- Special Sections
- Public Notices
When I sent out the call for celebrity sightings, someone asked what I was looking for.
My response: I'm not sure, but we'll see what defines celebrity to people.
I was right.
Most of the names you submitted I was aware of. Some were a little more obscure and I had to do my own Internet research to educate myself on names like Brenda Fraizer and Anthony Green.
As co-worker Claude said, this business affords us opportunities to meet-and sometimes get to know-celebrities. Although I've always worked in small towns at weekly newspapers, I've gotten to meet or interview Pat Buchanan, Ben Jones (Cooter from Dukes of Hazzard), novelist Terry Kay (To Dance with the White Dog), baseball great Harmon Kilabrew, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Rick Bragg and actress Jane Fonda.
But there have been other non-reporter encounters and both had completely different ends.
In 1985 my family and I won a trip to see the Cincinnati Reds play. The trip included accommodation at the Hyatt Regency.
We were in the elevator when all these burly men got on-big, hulking type macho men.
My then-husband whispered, "That looks like Mike Scioscia, the catcher for the Dodgers." I just nodded.
When we reached the lobby, the husband suddenly bolted across the room.
"There's Tommy," he called as the babies and I trailed after him, thinking he had spotted an old friend.
I came to an abrupt halt as I saw Bill engaged in introductions with Tommy Lasorda, the manager of the LA Dodgers.
Bill explained that we were there for the game and that my father was a Dodger fan-and had been since their days in Brooklyn.
He smiled widely as he looked at me, who had just gushed how I loved Johnny Bench.
"I bet there's hell to pay in your house," he said.
We had been on our way to dinner but Bill thought fast.
He ripped his Pepsi baseball hat off, motioned to me for a pen and asked Lasorda if he could have his autograph for my father.
The hat signed, he told us to enjoy the game that night and was quickly surrounded by all those burly macho men types we had been in the elevator with-his team.
It was a five-minute meeting, but he was personable and accommodating. That hat became one of my father's most treasured possessions.
Fast forward to 1994. Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Wuhl and Lolita Davidovich were in town making Cobb, about baseball great Ty Cobb.
There's a scene in the movie that is supposed to be a Texas motel, but it was actually one of our locally owned inns, operated by the Naiks. My daughter was friends with the Naiks' daughter Binita and Mr. Naik had told her she could invite a friend to come down, spend the night and watch the filming. He suggested I come along.
It was a cold February night and sleet kept halting the shoot. Finally, two hours late, Tommy Lee Jones was supposed to shoot a gun and cuss a blue streak all from the doorway of the motel room.
I was standing 30 feet away, behind the cordoned area. They did a rehearsal and a take-both looked fine to me. But after the second take, a production assistant came hustling over to me-little ole me and said I would have to move.
"Mr. Jones says you are distracting him," she said.
I was flabbergasted. What had I done? I was chilled to the bone. My hair was all frizzy from the sleet. It couldn't have been my drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Could it? So I moved to where she positioned me, but still they couldn't get the scene right. I went home.
The next morning when Mr. Naik brought Allison home, I asked her how the rest of the night went.
In a nutshell, she said that it went on for about four hours after I left and when the scene was finished Robert Wuhl and Tommy Lee Jones came into the living quarters to meet the Naik family.
Wuhl was funny and pleasant, she said, signing autographs and posing for pictures. Tommy Lee Jones was "hateful" and just wanted to get out of there. No photos, no autographs.
Years later I am reminded at how we encounter celebrities and how they react to their public.
They may make $20 million a film, or $52 million for a few months of basketball, but aren't they people just like us? While some are born into celebrity, most have humble beginnings and many worked blue collar jobs before they were discovered.
We all have talents, they have simply found ways to capitalize on theirs.
Someday when I am a best-selling novelist, or a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, I will remember my humble days of covering events just so I could get a free meal or beg an autograph.
But then again, I'm sure Dale will insist I write this column-only this time the tagline won't say
"editor of the Chiefland Citizen". Instead it will boast "best-selling author who remembers her humble start at this newspaper."
Care for my autograph now?