Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Celebrity Encounters

I was telling Sheldon one of these stories recently and I thought I would revive this entry from a previous website. I will add to this entry as new encounters happen. Enjoy!

Celebrity Encounters

Kevin Bacon (movie star/musician)
He waved his water bottle at me during a show at the Birchmere. This was when his first album came out and I already owned it and knew all the songs...unlike most of the audience who were only there because it was Kevin Bacon. I was singing and dancing through my favorite song and he acknowledged me at the end. The next time I saw him at the Birchmere the same thing happened. I stood up singing and dancing through the whole song and he kept an eye on me to see if I was still there. Don't believe me? I have witnesses!

Danni Leigh (country music singer)
Danni Leigh is from my hometown. We went to the same church and the same high school. She graduated with my brother. A few years ago when she was in town I got to talk to her. She has been fighting hard to realize her dream and she has an amazing voice. Someday she'll get to the top of the charts!!

Joey Ramone (rock legend)
My ex-husband and I saw Joey Ramone on 2nd Avenue in The Village just months before he died, May 2000.

Sean Lennon (child of a music legend)
Walking down East 55th in Manhatten on a sunny day in December 2000.

Louise Gluck (poet)
Attended a reading and then stood in line for her to sign my book. She seemed really shy.

Clarence Thomas (supreme court justice)
A few years back when Miles was a baby I worked as a cashier at the Price Club one Christmas season. One day a handsome black man came through my line. He was very chatty and we discussed nutrition and diet and such. He was a bit portly and he was dressed in jeans and a windbreaker type jacket and a baseball cap. He looked very familiar to me but I couldn't place him. Since he was discussing "diet for energy" and was dressed like a coach I asked him if he was a sports coach of some kind. He chuckled and said no that the topic just interested him. His wife was getting snippy at this point, I guess she thought I was flirting or something. So he hands me his check and I immediately zero in on his name. Boy did I feel like a doofus. Here I was talking to a Supreme Court Justice and asking if he's a football coach! I think he enjoyed being treated like a regular guy though. He was very nice, but his wife needs to take a chill pill.

Pat Conroy (author)
Went to a book signing for "Beach Music" by Pat Conroy when my son was an infant. The line zigzagged through the store, out the front door and around the corner. I was around the corner. I had no idea how long the line was inside the store or I probably wouldn't have waited. When I was inside the store about 2 rows away from where he was sitting my son had had enough and started fussing. I picked him up and jiggled and swayed and sang to him til he quieted down. When I was about 20 people back and he was in sight, a mom with a child who was leaving grabbed one of the clerks and made them take me up to the front of the line saying that we had waited long enough. (Miles was long quiet by then so it wasn't because we were making a ruckus.) Anyway, when it was my turn Mr. Conroy asked if mine was the baby who had been crying. I was quite embarrassed and said "Yes, I'm sorry." He was very nice and said he didn't know why I would stand and line all that time just to meet him. He asked my name and Miles's name and he wrote in my book..."To Sarah and Miles, who EARNED this book." Course, I still had to pay for it, but I thought it was sweet of him to take so much time talking to us when the line still stretched way out.

Jeff Bostic (Redskins football player)
The Ex and I were eating with some friends at the Outback Steakhouse in Herndon one night in the early '90s. Jeff Bostic was in the booth beside our table. He had been hurt on the field a couple weeks before and was wearing a sling on his arm. There was much fluttering by the waitress when she bought his food as she got to cut his steak for him.

Charlie Taylor (Redskins football player)
Charlie is a former Washington Redskin, a hall of famer, and one of the ex's childhood heros. He also happens to be the friend of a friend. Our friend Jane invited him to the ex's birthday party one year. The party was in a restaurant where I was working as a bartender. I had a long table set up for the 20 or so people in our party. When Charlie came in Jane sat him down right beside the ex who had no idea that he was coming. He was flabbergasted and overwhelmed, he couldn't even talk, finally he got up and moved to my side of the table, he could hardly talk to Charlie even from across the table. We still laugh about that. A funny sidenote to this story is that the ex's mom and dad also knew Charlie but their son had never believed it. When they were married they had a date night every weekend and they would go dancing and clubbing. They would run into Charlie at the clubs. When they told their children, the kids always thought they were teasing. That night Charlie walked right up and started talking to Big T and L, he knew exactly who they were. As if the ex wasn't flabbergasted enough, he now had to realize that he had been wrongly accusing his parents of lying for years!

Stephen King/Dave Barry (writers)
I had a temp job with a company on the waterfront in Georgetown back in 1993. I was the receptionist and my office sat over a walkway between two buildings. It was always fun to watch the people walking by. One day I looked out the window and saw a man who looked like Dave Barry. I kept staring at him trying to figure out if that's who it was, and why on Earth he'd be walking in Georgetown when he lives in Florida. Suddenly I remembered that I had read that he was in town playing a gig with the "Rock Bottom Remainders" his rock band with Stephen King and Amy Tan et al. At the last possible second I looked at the other man and realized it was Stephen King. They passed out of sight underneath me and I almost passed out from the shock. I wanted desperately to run down the stairs and chase after them, but didn't for 2 reasons: 1) I was the only one in the office at that moment and couldn't leave. 2)I didn't want to look like a complete stalker idiot even though it would have made my year to meet Mr. King.

Dexter Manley (Redskin football player)
I was taking a Public Speaking course at George Mason University in 1985 (or so). The first day of class this HUGE black man sat behind me. He was so large he hardly fit in his desk. I glanced back and saw a huge ring on his finger and I thought to myself that it looked as big as a Super Bowl ring. At this point I still didn't know who he was and no one else seemed to notice him. When the teacher called the roll she said "Dexter Manley" and he answered and I totally froze. The most surprising thing about this to me was that no one else reacted. There was no rustle of recognition or anything. Now you have to realize that in sports circles he was a huge celebrity in DC at this time. I about had a heart attack that I was in the same room with him. Anyway, class went on as usual. At the end of class I was walking out with a guy and I turned to him and said, "Was that THE Dexter Manley?" and he said "Who's Dexter Manley?". Later it turned out that I wasn't the only one who recognized him, we were all just staying cool. After we got more comfortable with him there was much joking about tickets to games and such. He was a really nice friendly guy. Unfortunately his personal life wasn't so peachy and he ended up dropping the class about halfway through.

Jay Schroeder (Redskin football player)
Jay is a former Redskin quarterback and years ago when I first moved to Fairfax I literally bumped into him. If I remember correctly, the Redskins were playing against the Eagles in Philadelphia and Jay got hit so hard he was knocked out. It was a playoff game and we lost. During the 11pm news that night the sports reporter was broadcasting from Redskins park and he said that there were fans there to welcome the team back even though we were now out of the playoffs. He said that the buses with the players were due back before midnight. Well my boyfriend and I looked at each other and realized that we could be there before the buses were so we high-tailed it to the car and raced over there. We got there right before the buses pulled up and this actually put us on the outside of the crowd and right up against one of the buses, just to the right of the door. Well when the doors opened the fans parted and made a path right up to the door of the building. We were all screaming and hollaring to let them know that we were still fans, the tv cameras were on and the lights were bright. Evidently Jay was still a little out of it because when he came down the bus stairs into all that chaos instead of following his teammates into the building he turned right and ran smack into ME! Now from watching football on tv I always thought that the quarterbacks were small guys. I mean beside all those linebackers they Look small! But boy was I wrong. Jay was huge, he was so tall I was staring his belt buckle in the eye! Someone behind him grabbed him and pointed him in the right direction. A fleeting but exciting moment.

George Jones (country music legend)
I was working in Hechts at the men's cologne counter. George was in town performing at the Patriot Center. The morning after his concert he stopped into Hechts to buy some perfume. The lady who waited on him was a older German woman who had NO IDEA who he was. The rest of us girls had gathered on the opposite corner of the counter to gawk. I wasn't a big country music fan at the time, but I knew he was a legend.

Ralph Sampson (basketball player)
He was a guest of honor at the Sport Banquet at my high school one year. I was a waitress at the banquet. He was taller than I was when he was sitting in his chair!

Mystery Actor
Remember that guy from Geritol commercial who said "I'll think I'll keep her."? I can't remember his name but I saw him in the London production of "The Little Foxes" with Elizabeth Taylor. While my group waited by the stage door for Liz to leave, he came out and tried to get us to join him in the bar across the street. He was at least 40 and we were all about 16. Much giggling ensued!

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