Lyndon Johnson - This incident took place while Lyndon Johnson was still president of the United States. My aunt told me that President Johnson often stood outside a Catholic church not far from the White House waiting for Sunday Mass to end whereupon he would meet his daughter who often attended Sunday Mass at that church. Knowing this, I decided to attend Sunday Mass at that church to see if I could catch a glimpse of President Johnson. About five minutes before Mass was over I exited the side door and walked down the deserted sidewalk towards the front of the church. Much to my amazement, standing about thirty feet away from me was President Johnson! And to add to my amazement, he was standing there completely alone with no one else in sight, not even Secret Service agents. I was so astonished, that without thinking, I walked straight towards him and held out my hand and said "Hi, glad to meet you!" He shook my hand, whereupon I went on my way, not wishing to intrude further on his privacy. As I reflect back on that day, I am even more amazed to think that an ordinary citizen could walk directly up to the President of the United States and extend his hand and not one single Secret Service agent approached. Although I am not sure of this, it is quite possible that President Johnson was there alone, without any Secret Service agents with him. He was there not as the President of the United States but simply as a father picking up his daughter after church. And when I approached him, he was not one bit alarmed or concerned. - WLG
Johnny Cash - I first met Johnny at our local county fairgrounds, shortly before he started his show. What surprised me, was how humble, and shy he was. He was very gracious, signed autographs, and posed for pictures, and thanked us for coming to the show. It was later I learned he had been attacked by an ostrich at his home, and that his chest and stomach looked like a huge sore boil. Our local EMS wrapped him in an Ace bandage, so he could perform. He would have had to have been in agony, but he never complained, and performed as if nothing was wrong. - Joe B.
Robert Stack - Growing up in Southern California, I have encountered a fair number of celebrities. The first encounter, however, sticks in my mind like it happened yesterday, even though it was over 40 years ago. I was 10 years old, and my family had moved to Southern California just a few months before. We were visiting Palm Springs for a weekend, and on Sunday stopped for breakfast in a Denny's. During breakfast, my parents were whispering back and forth and sneakily pointing to someone behind me. When I asked who it was, they said Robert Stack of "The Untouchables". He was there with his family, also having breakfast. I wasn't sure who that was, and I was dying to look. When I heard the people behind me start getting ready to leave, I turned around to look and came face to face with Mr. Stack. Without smiling, he looked at me and asked, "How you doing?" A bit shy, I responded, "Fine." He said, "Good," and walked away. Brief, but it was the first one for me. - JCT
Charlie Daniels - My wife, son and I attended a Charlie Daniels concert in Las Vegas in 1996. As part of his act, he took a rubber snake out of a saxophone and threw it in the audience. My 10-year-old son caught the snake and we asked the waitress if we could meet Mr. Daniels after the show. She showed us where to go after the show and we went up to his dressing room only to find out that he had left already for the evening. One of his assistants was giving us a tour of his dressing room when Charlie came back to get something he had forgotten. He was so kind and wonderful - he gave each of us an autographed picture and when my wife asked to give him a kiss, he said, "Well, all righty then" and she gave him a big kiss on the cheek. He stayed with us for about five minutes and asked where we were from and how we enjoyed the show. He has three fans forever! He is a fantastic entertainer and a wonderful gentlemen to his fans! - tbird505
Gregory "Pappy" Boyington - Early in 1950 I was working as an order clerk at Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles Brewery. Early one morning I was working alone in the office and a man walked in, shook my hand and introduced himself. He said, "I'm Greg Boyington, and I'll be working here in the Sales department." I thought nothing about it - until later in the day I discovered he was Pappy Boyington, the famous Marine Corps flyer, and WW-2 war hero. He always came in and said hello. He was a real gentleman. - Ray
George Bush - As a member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band at Texas A&M University, I was privileged with the opportunity to perform all over the country, including the Inaugural parade in Washington D.C. This afforded me the ability to see several famous people, but I could never get within spitting distance of any of them because they were always preoccupied with the leaders of the band. Then, my day finally came--unexpectedly! It was in the fall of 2000 while I was a junior at A&M. I was in the recreation center lifting weights, oblivious to my surroundings, when a fellow bandsmen came up and asked if I knew who was working out beside me. Wow, George Bush, Sr. was pumping iron on the machine next to me! I jumped up and stumbled through some unrehearsed ramblings and got a handshake in before he headed to the water fountain and out the door (followed closely by his bodyguard). He was very polite and responsive to my friend and I, and the whole dorm was jealous when they found out. - Jayson
Walter Koenig - In the Summer of 1992, I was at an Air Force officer training course in Montgomery, Alabama for 4 weeks. One weekend, there was a Star Trek convention, and while a big Trek fan from little on, I had never actually been to a convention. The "draw" for this convention was Mr. Chekov himself, Walter Koenig. After perusing the vendors, I found myself needing some "relief", so I headed for one of the bathrooms in the hotel, where I found myself standing next to Mr Koenig at the urinal. We were the only ones in there, and guys don't strike up conversations with each other in that time/place, so I had to settle for just listening to him whine, rant, and complain about Shatner and Nimoy during his personal appearance. So, that's my "claim to Star Trek fame" ... whizzing next to the locator of the "nuclear wessels"! (And, by the way, we are both named "Walt".) - Walt G.
Ethel Merman - When I was 16, I went to see "Gypsy". I had always loved Ethel Merman since a movie I saw as a child called "Call Me Madam". When the show ended we went backstage. Everyone else from the cast (none of whom I had ever heard of) brushed right past those of us waiting. Miss Merman was the only one to stop and talk to each of us and sign autographs and thank us for our praise of her performance. That is why she was a real star and I still have never heard of the rest. - Sabra
Sam Jaffe - I was in LA with my aunt and my mother in '64 or '65 in a department store in Beverly Hills. My aunt spotted Sam Jafee, (and his wife Bettye Ackerman who co-starred with him in "Ben Casey") and told me to go over to him and ask him where the water fountain was. I did and he smiled wide, and led me to the water fountain, and held the button for me to take a drink. Gunga Din, the water boy, gave me a drink of water! Too bad we didn't take a photo....
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