Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Famous People

The high school I attended had several famous people who also went there. Macdonald Carey was a movie star and well-known for his role on Days of Our Lives which is a soap opera. Twin sisters Dear Abby and Ann Landers not only went to the same school they had the same home room teacher I did. Of course it was a few years earlier. Sharon Farrell is another.

Dear Abby and Ann Landers each came often to speak at assemblies at the school. Of course they were in the midst of their famous feud so they were never there at the same time. I remember Sharon Farrell coming once. It was exciting to be in the same room as someone famous.

It is not a big city so the concerts there were not usually starring famous acts. Gary Lewis and the Playboys came when This Diamond Ring was popular. I was able to see the concert. I also saw a Grand Ole Opry show with Skeeter Davis (End of the World) as the headliner.

Then I got married and moved to a big city. I am a huge music lover but money was tight so I did not go to concerts. I was content to listen to the radio.

However after my parents and brothers and sisters moved to the city my siblings attended many, many concerts. Once my children were old enough they went too.

KISS was a favorite for all of them. My brother and three of his friends made costumes and dressed as KISS for Halloween. So did my children. So did my grandchildren. And they still go to KISS concerts.

I like KISS well enough but I was never interested in going to a concert. One time they were appearing in a near yet not so near city. My children had tickets as did a couple of nieces and nephews. They bought me a ticket too.

It was a good concert. We were off to the side of the stage. Because we could see backstage from where we sat we also saw Shannon Tweed walking around back there. She was appearing on a soap opera at the time.

Once at a KISS convention where KISS was not scheduled to be my oldest grandson looked up from his place at the table and excitedly said, "It's Gene Simmons, it's Gene Simmons!" Sure enough Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were there.

They had received word that some costumes that had been stolen from them were on display. The police were with them and the stolen objects were retrieved. My grandson who was not much more than a baby got a "high five" from Gene Simmons as he passed the table.

For concerts my son would dress his son and daughter as KISS members. We have seen the kids in a couple of videos.

My oldest son loves Queen. He was too young to see them when Freddie Mercury was in concert with them. But they were touring with Paul Rogers and my son was able to get 4 tickets to some really good seats. I went with him as did my youngest son and his daughter.

Two of the original members of KISS were performing at smaller venues after they were no longer part of the band. The tickets were not nearly as expensive so the kids usually went to see them. They were in more of a nightclub setting.

One night they had gone to see Peter Criss. He was a little late for the performance. When he did get there my children overheard him whining about just about everything.

The band that I managed was just a local band that played in a bar. They were all very talented and many had performed with groups that you would know of. But they were not famous.

The father of the keyboard player died suddenly. We needed a replacement. John Galvin of Molly Hatchet graciously agreed to fill in. He did a fabulous job. I later learned that my youngest brother knew him and my nieces played with his children.

Then there are The Irish Rovers. I had wanted to see them in concert for years but no one would go with me. I go many places alone but it just seems like you need someone to enjoy a concert beside you.

Finally my second granddaughter who was about 5 years old said she would go with me. She fell in love.

We went to see them every year after that. They always gathered to sign CD's afterward. They are a really nice bunch of men. And they have always been good to my granddaughter. They talk to her and take an interest in what she is saying. They are no longer touring but they are worth seeing if you ever get the opportunity.

Sports are popular for my family. Baseball is my favorite and other members of the family like it too. Football, soccer, hockey. All are good.

We went to Tiger Stadium for my oldest son's birthday. That was the first time Mark "The Bird" Fidrych pitched there. We fell in love with him just like the rest of the world did.

We have been privileged to watch many of the Tigers from Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, Joel Zumaya, Justin Verlander, Willie Horton, And Miguel Cabrera just to name a few. There is nothing like seeing the ballgame live.

Mike Ilitch owns both the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings. He is the founder of Little Caesars Pizza. Every year he throws a huge Christmas party for all his employees. My daughter was a manager for Little Caesars Pizza for many years so she was able to rub elbows with a lot of sports stars. The sad thing is that she does not care for sports and unimpressed by anyone including famous athletes.

She working one time when several WWE wrestlers came into her store. They were visiting the tanning salon in the same strip mall and needed something cold to drink. She still is not sure about who they were but thought maybe either HHH or Psycho Sid was one of them.

My father gave me tickets to go see the Red Wings when Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio were on the team. I saw Alex Delvecchio in a hallway after his shower. His hair was still wet. I fell in love. My husband vowed never to go to a game with me again because I became so excited that I kept hitting him in the arm.

Bobby Heenan was a wrestler/manager for the WWE. My oldest grandson liked him because he was not only talented but he was so funny.

Bobby Heenan was signing autographs so my son took his son to get an autograph. Bobby Heenan appropriately insulted my grandson while signing the autograph. My grandson was thrilled.

My oldest grandson enjoyed acting in various plays in high school. Even after he graduated he would still attend the plays at his high school. He did not really have the time between working and college classes to take part in any.

But then there was an ad in the newspaper. They were looking for extras for a movie being made in the  town where he worked.

He applied and went in for an interview. When they found out that he had an older model car they asked if they could use it in a scene. It might suffer some small damage but they would pay him for it.

He just snorted and said, "I'll drive it off the bridge if you want me to." Obviously he did not love his car.

Anyway he was chosen as an extra. He was required to be on set several days a week. Most of what he did was crowd scenes. But he is spotlighted in one scene in the movie. It is a terrible movie but I watch it just to see him in that scene.

If you are interested the movie is "High School".

He became friendly with a couple of the actors starring in the movie. He still stays in touch with them by email. He met a lot of the big stars like Michael Chiklis and Adrien Brody who were in the movie. He was especially friendly with Brett Kelly who played the little boy in Bad Santa.

My grandson had such a good time and was well thought of by the rest of the people in the movie. As a matter of fact they called him about a couple other movies but by that time he was working full time and planning his family.

I have been active in politics since high school. Maybe even before that. Because of that I actually met a few famous politicians.

Coleman Young was the first black mayor of Detroit. He and I had a hate/hate relationship. We were constantly locking horns over one issue or another. One time he became so angry with me that he called me an a$$-h**e. I felt the same about him.

Through a dear friend on the city council I met Rosa Parks. I cannot say I knew her well but I saw her several times. She was ever the proper Southern lady. She was soft-spoken and intelligent. She was one of those people that you instinctively wish to protect.

When Senator Ted Kennedy was trying to institute a National health care system he came to our city to conduct part of his study. He asked my brother and sister-in-law to testify about my niece's illness and how the costs affected their family. He had his nephew Joseph with him.

We did meet both of them. I was impressed with the composure and ease of Joseph. I was sure he would do well in the political world. Not so much with Ted Kennedy. I had the feeling he was not as bright as most of the Kennedys were said to be.

My oldest granddaughter was chosen to attend the Student Athlete Games in Rhode Island. The keynote speaker to these gifted young people was Bill Clinton.

Even before he began to speak one could feel why he had been elected president. And when he was speaking each person felt as if they were a part of a conversation in the kitchen.

President Clinton showed his intelligence. He considered his answers to questions and framed the answers in everyday language. He never "talked down" to the audience. He was totally at ease and that made the audience feel the same way. He is a disarming and charismatic man.

I worked for a department store that catered to the more wealthy people of the area. My job was in the men's wear department. I sold shirts and ties as well as underwear. Several of our clients were seen on television.

Bill Bonds was a local newsman. Many people know him as the newscaster in Godzilla. Bill Kennedy was an actor in Hollywood and made many movies. He was the announcer at the opening of The Adventures of Superman the old series from the 50's. He hosted an afternoon movie program and by the way adored being a "star". Sonny Eliot was a World War II hero. He was shot down and taken prisoner in a camp in Germany. After being rescued he became an actor and eventually one of the most loved weathermen.

Those are but a few shoppers at the store. And I was fortunate enough to be consulted on the matching of ties to shirts by each of them and many others.

The most famous person I ever met was Steve Wilkos. At the time he was just beginning his own television program having been part of the security on the Jerry Springer Show. He is a former Marine and a former Chicago policeman.

I was standing in the beginning of a line waiting to be admitted to visit my son in jail. Mr Wilkos came up and introduced himself to all of us. He said he was going in to interview someone for his program.

I later watched the program it was the mother of a 9 year old girl who she was setting up for sexual liaisons. How sad.

But Steve Wilkos was very personable and constantly looking for unusual stories. One couple in the line lived like Gypsies and that piqued his interest. He talked to them for quite a while before he was admitted inside.

My son had no idea what was happening but they were on lock down while the film crew was allowed all the way in. I told him what I knew and he was surprised.

So I have seen many more famous people that I have met. But I have met a few. How about you?


  1. oh, that's great you were able to meet some famous people, I wish to meet Harrison Ford and Al Pacino :)

    1. Harrison Ford would be good. James Earl Jones is another. I believe I will end the list there.

  2. I don't know that I've ever met anyone famous. We've seen a ton of music shows. We have met some famous songwriters. We met Dwane Blackwell who wrote I'm Mr. Blue, and several other famous songwriters. Since my wife and I are songwriters, it was exciting to meet those guys.

  3. See? Almost everyone has someone they have met that is somewhat famous. I forgot to mention that for about a year a member of the band I managed wrote the song "Hey Mister. I'm In Love With Your Wife" which was a moderate hit for George Jones. His wife/manager wanted him to stay with country music so he left the band.

  4. Well as a Michael Jackson fan, I wish I could have met him. But that's a little too late for me in this world. I wish to meet JK Rowling though. And Zac Efron. :P

    1. You never know when you might be in a situation that will make it possible. Good luck.

  5. Hello,

    Very interesting to read a wonderful period of your life. It is indeed fantastic to meet so many celebrities and inter act with them. Your memory is excellent and you narrate all these things that happened in your life with great lucidity.

    I did have two tennis celebrities studying in my college. But they rarely attended class. I do not know whether you have ever heard their names. They are Anand and Vijay Amirtharaj. They were well know in India.

    Excellent post. I enjoyed reading it.

    Best wishes

    1. Thank you for the critique. Your posts are always thought provoking. I have to think before leaving a comment.

    2. Ah I found someone who loves Queen among the lines.
      And I know someone who called himself Ratty loves this group too.
      We will rock you.