Gerald Ford - I was on a flight from California to JFK airport back around 1986 or so, en route to medical school. When the flight landed, for some not-yet-obvious reason, the crew made us exit through the rear doors of the plane, rather then through the First Class cabin to the main exits usually used. After leaving the plane, I and a few other stragglers noticed some very serious looking guys in suits and trenchcoats, carrying walkie-talkies, leaving the main door. They were followed by a very tall grayhaired fellow I recognized immediately as Gerald Ford, still with his Secret Service-for-life at his side. After he was led away, I asked an employee something lame like, "Was that who I think it was?" "Yes, it was," he replied. My brush with greatness. What are the chances? - RCS
Gene Simmons - My daughter was in McCarran airport leaving Vegas and when she went in the store to buy a magazine she spotted Gene. He stood out so tall. She said , "Hi, Gene," not so loudly as to make him noticed by all the shoppers. He replied, "Hi back." He continued to read the magazine he was looking at. - Lorry
Shelley Fabares - About ten years ago, in Rock Island, Illinois, Shelley Fabares participated in a walk for Alzheimer's awareness (her mother had suffered from Alzheimer's disease). At the conclusion of the walk, she was signing autographs. Most of the people, of course, knew her from her role on "Coach." As she signed my visor, I told her that "most of these people know you as Christine Armstrong, but you'll always be 'Mary Stone' to me" (a reference to her role on the old Donna Reed show. She looked up, smiled, and said, "That's the sweetest thing anybody has said to me today." Sure made my day! - GC
Jaclyn Smith - Back in the late '80s-early '90s Jaclyn Smith was promoting her California for Men fragrance at Bloomingdale's in New York City. I had to go there to meet her. I was always a big Charlie's Angels fan and Jaclyn Smith was always my favorite Angel. Well, let me tell you....she was as much of an "angel" in real life as well. She graciously signed my cologne box and wrote a personal autograph as well. She even posed for a picture. She was as beautiful, elegant and sweet as I could have ever imagined. She has a reputation in Hollywood of being one of the nicest actresses around and that day she proved it wholeheartedly. - Steven
Richard Burton - I was working at a doctors office on 5th Avenue in New York City. The long and the short of it is I took some X-rays of Richard Burton. I asked him for an autograph for my wife. He wrote, "Dear Jonnie, I would sign the pictures your husband is taking of me though I doubt the likeness would be very good. Best Wishes, Richard Burton". He seemed like a very nice and down-to-earth kind of person and it was my honor to have met him. - Tom
David Lee Roth - Back in 1997 I was invited to the Foxwoods Casino high rollers lounge after a bachelor party to watch the Evander Holyfield fight on closed circuit. I didn't know that DLR was doing a show there that night so when one of the guys in our group said "Hey, isn't that David Lee Roth?" I turned and sure enough, it was. I got up in a shot and went over to see if I could get an autograph. I was quickly met with a very large man standing before me asking my business. I just said I was a fan and would like to meet him. He stood aside and I said "Hey, Dave, I've been a huge fan since Van Halen started and was wondering if I could get an autograph?" He very arrogantly said, "Nah, I don't f---ing think so...if I give you one all these f---ers in here will want one and I don't f---ing feel like doing that." He then turned back around to the bar and the large man stepped in front of me again and said, "I think your business is finished here." My jaw nearly hit the floor! I was astounded that he would do that to a fan. It was a huge let down and it really changed my feelings about the man. - Jerry
Bob Newhart, Charles Bronson - I worked in my dad's bookstore, in New Hampshire, and Bob Newhart came in and bought a book for his son, who was attending a local private school. On another occasion, Charles Bronson, who owned a place in Woodstock, VT, came in to shop.
Dee Dee Ramone - This happened back in the mid-'90s. I was having lunch in an Indian restaurant in the Detroit area. There was only one other person in the place beside myself. I heard this person speak to the waiter in a thick New York accent. He had short, spiked white hair and was wearing purple high-top sneakers. I recognized him immediately. I had read in the paper that Dee Dee was in town to perform at a benefit concert. A short while later as he was leaving I wished him good luck with his new band. He then sat down at my table and told me that this was only a one time gig and that he wasn't intending to keep this band together after the benefit show. We chatted for 10 minutes or so and then he left. Very nice man. Being a huge fan of the Ramones since they started I was in a daze for weeks afterwards. One of the most cherished moments of my life. - Bob A.
Alan King - I was wandering about the East Village in New York City one night around 1988 or 1989 or so, when a large black limousine pulled up, and one of the rear windows rolled down. "Excuse me, do you know where Minetta Street is?" the gentleman asked, and I recognized him to be Alan King. Unfortunately, I had to tell him I had no idea, being from California and all, so he thanked me and drove off, but I stood there a bit dumbfounded; I think I said, "That was Alan King!" to some passerby, who smiled. A few moments later, I happened upon Minetta Street, a very small cul-de-sac type street, more like an alley--not really sure what he was looking for there. - RCS
Don Ameche - During WWII Mr. Ameche picked me up in the California desert while I was hitching a ride to get back to San Diego before my ship sailed. We had a very pleasant conversation during the drive and I was pleased to find that he was a friendly and gregarious person. He couldn't take me all the way to San Diego, but made sure I had found a ride before leaving me. I made it back in time thanks to his kindness. - M. Edgar (former Navy Seabee)
Errol Flynn - In January, 1959, two friends and I were staying at the Havana Hilton with only 2 other paying customers, Errol Flynn and Beverly Aadland. The top three floors were taken over by Castro and his friends. We were there on an adventure and Flynn was writing an article for the equivalent of the Cuban "Life" magazine. When he was not out riding around in an army jeep, he and Beverly (about as big as a stick!) were in the pool area, she swimming and sunning and Flynn sitting under an umbrella drinking ice tea glasses of vodka in one gulp with no chaser !!! It was really a shame to see his condition and we were sure the end was near! - Buddy W., Kitty Hawk, NC [Editors note: Buddy was right. Errol Flynn died later that year.]
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