Chick Corea - Flight from Detroit to Tennessee, via Chicago. Five or six guys passed by, sat around me & gave off a vibe, so i obliviously asked one (Stanley Clarke) if they were famous. 'Uh, sorta' he said, & my ears popped. Thought he said the name of their band was 'Eternity Forever', half-deaf through most of the flight. Plane trouble, passengers had a wait/free meal in Chicago. 19 & new to flying/warned people get lost in O'Hare, I stuck within sight of my seatmate & his friends. Chic Corea, playing with puzzletoys in the gift shop noticed; we talked, & he invited me to dinner with them. Like feasting with the Marx Brothers! so fun. no idea how big they were til a week later, pics in Rolling Stone AND 'Return to Forever' won a Grammy! Awesome conversationalists, witty, bright, fun. Stanley (last heard did music for movies)'d asked me to embroider something for him, but after we parted, realized i was too broke to buy anything to embroider! the group and their manager still make me smile, remembering. - .bj
Hal Linden - I was on vacation in Los Angeles in 1983 and I was at a LA Kings game when during the intermission we noticed Hal Linden (Barney Miller) talking with a friend. I ventured over with the game program and a pen and asked for his autograph. He had a coffee in his hand and looked at me like "How am I gonna do this?" So I held his coffee while he signed the program. Actually he was very nice about it. - Perry
Eddie Money - I used to work on Saturdays at the Radio Shack in Palm Coast, FL. One Saturday in 2005, this man who looked familiar walked in and asked if the owner, Aaron, was there. I told him he was on his way in, and we started talking. In the course of the conversation, he introduced himself, and when he said Eddie Money, I told him that I recognized him. I was 45 at the time, & had been a fan since the late 70's. It turns out that Eddie was going to jam with Aaron that night, and needed directions to where they were going. He is a great conversationalist, and a very personable man. Although I don't work at the Radio Shack any more, I keep an eye out for him. I'd love to talk to him again. I'm an even bigger fan than ever. - J.A.S.
Bart Starr - I was flying from LA to Dallas a few years ago when I had the pleasure of sitting next to Bart Starr on the plane. I wasn't sure it was actually him until I glanced at his ticket, which he had placed on the arm rest while he put his bag in the overhead bin. Then I saw his Super Bowl ring and knew it was him. He was the nicest person. He never introduced himself, yet we talked for the entire flight about places we had been. As we were preparing to land I wanted to let him know I knew who he was, so I asked him whether he missed playing football. A huge smile crossed his face as he asked me if I knew who he was. In jest, I replied, "Yes. You're Johnny Unitas, aren't you?" I waited for his response, hoping he had a good sense of humor. Without missing a beat he said, "No, I'm Joe Namath!" A true class act. - David
Annette Funicello - I was playing Keno in Lake Tahoe in the late '70's. She was playing craps on one of the tables. She wanted to play a game of Keno, and she walked up and asked if she could cut in line so she could get back to her game. I stammered, "You're you!" and let her cut in front of me. She said, "Yes, I am." and went on her way. - MLM
Rudolf Nureyev - In March of 1976 I was working as a supernumerary (stage extra) for American Ballet Theatre. During that tour, Rudolf Nureyev was their guest star. In a rehearsal, Nureyev was teaching six young men, including me, our roles in "Raymonda", a ballet in which he danced the part of a medieval knight. The scene was a joust, and he was mounted on a huge wooden horse with wheels. We were to push him around the stage following a certain pattern. During one run-through, we messed it up badly and he became momentarily furious. Of the six guys pushing his horse, I was the one within his reach, and from his high position in the saddle he slapped me on top of the head and yelled an expletive at me. After the rehearsal, I got into the elevator from the studio to the dressing rooms, and found myself alone with Nureyev himself. He was leaning in the corner, looking exhausted from overwork. When he recognized me, he smiled and said "You are a good boy. Keep on trying and you will do well." The door opened and we parted ways. I don't think he was a man who offered apologies easily, but I felt he had made up for his tantrum during the rehearsal. - cdc
Victor Buono - I was in Rome in 1970 (I was a teenager) and Mr. Buono was staying in our hotel. I recognized him as a "sort of" familiar face and got his autograph. He asked where I was from and we had a nice chat about Southern California as we were both natives. He was so warm and pleasant that I tried to catch all his TV and movie performances after that. I always watched his appearances on Johnny Carson, though I wasn't a regular Carson viewer. I was very sad when he died. A great talent and a life cut short. - RT
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