she was a royal B (with a capital B) in person. She was on a flight once and would not talk to anyone. People tried to express their adoration for her but she just sat and stared out the window, wouldn't even look at them. When dinner came she threw a fit, threw her tray, and cursed the flight attendants. She subsequently was banned on flying that airline (and that NEVER happened, at least back then with celebrities).

I never watched her show again after that, just didn't seem funny anymore. (guess she just had good writers)

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 1:36:35 PM PST
Rick Shaw says:
Time Traveller: Now that's a brush with greatness. Hmmm. Does John Wayne beat Harrison Ford? Maybe lol. Don Knotts would have been a hoot.

Ononda: I'm not surprised with Carol Burnett's behavior; I've seen many a celebrity act that way in public - like big spoiled children!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 2:04:03 PM PST
Rick Shaw says:
Moving along..... my next brush with greatness depends on your definition of "great." But I was entering Pink's hamburger joint in LA, when my brother and I walked past a table where Matt Dillon was sitting with (an unknown male) friend. My brother said, "Hey," acknowledging Mr. Dillon, and Matt look up at us, smiled and said "Hey" back. That's a cool celebrity; just acknowledging a couple of fans. I got the feeling he's a nice guy (I could be wrong).

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 2:32:00 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 18, 2012 2:33:06 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 2:35:02 PM PST
I was good friends with and went to elementary school with Sean Swayze. His older brother Patrick was a pretty cool guy too...

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 2:55:52 PM PST
Joe E Dee says:
Maybe not so great now, but this was back in the days of "Lethal Weapon."

A coworker and I were having lunch at a small, non-descript restaurant in lower Manhattan. A cell phone rang somewhere and I turned to the right and looked down toward my hip, where my cell was clipped to see if it was mine. It wasn't, but as I raised my head, still looking to the right, I came eyeball-to-eyeball with Mel Gibson, who had turned to his left for the same reason. About 8 inches separated us.

I was a recent arrival in NYC so I had to play it cool. I merely nodded ever so slightly, and turned back to my lunch buddy without comment. As soon as we were outside, however, I gave him H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks for not letting me know I was sitting next to Det. Martin Riggs of "Lethal Weapon 4."

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 3:03:25 PM PST
When I was a teenager, I was absolutely in love with the guys from Duran Duran. I was attending national church meetings in Cleveland, and I had been bugging everyone with Duran Duran's music the whole time. One night a group of us (youth and adults) were gathering in one of our hotel rooms when the phone rings. Someone answers the phone and passes it to me. When I get on the phone, the man on the other end identifies himself as Simon LeBon and invites me down to the hotel lobby for a drink. I'm thinking, "yeah right, Simon LeBon is inviting me down for drinks."

A couple of us head down on the elevator. When we get off the elevator and look over in seating area, sure enough. Simon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, and his wife are sitting over there. They call me by name, and invite me to come sit. They offer me a soda. I get their autographs on a map/placemat that was laying around. We hung out for about an hour. They were really nice, but it was kind of odd seeing John hanging all over Nick's wife.

The following year, I was flying out to Minnesota for a national youth gathering. When we got to the airport, we saw a big guy walk by with a snake hanging off his shoulders. It was Jake the Snake, the wrestler.

So, those are my brushes with celebrity.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 3:48:07 PM PST
Hansie says:
While working as a manager at a restaurant in Bloomington,IN during the mid-80's,
Bob Knight,Steve Alford and John ("Cougar") Mellencamp were occasional customers. Bloomington is a fairly small town but Bobby truly was The General and some of my employees were intimidated by him. Bob was an imposing man and John was smaller than myself but both were extremely nice and polite-regular folk.
Hey,if you were a Hoosier in the 80's-that's a pretty big "brush with greatness"!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 3:49:09 PM PST
Kitty says:
Great story! But how did they know you were a fan, and also your name and room number?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 3:54:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012 3:55:01 PM PST
Kitty -

As some of the group I was traveling with were returning to the hotel, they saw the band sitting in the lobby. They went over and told them about me and asked them to call me.

edited to correct addressee

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 4:06:57 PM PST
M. Savage says:
I urinated with Stan Lee once...

Looked to my left at the urinal, saw Stan there doing his business. He looked at me and said "how ya doin?". That was odd.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 4:20:47 PM PST
JAG says:
AWESOME story, Big Mac! My dad looked and walked very much like John Wayne, so he's always been a special hero of mine (but not as much as my dad!). And I've always loved Barney...I mean, Don Knotts!

Thanks for sharing your story. And more importantly, thanks TONS for your service and sacrifice!!! ANCHORS AWAY!!! ;-D

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 4:32:41 PM PST
JAG says:
I got a long kiss and lots of hand holding from Lord of the Dance himself, Michael Flatley!

Several years ago when he was in his prime, I waited about 3 hours on a cold, damp night in Dallas with about 35 other people to see him following a performance. At about 2:30am, he showed up. He got towards the end of the line, signing autographs and talking to people. (Was a very nice guy.) When he got to me, I told him it was my third time to see him perform and how much I enjoyed it/him. He gave me a big smile and immediately took hold of both my hands and started rubbing them tenderly to keep them warm. Then as he was rubbing my hands with one hand, he would reach over with his free hand to sign an autograph for someone. But his attention kept coming back to me and I felt incredibly special! He then said some nice things to me, then leaned in to give me a VERY nice kiss. As he was driving away in the limo, he rolled down his window, looked right at me, smiled and waved. (The car was right in front of me, so I'm certain he was looking at ME!) I was and will never be the same again! Went back to OKC and told my husband all about it! He was very gracious about it and has told the story to many people since. I think he's proud that Michael Flatley took a shining to his wife! LOL!

P.S. I also met and got the autograph of Rock Hudson in the lobby of a small hotel in Yuma, AZ, when I was a young girl. And, have worked for legendary college Coach Barry Switzer and have met/been friends with numerous well-known sports figures.

Great question!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 4:34:07 PM PST
JAG says:
I'm so freakin' jealous! When Mel was in his prime, I had a huge crush on him! To have been able to meet him...I think I would have melted into a puddle at his feet!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 4:36:19 PM PST
JAG says:
ROTFL! Priceless!

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 4:54:46 PM PST
Susan says:
I met Ronald McDonald once.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 8:11:56 PM PST
OldAmazonian says:
I once saw Ronald Reagan in an elevator in Des Moines.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 10:24:12 PM PST
©oope® says:
I passed Ray Charles going to get groceries in the eighties in NYC. He acted like he didn't even see me.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 11:07:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012 11:08:35 PM PST
My dad has a framed picture of me sitting on Ernie Banks' lap when I was 3 years old. Go Cubs!

Somewhere there's a picture of me, my younger brother, and our two cousins inside a Braum's dairy store (Oklahoma area) standing with Jim Varney back when was doing their commercials, as well as tons of other dairy store and propane commercials around the country. It was more of a meet and greet rather than coincidentally running into him, so that doesn't really count.

Oklahoma's most famous news station sports caster (Bob Barry Sr, now retired, possibly deceased) has a son who is following in his foot steps (Bob Barry Jr). He and his wife had a house built in 2000 and sold it in 2009. We were the buyers. The city we live in is the same city that I'd guess most of the local news anchors live in. 2 of them (from separate stations) had daughters in my daughter's ballet class. I see at least once of them at least once a month at the grocery store.

It seems that every time I'm in the airport I run into The Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne especially. Just last year we stood in the security line with them for a good 45 minutes. I didn't say a word, though, for multiple reasons -- 1. Like the OP, it's neat to meet a celebrity, but I don't get starstruck. 2. I've never been to one of their concerts, but that's probably the 5th or 6th time I've seen them. All at the airport. 3. I don't like The Flaming Lips.

I ran into Fergie Jenkins (former Cubs pitcher) at a local AAA game. They were playing against the Iowa Cubs and he was not there for any promotional reasons. He just happens to live in Guthrie, OK, which is the town that borders my city. Since he was there for personal reasons, I simply said "Hi Fergie!", shook his hand, and was on my way.

After a concert was over where Chevelle had performed, my group was walking behind the venue to go back to our cars and the drummer came out of a door right in front of us. We walked for a few blocks (downtown OKC) just chatting away. Seemed like a pretty normal dude.
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Discussion in:  Gold Box forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  39
Initial post:  Nov 18, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 19, 2012

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