Burton Cummings - I was among just a handful of fans that waited to get Burton Cummings autograph after a concert here in my home town. After about a half an hour he came around the corner to get on his bus. One lady stepped forward and asked for his signature. He responded, "I've got my hands full" (he was carrying some papers). He said, "Just let me put these away and then I'll be back." Mr. Cummings got on the bus, we waited, about five or six mintues later the bus pulled away! It was rude, but I still love the man's music! - Anna
Paul McCartney - 1987 - working on a holiday park (Camber Sands) in Sussex (England),
out grocery shopping in Rye, Macca pushing his trolley among locals (who had obviously seen him there every week as they weren't standing open-mouthed like me), "Is it you?" I asked, "It must be" he laughed and carried on down the aisle !!!!! - Paul
Jimmy Stewart - While in the Air Force, I was stationed at MacDill AFB. In 1953 or 1954 they were filming some scenes for the movie "Strategic Air Command" on the base. I was buying some articles at the PX and overheard somebody behind me say, "That's Jimmy Stewart!" I looked up and there he was standing just on the other side of the table from me. Never got his autograph. Some of the other actors in the movie, like Frank Lovejoy and Barry Sullivan, who played officers, were asked to remove their hats when they walked on the flight line. The airmen were saluting them, not knowing if they were actors or regular Air Force officers. - W.J.R.
Jim Nabors - While living in Honolulu in 1984 I attended my wife's office Christmas party in a downtown hotel. During the evening, our friend Jay heard that Jim Nabors was in a small club in the hotel. He dragged my wife and I down there and, sure enough, Jim Nabors was in the audience. Just seeing him was enough for me, but not for Jay. He dragged us up to his table to get an autograph. Mr. Nabors was very polite and signed autographs for all of us. We still have it in a scrapbook. He wrote "Wayne and Anna, Much Aloha, Jim Nabors". I told him I loved his work. He smiled and said thank you. What a class act!
Willie Mays - I was a sports writer who worked late at night. One morning my sports editor awakened me by saying that Willie Mays was playing golf at a local course and to go over and interview him. Before leaving I called a man who was a big Mays fan and asked what he would ask Mays if he could ask one question. He told me that it was rumored that Mays developed his famous "basket" catch while stationed at Fort Eustis, a local army post. Perfect! Great local angle. When I got to the course I was brought to the 18th hole, where Mays was finishing play. When I was introduced to him, Mays would not offer his hand and said he didn't have time to be interviewed because he had to go straight to a waiting car and catch a plane. So I interviewed as he walked. I saved the local-angle question until the end. When I asked if it were true, Mays said, "They'd like to think that, wouldn't they?" This was a man talking with a local reporter, knowing he would be quoted. Mays was, without question, the biggest jerk I ever interviewed (and I interviewed many a jerk).
Robin Williams - I was is San Francisco at MacWorld Expo in 1992 and walked by Robin Williams on the show floor. Instantly recognizing this person, my arm flew out involuntarily and smacked him on the shoulder, as I bluted out "Hey, hows it going?" He said, "OK," and kept walking as he realized that I was complete and total idiot! - Greg
Tony Curtis - When working for the airlines as a purser, on a flight from Honolulu to L.A., I was told prior to boarding that Tony Curtis was in first class. Coincidentally, my mother was also on board, flying in coach. Up until just before the door closed, the seat next to Mr. Curtis was unoccupied. (I'm sure you know what I was thinking here!). Alas, a gentleman came lumbering up the jetway and sure enough he was that final first class passenger. After we were airborne, I spoke to Mr. Curtis and said, "I would normally never ask this, but my mother is in coach and it would mean the world to her if she could come up and meet you." I anticipated a negative response, but he was more than gracious and said, "By all means." When my mother met Tony, she was like a star-gazing teen all over again, asking quesstions about his life and career, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemon, etc. He simply went out of his way with politeness. That meant the world to her and I will never forget the look on her face. It was priceless. - Jeff H
Phyllis Diller - In 1980, I was a movie theatre manager in Key West, Florida. Phyllis Diller was in town and I had tickets. After the show, we staked out the back door, hoping to see her come out. Sure enough, she came out and signed autographs with no complaints. I had sadly lost my job that day and told her I really needed the laughs she provided. She said she was sorry and hoped she didn't cause my job loss. She is such a funny lady! - Terry
Richard Benjamin - In 1968, when I was 13, my parents took my sisters and me to see the film "Funny Girl" in Manhattan at one of the older art deco theaters. This was a real treat compared to the less opulent theaters on Long Island, where we lived. After the movie, I had to use the men's room. While using the facilities, I kept getting glances from the man standing next to me. When I glanced back, I saw that the man was Richard Benjamin. He struck up a conversation with me about the film we had just seen. He was a gentleman and talked to me as though I was his contemporary, not a sheltered 13 year old from Long Island. We left the men's room together and waiting outside was Richard Benjamin's wife, Paula Prentiss. He quickly introduced her and they went off into the night. This was my first encounter with a "star" (I have had many since then as I worked in television for several years in the '80s. But this encounter 38 years ago stands out.) - Jeff K, Long Island
Dale Robertson - I had watched Dale Robertson on "Death Valley Days" as a youngster, and had heard that he lived a few miles down the road from me in central Oklahoma. Back in the early '90s, I was standing at a teller's window in a Yukon, OK bank on an early weekday morning - the only customer in the bank. Mr Robertson came in and took his place behind me. He said "Good morning" (or maybe it was "Howdy"), and we made a little small talk about the weather and such while waiting for the teller to come back. It did seem a little strange - just a nice, country gentleman. He looked about like he did in the "J.J. Starbuck" series, though he seemed like he'd lost a little weight. - M
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