Wednesday, July 20, 2011


In the course of my life, I have met a sum total of three people who could be categorized as "famous".  That word being applied to those likely to be known by a larger segment of the population than us regular folk.  By the term "met", I mean having engaged in conversation beyond "can I have your autograph" (Sorry Bob Griese).

The first was Barbara Bush.  She was the sponsor of the second submarine I served aboard, USS Houston (SSN-713).  Touring the boat while on business in San Diego, she stopped in the Chief's quarters to chat with a few us.  A very nice lady, and while the meeting was brief, I feel that I am better for the experience.  She told us "George doesn't miss being President, but he misses you fellows."

The second was Tony Curtis.  Having served aboard a Submarine Tender in the Second World War, and starring in Operation Petticoat, he was invited as the guest of honor to the Submarine Birthday Ball in San Diego (1997 I think).  Having served in the Navy, he was wise enough to know that hanging out with the Chief Petty Officer's would, of course, prove to be the most fun.  He was exactly what one would expect an actor of his generation to be.  That is, politically incorrect, and absolutely funny.

The third was today.  As it occurred at work, I will adhere to personal policy, and not divulge the details.

The point of this post is not to say "look at me, I've met famous people!"  No, it is simply my observation that upon meeting people who, until that moment, seemed larger than life, I instantly realized that they are merely people.  Perhaps more successful, richer, or well known, but still flesh and blood people. 


Mary said...

Very interesting post and so true. It's kinda funny now that you mention it. I went to a Greatful Dead concert in Eugene, back in the early eighty's and afterwards, we ended up at some bar, and the keyboard player was sitting at the bar, by himself. We were so thrilled to say the least. So we went over and said hi, he was approachable and we sat for a while and chatted. I watched this guy toss back one boiler maker after another until he was pretty much incoherent. It was sad really, I had just seen this larger than life person live on stage and there he was just a drunk mess. He died about a month or so after that. He ended up just being human. I never went to another Dead concert.

Veronica Lodge said...

I try to tell people this all the time...! I have met a boat load of "famous" people as I did a lot of tv and modelling work a few years ago. I am not one to get star struck but I have friends that do and it drives me crazy. Famous for doing something groundbreaking is one thing, famous for being on TV is another. Regardless, people are people. And like Mary said, a lot of time you build an image in your head and when you meet the real thing you think, really?

The nicest and most memorable "famous" person I met was Kobe Bryant, he was not AT ALL like I expected what with all the rumours and everything...a very nice gentleman. I have kicked some very famous people out of my house and when I see them and their fans now I think...weird weird world.

Kate said...

You may not be 'famous', but you are great for your service to our country. I am grateful to know you, bloggy friend and you have my admiration.

Andy said...

Yeah, BR, I know what you mean.

I once met General Omar Bradley. And, I grew up around the country music as a kid I met a bunch of the stars.

Regular people...

BTW, it is cruel and unusual to tease us and not tell us who.

E-mail me. Or not.

Buck said...

I don't remember meeting anyone famous, except perhaps for Richard Chamberlain ("Dr. Kildare;" showing my age), who got his morning donut from the same place I got mine in the way-back. We'd just smile and say "Mornin'" and that was it.

But I DID spend an evening drinkin' with the Thunderbirds in the NCO club bar at Kingsley Field after an air show in the distant past, before the PC madness set in. As in: when you could still spend an evening knockin' back a few (or more than a few) and tellin' war stories without fear of bein' persecuted the next day.

I guess I wasn't ever in the right place at the right time.

in2paints said...

I've never met anyone famous... One of these days I hope to meet someone the rest of the world is familiar with.

Jessica said...

Unless you count Tim O'Reilly (who is legendary in the world) and the founders of Google (who wouldn't remember me), I'm in the "never met anyone famous" camp.

And, yes, Dave. You are maybe more infamous but your service to the country makes you a good guy to "know" even virtually. :) Way better than gods of the tech world, in my opinion.

Kipp said...

BR - I am going to guess that due to your personal policy it was somebody like...Neil Patrick Harris?...Justin Beiber? :)

I got to meet Phil Mickelson* a while back while playing golf at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Completely random but he was just a regular guy out playing golf. (*Phil is a professional golfer; won the Masters a few times...)

OK I am with Andy on this ... how long until your personal policy allows you divulge the intel?

Kris, in New England said...

I have met one famous person - Marlin Perkins; of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I was 11 years old and he had been an idol to me my entire life. My family never missed his show on Sunday nights.

Meeting him remains a high point in my life. He was, as all have said, larger than life to me, especially at that age. And yet he was kind, gracious, sweet and funny.

A real person.

Rude1 said...

I know just what you mean BR, most are regular folks. I have however met a few that honestly thought they were something special and should be treated as such.

My most memorable was John Wayne during the filming of Rooster Cogburn. He was hanging out with a bunch of us kids during a break in shooting, playing with us. WOW.

Rude1 said...

I know just what you mean BR, most are regular folks. I have however met a few that honestly thought they were something special and should be treated as such.

My most memorable was John Wayne during the filming of Rooster Cogburn. He was hanging out with a bunch of us kids during a break in shooting, playing with us. WOW.

Monica said...

Nice blog, hi friend, i found that there is one website offering free puzzle games. Just take one minute to sign up then you will receive one free puzzle game. Its URL is I've done it and now i am enjoying it.

Mary said...

Where the heck are you? My very first blog reader has vanished! I hope things are ok.

vacuum cleaner said...

It`s always good to see such great content and information on net.
Just stopped here to say awesome web site and amazing content.
I truly believe that your afforts come up ina right way to bring readers here.
Hope to see this blog again pretty soon.
Gonna spread about it in neighbourhood.
Vaccum Cleaners

Nicole Ash said...

I felt that same way when I 'met' William Shatner.

Jenna said...

I agree that people are people, no matter who they are.

Anonymous said...

Really curious who the third person was.