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Visitor Stories - Page 28
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Posted: Nov. 27, 2006 Send this page to a friend   

  • Elizabeth Taylor - In 1987, Elizabeth Taylor was doing the rounds promoting her new perfume, Passions. My mother was an executive at Woodward & Lothrop in the DC area and bought me a signature bottle of the famed perfume and snagged an invitation to an exclusive tea luncheon with the star (and about 40 other lucky ladies) which I gladly attended. She was thin and was wearing a gorgeous Chanel suit which matched those violet eyes (yes, they really are at deep blue/violet). My table was directly behind hers and when she sat down I noticed that the skirt of the suit didn't quite meet at the waist and was held together with a safety pin. As part of the tea luncheon she made her way around the tables to say 'thank you' for attending. I was last, seated by myself, and didn't gush all over her like all the others but I did get to ask her a question. I wanted to know if the art deco design of her perfume bottle was influenced by her recent acquistion of a few prize pieces from the late Duchess of Wales jewelry collection. She was stunned that I wanted to talk about something besides her movies, touched my arm, asked if she could sit down, and said to me, "Honey, let's talk." I was flabbergasted. She wanted to know my name, she was interested in telling me her love of art deco, was pleasant (if not downright chatty) and was simply a delight. Her entourage had to pull her away to continue the ceremony and I have never met a celebrity as nice and as down to earth as her. I will never forget her or that special day. She was and is still a truly beautiful woman and I became a fan because of her warmth as well as her talent. - Katrina

  • Ty Hardin - When I was six, in 1960, Ty Hardin, the star of the TV western "Bronco" came to our church in Fresno, California, and gave a special talk to all the kids about being good. Afterwards, we were invited to come down to the front and meet him. When it was my turn, he shook my hand, smiled, said "Nice to meet you!" and gave me a friendly punch on the shoulder. Bronco was my favorite western hero from then on! - cdc

  • Roy Rogers - I was on a cross country motorcycle tour by myself from Missouri to California (first time in California) and was coming out of the Mojave desert after being in there for about an hour. I was really thirsty and hot and decided I would stop at the first place I could find. I was on a pretty major highway and kept seeing signs about Roy Roger's museum so I decided to stop in, get a drink of water and look around. Little did I know that Roy Rogers was there that day since he lived so close by. I basically walked right up to him and spoke. He was truly the nicest person you could ever meet. A true gentleman, Christian and all around wonderful role model. He learned I was from Missouri and we sat and talked for about 15 minutes about just ordinary things just like we were comfortable friends. I was so at ease speaking with him that I forgot about getting a picture, autograph or anything like that. He was simply a very down to earth, fine person. I will always remember him just that way. - Dennis L.

  • Gil Gerard - When I was a kid, I met Gil "Buck Rogers" Gerard at a Towne West mall appearance in Wichita, Kansas. I was so thrilled to stand in line for 2+ hours just to meet him. When I finally saw him, he was extremely pissed-off that he had to stay for the overflow of kids who wanted to see him. And, when I did get to meet him, I got a "cold fish" for a handshake along with a frown I'll never forget. I didn't watch the show again 'til I went to college and it happened to be on in a bar on big screen television (I left with a heavy heart). - T.P.R.

  • Clint Eastwood - Clint Eastwood has an office on the Warner Bros. Studios lot. A really nice, hacienda-style bungalow. It was connected to my office building by an arched breezeway. I'd been waiting for 3 months to catch a glimpse of him. My co-workers promised me it would happen. I'm a huge fan of his - who is not? One day, I was taking a shortcut between our offices through the breezeway and nearly collided with him. He is not the warm, friendly type (like Clooney). He's all business when he's on the WB lot and everybody gives him a very wide berth. I had cultivated a detatched and disinterested demeanor in the 3 months I had been on the WB lot - although it's not easy when you see the biggest stars in the world in their "natural habitat" every day. Seeing Clint was too shocking and thrilling - I stammered, grinned, and said, "Excuse me!" and tried not act like a total gawker. - Priscilla

  • Van Johnson - While working in a large luxury hotel in St Louis, I met Van Johnson and we got to know each other as he was there for a week. On Saturday, the day before he was leaving, I brought my dog to work as there was a grooming business in the hotel. I saw Van in the lobby and he kneeled to pet my dog. The dog got excited, jumped up a little and knocked Van on his butt. I apologized, but Van just got up laughing. A wonderful guy! - Ed M.

  • George Foreman - Last August 5th I was returning from a trip overseas. There was a layover in Newark and as I was waiting for my flight home to Houston, a large, well-dressed man passed by me. Being a fan for years, and a fellow native Houstonian, I immediately recognized George Foreman. He had been at the Meadowlands passing out awards for an amateur athletic event. When he turned, I asked him if "I could tell my friends I saw someone famous at the Newark airport." He was very soft-spoken, seeming almost shy, and said, "Aw, I'm not that famous." I told him how I had followed his boxing career and admired all the great charitable work he had done, especially in our hometown. I was not going to bother him for an autograph or a picture and was about to take my leave so as not to draw too much attention to Mr. Foreman but a lady came up with her camera and asked if he would mind posing for a picture. Mr. Foreman very graciously agreed. I immediately volunteered to take the picture for the lady if she would reciprocate. She did. Now I show the picture of George and me to all my friends. I have got to say that he seems to be a very warm, polite and modest man. He is truly a great person and a "class act." - JMS

  • Johnny Weissmuller - I met "Tarzan" near Detroit, Michigan in the '60s when he was in person at his swimming pool company. He was very gracious & TALL! He was my hero as a child & I am proud to say I have ALL his TARZAN films! Good clean fun for us kids!! - Billy P.

  • Walter Cronkite - In the summer of 1980, Walter Cronkite presided over his last national nominating convention as anchor of CBS News. At the end of the Democratic Convention (held in New York that year), a group of us from the host committee, walked onto the floor of the convention center (as the delegates were filing out). We looked up to the CBS control booth and serenaded Mr. Cronkite with "We love you, Walter, oh, yes, we do..." Years later (in 2001/2), I had successfully undergone gastric bypass surgery at NY Presbyterian Hospital in NYC. During one of my many post-op doctor visits, I was sitting in the waiting room, and who should sit next to me, but Walter Cronkite. We got to talking and I told him about my surgery and the complications I had had. He was such a gentleman. It was a genuine thrill to meet him and tell about the darkest period of my life. - WJR

  • Danny Thomas - I was twenty years old, a ticket counter agent at National Airport in Washington, DC, in 1969. A man came to the ticket counter and asked if we knew if Danny Thomas was in the airport, as he'd been scheduled to arrive on one of our flights. I offered to page Mr. Thomas, but the man didn't want that, as it might create too much commotion. So I offered to walk through the terminal to see if I could find him, and sure enough, within about two minutes, I spotted Mr. Thomas, approached him, and said, "Mr. So and So is looking for you." Danny Thomas, ever the graceful celebrity, put his arm around me and walked with me back to my counter where the friend was waiting. I was so thrilled I could barely speak, and I've always treasured the encounter. - Sheila T.


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