Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Celebrity Sightings

First, let me qualify this by saying, I am NOT a celebrity person, I mean, I am not one of those people who screams at the thought of Brad Pitt,  envious of Julia Roberts, or in general a follower of celebrities.  They are people like you and me, they just have jobs that put them out there in the public eye.  But I have had a few brushes with celebrities that I'll never forget!

In July, 1985 hubby and I were on our honeymoon in Las Vegas, staying at the old Hacienda hotel and casino.  By the way, we watched them implode that hotel years later on New Years Eve, live on TV!  Anyway, we were playing a few slot machines and I was around the corner from hubby.  He came over to me, crooked his finger in a 'come over here' manner, and when I walked over to where he was, there stood Redd Foxx - Fred Sanford himself!  Playing the slot machine just a couple down from hubby. 

Now, I didn't speak to him, but hubby did - he asked hubby if anyone was using that slot machine and hubby said no!  We knew he was headlining a show in the Hacienda's main stage, so I guess he was in a break between shows or something.  Anyway, the main thing I remember about him was that I couldn't imagine anyone looking less like Fred Sanford than he did!  He looked great, dressed in slacks, a cream blazer that looked like cashmere, and a cute beret atop his head.  A nice memory - one of many - from our honeymoon.

For thirty years I worked for Southern Bell/ BellSouth in the Atlanta area.  If you lived in a BellSouth area in the late 80's to early 90's you will remember Dixie Carter as the voice of the BellSouth Yellow Pages.  I worked in the Yellow Pages, and when they announced that she would be doing our commercials, the company threw a big party at our office, out in the parking lot and we were all invited! 

Dixie was very gracious and sweet, posed for pictures with all of us and just in short made it a special day.  Somewhere in this house I have a picture of me, Dixie and a couple of my friends.  Another brush with celebrity, and another great memory.

In 1993 I went on a trip to New York City with a friend of mine and about 40 or so of her fellow ladies club members.  The trip up there and back on the bus was so much fun!  We saw Cats on broadway, walked about 50+ blocks on 5th Avenue from Bloomingdales to Macy's at Herald Square, visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, hired a limo and rode around the Twin Towers and saw the damage from the first time they were attacked, just a few weeks before our trip. 

Oh, and we also went to a taping of the 'old' Geraldo Rivera show.  You know, the one that was more along the line of Montel or Oprah?  The show they were taping that day was really stupid, but it did have it's moments, one of which was that I made it on TV!  I asked a question of one of his guests, and it made it onto TV!  But the most memorable 'moment' was that I got to give Geraldo a gift!  We  had just recently found out that the Olympics were coming to Atlanta in 1996, so I carried him a tee shirt with the Atlanta Olympics logo on it and was able to give it to him and receive a hug in return.  He was very nice, chatted with us a few minutes and thanked us for the goodies we took to him.  One of many memories from that trip.                                  

But by far my favorite brush with a celebrity took place in the Houston airport!  We were taking my nephew on a trip to Colorado and had a stop-over in Houston.  We found seats near our gate, left hubby there to watch our stuff, and went to look at the shops in the concourse.  As we walked toward the shop my nephew wanted to see, I saw what I thought was a familiar face, but I wasn't sure.  I put my nephew in the shop, said stay right there, and walked down a ways. 

When I heard his voice, I knew it was Frank Bielec!  Do you remember him?  He was one of the decorators on Trading Spaces, and I just loved him, and his style!  So, I went to meet him, introduced myself, we chatted for a sec and went our separate ways.  I went to get my nephew and we went to our seats, and guess who was sitting right there next to hubby!  Yep, it was Frank.  I walked right past hubby who was barely containing himself - he really wanted to tell me Frank was there, but he didn't know we'd already met!  He still tells me I really stole his thunder that day!

I sat down next to Frank and we spent the next 45 minutes or so talking like we had known each other forever!  And hubby and nephew literally had to pull me out of that seat and down the aisle to get on the plane that was already almost full!  As soon as I got on the plane I called my best friend and told her who I had just met!  It was such a special moment for me!  And best of all, Frank Bielec in person was just like he was on the show, warm and genuine and funny.  And encouraging!  He told me the only thing that was keeping me from becoming the 'artist' in me was ME and the words I Can't!  Man, it still makes me happy just thinking of that day, and how exciting it was.  By far, my favorite celebrity 'sighting'.

So, tell me!  Who have you met, who do you know, or even this, who would you LOVE to meet? 


Marydon Ford said...

For all the people, famous & slightly famous that I've met, it is more fun reading about the excitement in others with their encounters.

Glad you had such a grand time chatting with Frank ... he is a great guy, loved his show.

Happy Valentine's
Have a beautiful week!
Hugs, Marydon

aimee said...

how neat. im the same way. low key. thank you for coming by for my giveaway! have a great day.

Farmgirl Paints said...

I actually get excited to meet celebrities... I'm weird like that. Let's see I've seen Smokey Robinson, Tracey Ellis Ross (used to be on girlfriends)...I know there are more. I can't remember right now!

It's one of my favorite things about going out to visit my cousin in LA. Looking for celebs:)

English Cottage in Georgia said...

What a fun post to read! The few actors and actresses I have seen - not talked to- left me flabbergasted at how small they are.
When I was teaching, there were actually quite a few students who were in films and some who are still working in Hollywood. No stars in the eyes, when working to get grades for kids who have been absent on location or trying to mix grades from tutors into your gradebook.

robbie said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Lissa said...

I've seen Mike Tyson (is that his name?) in Hawaii at our hotel. (the boxer) I saw some people filming bay watch in Hawaii (but none of the big stars) and my favorite is I was surfing on Waikiki with Tara reed and had my picture taken with her. she's super tiny! I felt ginourmous and i'm not a very big person. I think it's kind of surreal to see stars out and about.

Ladybug in TN said...

Geeze, I can't remember who I have met or seen in my 63 years.

I talked to Barbara Mandrell for about 15 minutes while my son played with her children in a store at a mall in Nashville but did not realize it was her until my sister told me after she left. I just don't recognize these people if they are not in their element.

Johnny Cash, Grandpa Jones and Ramona, Roy Acuff, and others when I worked at Opryland.

You all won't remember but as I child I watched Gene Autry. His sidekick was Frog. I met Frog when he came to Springfield and came in the store my father worked. I got his autograph and still have it.

Bobby (can't think of his last name) who wrote Little Green Apples bought my Daddy's farm out in the county. He called Daddy one late afternoon and wanted him to come out and check the refrigerator at the house. I went with him. He was living with Vickie Lawrence (the Carol Burnette Show, Mama's Family). She was a snob. Bobby introduced us ( she was washing dishes) and asked if we'd like a drink. She wheeled around on one foot and said, "we'll give them grapefruit juice." I said, "Daddy I am going to the car to wait on you." He said we are leaving. Bobby said, "I am gong with you!" So we went to the car and rode around the countryside visiting!!!!

I am sorry but I just cannot remember. My son would be so ashamed of me and be able to tell me many we have seen or met.

He has met many, many music folks and went to target shoot with Kid Rock one night in Nashville. He has met many famous folks. I guess the one he has met that I would like to have been with him was Willie Nelson. He went on his tour bus tot talk to him and said it was like a novelty junk store and reeked of weed being smoked.

That is all I can think of right now. I am sure will think of someone and wish I had remembered to post it here!