The few I have had were not boring. They make great memories.
The best for me was while staying at the Embassy Suites near the airport in Columbus, OH, in 2013. I got a chance to meet Hank Aaron. It was during the time of all the steroid use in baseball getting exposed. He was standing in the lobby and I approached him and shook his hand and patted him on the back. I told him that all real baseball fans know he is still the Home Run King. He looked me in the eye and said, “Thank you.”
I was working in a Chili’s in Baton Rouge…at the time I was one of the oldest servers there. The manager calls me over and says, “You will know if this is who I think it is…” He turns and points and before he could say anything I walked up to Evil Knievel and asked for his autograph. I told him I had all the toys when I was a kid including the BMX bike that looked like his motorcycle! He smiled, gave me the autograph and when I said “Thanks!”, he said, “No…Thank You!” and shook my hand.
My wife and I were invited to a weekend business conference at an off-site location of one of my company’s major suppliers. Turned out one of the supplier company’s Board members was also there for the weekend and we got to hang for a couple of days with him…Neil Armstrong, first man to step foot on the moon. What a down-to-earth (pardon the pun), genuine gentleman in the truest sense.
Never met him, but from all accounts Neil Armstrong was not at all comfortable with being famous. He could have cashed in on being FMOTM after he left NASA, but instead he went back to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati. While the SMOTM, Buzz Aldrin, has cashed in to some extent (Dancing With The Stars comes to mind), Armstrong limited himself to some corporate directorships (thus your meeting) and one authorized biography in 2005.
I’ve met several celebrities. My wife knows several celebrities. Some of these interesting actions by celebrities is because they are socially awkward. There is a certain celebrity (I won’t mention the name), that when this particular celebrity meets you this celebrity has to sniff your hair (I’m absolutely being 100% serious). This celebrity is on tv every day either in reruns or one of four shows currently showing. If you watch this individual on an award show, or an interview show (like GMA) when the celebrity greets someone it’s with a hug and you can see the hair sniffing. Doesn’t matter if you are male or female (or bald like me). Sorry can’t say the name, but it’s absolutely hilarious if you look for it. You’ll actually see several celebrities do unusual things that make you think, “Did I just see that?”
At a restaurant in LA, a booming voice, Jimmy Stewart. Then in walks Clint Eastwood, going upstairs for a cast party. Marjorie Lord was there too. The next night at Spagos, ran into Laura Dern and Casey Casum. The next night, Loretta Switt at a restaurant.
Three rows up at a Broadway play, Sammy Davis. On a plane coming home from Boston, “The Boz”. At a play in New York, Madonna. Another play, Al Pacino. Another play, Lucy Arnez. In a casino in Vegas, Carrie Fisher. At a convention in LR, Fabian.
At a meeting in Dallas, Greer Garson.
At a restaurant on the beach in Malibu, sat at a table next to and visited with Edie Falco. At the same restaurant, Gary Bussey. At Bubba Gumps Shrimp in Monterrey, Diane Lane and Josh Brolin. Lots of golfers at the Masters.
I got put on the board of The Edna Gladney home in Fort Worth in the 80’s and George Bush Jr. was on the board. His dad was vice president at the time. We sat together at board meetings and talked South West Conference football.
In Hog Heaven at War Memorial, sat behind and visited with Sam Walton and Jack Stephens. That’s all off the top of my head.
You guys are funny. A long term career at Walmart enabled us to do it, a love of travel by both my wife and me, and lots of trips to LA and NYC where celebrities hang out-we don’t know why, but we just ran into a lot of them over the years. A lot of it had to do with my wife, who recognized all these people. She kept up with popular culture.
Back in the 80’s I spent about an hour talking to Walter Payton in the Chicago Airport. Walter was waiting for his brother to come from Jackson, MS, Eddie Payton. We were by ourselves waiting on a flight. He was the nicest person. He spoke softly and was not real tall, but he was built like a brick. Humble and nice. Sweetness was a great nickname for him.
Dang, I live in LA and haven’t run into that many celebs. I can recall Robert Downey Jr., Diane Keaton, Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, wife was in line at a CVS behind Bridget Fonda. NFL HoFers Tony Dorsett, Jerome Bettis.
When I was in elementary school, my family took summer trips to St. Louis for Cardinals games. I broke my left arm a couple weeks before one of our trips and - probably - guilted Tony LaRussa into autographing a ball by waving my red cast. Later that night we went across the street to a restaurant and I got Bob Knight’s autograph. He didn’t choke me. He was there with a few other people waiting on LaRussa.
For all you Cardinal fans…I forgot this. I met Stan Musial in his restaurant, Stan and Biggie’s, in St. Louis when I was 10 in the summer of 1958. We were ushered back to his office and talked to him for 5-10 minutes. He was extremely nice and pleasant. He gave me, my brother and my 2 buddies each an autographed glossy. Mine read… To Jeff, Best Wishes…Stan Musial. We had gone to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play the World Champion Milwaukee Braves at Sportsman’s Park. Stan was playing first base then, I believe. Hank Aaron was playing right field as a young kid, then. I didn’t tell Stan I was a Yankee fan. I do remember him as a great looking guy who was well dressed. He was great.
When I was in High School (1980-84), I worked part time at a Driving Range outside of Lawrenceville, GA (NE Atlanta Suburb) to help feed my golf fever. One cold, rainy & windy Fall day after school, I went to the Range and not a soul was there to hit balls. The owner and I were the only two people on the premises. So, according to my usual duties, I got onto the tractor to pick up the balls before starting my own practice session. I also wanted to wait until it quit raining. The Range was oriented facing East and was shorter front-to-back than side-to-side. There was a 30 foot high chicken wire fence at the back to keep big hitters from hitting thru the back of the Range and into the forest behind. The main tee area forced you to hit west-to-east (the short way) towards the fence and was right beside the Golf Shop. There was another tee area that I never used because of the long walk from the Golf Shop, that forced you to hit the long way across (towards the North). I only knew of a couple of really good players that would use it to get away from the crowds and because they wanted to hit Driver without hitting into the back fence.
After a cold 30 minutes or so on the tractor and the Range was almost picked, I saw a ball bounce in front of me, on the far north end of the Range. I looked up towards the main tee and saw no one. Then a few seconds later, another ball bounced past me and slammed against the fence on the far north end. It was well over 400 yards across the Range in that direction. I looked south towards the far tee, and saw a dude teeing up balls and hitting a persimmon Driver (metal drivers were just being introduced) by stepping into the ball (a la Happy Gilmore). He was out there in the cold, windy drizzle just pounding away. I kept working and thought nothing more of it, except that it was unusual fro someone to be out there, let alone not really working on something that would better their golf skills.
After the balls were all picked and run thru the washer, I started out to my car to get my clubs to hit some balls myself. As I walked towards the door, the man had completed his session and was also headed towards the door. He had an old, old brown leather golf bag with a broken shoulder strap, so he was carrying his clubs by the small handle. As I followed him to the door, he stopped to hold the door for me and said, “didn’t mean to seem like I was hitting at you on the tractor, I was just blowing off steam.” I looked up and almost froze, as I stared into the face of one of my favorite athletes and a great role model. I said, “uh, er, thanks, Mr. Murphy.”
Later that very same day, word came down that Atlanta Braves slugger Dale Murphy was named National League MVP. It was a memorable rainy day at the Range for a 17 year old kid!