Friday, June 4, 2010

Your Brush with Greatness!

In light of that fact that a few of our commenters mentioned meeting famous people in my Seven Things About You post, and because our daughter Gnome (comments as juliegoose)  recently had a brush with greatness, I decided to open this post up to you again.

Have you ever met anyone famous?  Even if you haven't actually met someone, have you shared the same breathing air or noticed them across the room? We want to hear about it! If you already mentioned it in a previous comment, we now want the dirty details.  Seeing a famous person in concert doesn't count (unless they shake your hand or kiss you--heh heh heh.)

I'll get things started!

1. Merrill Osmond shook my hand. I have it on video.

2. I met author of Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner, outside of a convention center in Salt Lake City and got my picture taken with him. ( He was a very gracious man, I must add.)

3.Derek Hough of Dancing with the Stars fame walked past me at the Salt Lake airport two Christmases ago. I could do nothing but stare and point and by the time my daughter figured out who I was madly gesturing at, he was gone.

4. One of John Cougar Mellencamp's band members pinched my rear in a bar after a concert.  Okay, since I can't actually name this person I will disqualify this entry. Besides, it made me mad.

This is your chance to tell all!

5. Oh. Oh. I can't believe I forgot this one. I have talked to Arsenio Hall on the phone several times. When I worked at Gateway computers, he was one of our customers. When he called in, he used an alias, which I will call "N.W."  The director of public relations would come to me and say, "N.W. is on the phone and he is having a technical issue. Would you please assign him to one of your technicians?"  I would pick my most mature technician on duty, then pick up the line and say, "Good afternoon, Mr. W. I am now transferring you to our technician, William."  William even got sent an autographed photo. 

6. I remembered another! When I worked at Gateway, I was eating in the lunchroom and in walked Ted Nugent. I was about 25 feet away from him. He and the owner of Gateway were hunting buddies and the owner, Ted Waitt, was giving the Nuge a tour of the place. 


  1. Oh, I have a list.

  2. The only two I can think of are:

    (1) When I was a kid I met Farrah Fawcett because one of our Scoutmasters knew her, so he had her come to one of our Scout meetings.

    (2) I met Michael Dorn (the actor who plays Worf on ST:TNG) a long time ago. Real nice guy, very friendly.

    That's all I can think of.

    God Bless,

  3. Auntie M: Not only do you have a list, I am sure you have a book! :) Feel like sharing a few?

    Adam: Farrah! My brother would have thought he was in heaven had Farrah come to his scout meeting.
    How did you meet Michael Dorn?

  4. Perhaps incomplete list (I'm old; I've been around awhile).

    Jane Russell, actress, in an airport years ago. Yes, she has a big bosom.

    Kirk Douglas, actor, in an airport years ago. He claims he's 6 feet tall (LOL).

    Johnny Matthis, singer, sitting in a bar in Vegas when he was first popular.

    Dick Martin (Rowan and Martin), rode with him in an elevator, Lake Tahoe.

    Stewart Granger, actor, movie premiere, The Big Hunt, Sioux Falls, SD. The movie was filmed there.

    John F. Kennedy, while campaigning for president, a parade in Sioux Falls.

    Gene Autry, at a Cable Television convention.

    Jimmy Stewart, when he was elderly. He was signing copies of his poetry book. I'd bought one for Jill because she likes JS. The line was a couple of blocks long and the bookstore mafia came out and said Mr. Stewart was getting tired and they'd be cutting the I was next in line, behind the cutoff. I said, "I'm going in. I've been here a half hour." Mafia man let me and my spouse through. Mr. Stewart was charming and handsome. When I thanked him, he said, "You're welcome," in that drawl of his.

    George W. Bush, airport sendoff while campaigning in Sarasota.

    Liz Taylor, when she was married to Senator John Warner, Virginia

    Norman Mailer, writer, I ran into him, as in collided with, in a bookstore

    And, Bishop Fulton Sheen. I was on a plane with him and I felt secure knowing that plane wouldn't go down with His Holiness aboard. Or if it did, my friends and family would say, "I know a woman who was on the plane with Bishop Sheen when it crashed."

  5. Auntie M: Wowza! That is quite the list! I'm so glad you were persistent in trying to get through to Jimmy Stewart. That drawl had to be well worth the wait. It was fun to see your list. The only ones I had known about previously were Liz Taylor and Norman Mailer.(I love that you "ran" into him!) The Bishop Fulton Sheen story had me laughing. So did you get to speak to Dick Martin in the elevator? I loved that guy!

  6. Randi -

    Yeah I wish I had stuck with scouting after elementary school, I have two cousins who made it to Eagle Scout. I really like the Scouting org & the lifeskills it teaches, plus as you know teaches a lot of good gospel principles. The scoutmaster who intro'd us to her was Mr. Loftis who was also my guitar teacher (another skill which I never kept up with :(

    I met Michael Dorn at a convention called "Dixie Trek" which was a scifi convention for people who live in the southeast. I wish they still had Dixie Trek, but alas I have to find my nerddom elsewhere ;)

    God Bless,

  7. Adam: I have been really grateful for the influence of the scouting organization on my son's life. He's got a great scoutmaster who takes them on frequent camping trips, hikes and bike rides.

  8. Okay, well, I'm pretty excited about this, but last weekend, I COOKED A RIBEYE (medium rare) FOR GEORGE LOPEZ. Yeah, it was totally awesome. And yes, I was nervous, especially after my boss walked in, looked at me and said, "that better be good". I think I almost had a panic attack. But Mr. Lopez ate all of it so it seems that he was satisfied. For the full story, in all its dramatic glory, you can check out my blog

    I also was an eye witness to the meeting of Chris Gardner, who seemed a very friendly and even cheerful fellow.

    I also talked to an Osmond brother, though sadly I don't know which one it was. I had to ask directions because I knew he was familiar with our town.

    Those are all my celeb sightings, course the most recent one was the best :P

  9. juliegoose: It was so funny because last week, after you told me about George Lopez eating at your restaurant, I had a Sunday School student come up to me and say, "Randi, guess who I saw yesterday?" He was kind of bummed when I answered, "George Lopez?" I stole his thunder and shouldn't have. Lesson learned. An acquaintance of mine saw George at Walmart and got her photo taken with him. Now it's her Facebook profile pic. Headed off to your blog...

  10. juliegoose: Ok so I went to your blog and the George Lopez story is so not there. Waiting...waiting... :)

  11. Lol, sorry, I thought I would have finished it before you got back online! Silly me! But it's up now lol :P

  12. Everyone: You simply must go to juliegoose's blog to read the complete George Lopez story.

  13. Randi, how about your grandmother's brush with Henry Fonda? The story is online somewhere, just Google "The Prince Dined At The Palace."

    And your unc once shared the men's room in a DC restaurant at the same time as Rock Hudson.

  14. Well, I guess my most infamous brush with greatness is throwing up on Meryl Streep's lawn.
    But living minutes from Washington DC, one often has sightings of politicians, or celebrities filming movies or testifying on the Hill, or even getting held up in traffic while the POTUS' motorcade goes by.
    Here are some more ~
    Drawing blood from famous Redskins Joe Theisman and Charlie Mann (when I worked at the local hospital)
    Assisting John Forsythe when he arrived at a convention my company held
    Meet & Greet with DC United team
    Riding a plane with Vernon Jordan
    Meeting Garrison Keillor at a book signing
    Meeting Colin Powell, George Bush, and Laura Bush in South Africa
    Passing Robert Duvall on a street in Georgetown
    Passing Mikhal Baryshnikov running along the canal in Georgetown
    And of course, the time my daughter Sarah tried to ignore actor Chris Burke!

  15. I have a few I will share:
    1) Last night I got to meet Chuck Norris. My friend and I were working at a Republican event that he was at and we had to guard the door as he came in. After his speech, Norris signed and autograph and took a picture with all 500 people there. A genuinely good guy. I was with him at the end the entire time, as my job was to take the pictures for the people that wanted to meet him. I got to talk with him, too.

    2)Jill said she got to meet Garrison Keillor and I did a few years ago. He was at The University of South Dakota where he did a Q & A and after I went up and talked to him and got one of my books signed by him. When he signed it he wrote "To Alice" on it. He thought my name was Alice the whole time! I told him it was Alex, and he somehow turned the word "Alice" into a happy face and wrote "Alex" next to it.

    3) I've met a bunch of politicans over the years, since they all come to Iowa. George W. Bush, Newt, Dan Quayle, Ron Paul, John McCain, and Dick Cheney to name a few. Ron Paul has to be the nicest I've met over the years.

    4) Got to meet Tim Robbins briefly when he came to Iowa City.

    5) Got to meet John McEnroe after I saw him play in a tennis match when I was in Washington D.C.

    6) I've been lucky to be doing some media stuff at The U of Iowa the last couple of years, and I've got to meet a lot of ESPN personalities like Bob Griese, Kirk Herbstriet, Brad Nessler, Bob Davie, and Bill Raftery (who loves to talk to students when he goes to campuses."

  16. Randi -

    I would've stuck with scouting more when I was a kid, but (a) my parents had gotten divorced when I was in the 6th grade so we moved from Houston to Atlanta (b) as a kid I was never very religious, though always interested in religion. But looking back on everything if I had a son I would want him involved in scouting for all it taught me & all it can teach a young person.

    As for your daughter in law..She can cook & she likes to wear pantyhose? And she's got a cute kid to boot! Marry me! :)

    God Bless,

  17. Auntie M: Oh yes! I love that story about Grandma. My mom told me about that. Here it is if anyone wants to read it:

    Jill: That is so funny that you threw up on Meryl Streep's lawn. I think this begs for further elaboration.You have quite the list of celebrity encounters. It must be a little exciting to live in an area where there is always something going on. I loved John Forsythe when he was on Nanny and the Professor. When you pass these people, do you do a double take and smile? I know I do. And sometimes I get brave, like with Chris Gardner. My favorite is the Sarah and Chris Burke story. Those photos are classics as they track their relationship progression.

    Alex (or should I say Alice?): That is so cool that you got to meet Chuck Norris! He is really an intelligent man--something that I recently discovered over the past year in an email series that I get from him.

    Since you didn't mention this, I will---when Alex was a child he broke his arm and Hilary Clinton signed his cast and had her picture taken with him.

    Do you remember when you were five and wanted to meet Benjamin Netanyahu? :)

    I always wonder who you're going to meet next! And thanks for coming over and participating. Come back any time!

    Adam: submit your resume to her father. :)

  18. Randi -

    Well tell Tim I've got 2 large herding dogs who are used to dealing with herding various mammals so I am sure I can figure something out. The only thing I worry about is I am British & they never really have liked the Irish :)

    As long as her Bishop says she is a good girl, that is fine by me ;)

    Plus you can count on living the "high life" with a Philosophy degree & presently pursuing an Elementary Teaching certificate so...

    God Bless,

  19. Adam: I will be sure to pass this information on! :)

  20. The Meryl Streep, it wasn't some wild Hollywood party with too many Cosmos!
    Many years ago, I went to Connecticut to meet an old boyfriend's parents. Car ride up, I felt a little funny. By dinner it was clear it was more than nerves. The next 20 or so hours were spent in bed or the bathroom, with fever and hallucinations until I finally landed in the small town hospital for a night, with dehydration. Good times!
    This was before cell phones, and having no idea what my hosts' phone number was, I was at their mercy until somehow they were notified to pick me up.
    Trying to salvage the weekend, my boyfriend took me on a tour of the picturesque new england town where lots of celebrities had homes.
    A famous writer/illustrator couple, THE Bausch & Lomb guy, Whoopie Goldberg in her Ted Danson days, and....Meryl Streep.
    I still wasn't over the flu, and all the car-riding wasn't doing me much good, so by the time we got to MS's house....the rest is history.

  21. Jill--Oh gosh, that is just too funny! So did he ask you out again after that? ;) I'll bet you were mortified at the time, but it sure is hilarious now! Thanks for coming back to tell the rest of the story.

  22. Oh, yes, we dated for several years and I was even allowed back in his parents' house. Although no one let me forget about it!
    Our kids now attend the same school.

  23. Jill--Nor SHOULD anyone let you forget about it--*smile* That's definitely going to have to go in your memoirs. Happy to hear that Papa Bee is coming home soon! I'll bet this will be the longest two weeks ever!

  24. You know I love John Cougar Mellencamp's songs!

    I feel like a hermit. I don't have any famous people to mention. Wait, I did see one of the Cosby kids at a movie theater once. Wish I could say I saw Bono or Sting :)

  25. Randi: Thank you for mentioning Hillary Clinton...I "accidently" left that one off the list haha.

  26. septembermom: What's your favorite JCM song? Mine is "I Need a Lover That Won't Drive Me Crazy." Love the whole musical intro. Yeah, when you get that date with Bono or Sting, remember your pal Randi. :) I used to love the Cosbys. I wanted to be Claire.

    Alex: Yeah sure, Alex. We all know that you sleep with that cast. Right next to your Bill Clinton puppet. :)


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