Famous People Who Almost Know Me

This morning for some strange reason, I started trying to list in my mind all of the famous people I have come in contact with.  I’m sure this has something to do with the fact that I’ve been watching the Orioles in their pennant race and listening to Jim Palmer do color commentary during the games.  I once met Jim.  I’m sure he remembers.  Anyway, here is the resultant list of famous people who almost know me and the moments when we sort of met.

#1 – My Ah-choo Moment – One day I was walking through the mall and I heard a sneeze.  To my surprise it came from Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson.  Now normally I would never (probably never) approach a celebrity while out with his family, but you can’t let a sneeze just hang there without a proper caring response.  So, yes, I was able to give Jameer a blessing – a “God bless you” blessing.  Surely that would not count as an invasion of privacy.  Now since I am a fan, and I’m old enough to be his mother; and especially since this happened during the play-offs, I added, “You need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.  We need you to stay healthy.”  He thanked me.  I’m counting that as a conversation with an NBA superstar.

Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

#2 – My Stand-Out Moment – Traveling home on a plane from Atlanta, I was in coach sandwiched between my husband and a young man of about twenty.  As I engaged him in conversation, I discovered he was a close friend of Dwight Howard and was, in fact, traveling with Dwight, who was enjoying the additional leg room offered in first class.  Dwight would often fly this fellow back to Atlanta with him so that they could both visit their families and friends there.  I think that’s pretty stand-out of Dwight – it could only be sweeter if he flew him first class, too.  As we disembarked, we saw Dwight sitting on a bench with his buddy.  Dwight’s knees were under his chin.  He was way too tall for that bench which was designed for mere mortals.  Of course, the entire story is now tainted by Dwight’s inexcusable flight from Orlando to Los Angeles, but since I did wave goodbye to my new friend as he sat with Dwight, this still counts as Dwight almost meeting me.

#3 – My Jab-in-the-Ribs Moment – A few years ago while visiting Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the stadium of my beloved Baltimore Orioles, I was thrilled to see All-Star first baseman Boog Powell manning his restaurant under the green tent behind the centerfield bleachers.  Boog’s BBQ is famous for ribs and, of course, barbeque.  The big man himself was happily greeting passersby and I was able to introduce myself to him and shake his beefy hand.  I spent my tenth birthday watching him and the rest of the 1966 Orioles playing at the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.  My mother is the quintessential Oriole fan and has pioneered the art of fandom in our family, so this was quite the day for me.

#4 – My Squirrelly Moment – Bob Ross is best known as the painter of “happy little trees” who offers painting lessons on “The Joy of Painting,” but he is lesser known as the guy to whom kids took injured squirrels.  Bob Ross died in 1995, but before that time he was a resident of our little neighborhood.  I did not know that he had an affinity for needy squirrels and birds, but my kids figured it out.  They had witnessed him opening his front door to them with a squirrel on his shoulder.  I never met him myself, but I’m counting him.  We still refer to his house as “The Bob Ross House.”

Bob Ross
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

#5 – My Hall-of-Fame Moment – Back in the 1983, Oriole pitcher and now baseball Hall of Fame member, Jim Palmer, endorsed Jockey Underwear.  He was making an appearance at the local mall, and I made it my mission to get his autograph for my mother.  I strapped my daughter in the stroller and took my four-year-old son by the hand and waited in the long line.  Thankfully the kids were happy, so happy that the local news station caught us on film and we made the six o’clock news that night.  “We” is an overstatement though, as it was only my daughter and I who were on the news.  My son was brokenhearted as he watched and there was not a glimpse of him.  I’m pretty sure that was the birth of sibling rivalry in my family.

How about you?  Who is on your list of famous people who almost know you?

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12 Comments

  1. Haha! Does it make me almost famous to know you? I’m still having a hard time with two sentences though: “Jim Palmer, was endorsing Jockey underwear. He made an appearance at the local mall…” I’m blushing!

    Reply
    • Yes, you are the among my almost famous friends who are gaining on just plain famous. On hindsight, I should have explained that Jim was not modeling Jockey underwear. He was endorsing it as a spokesman – he wore a suit, which brings up the question – would I still have waited in line for his autograph if he were modeling? Now I’m blushing.

      Reply
  2. Leslie Santamaria

     /  September 18, 2012

    As a fellow Baltimorean, I couldn’t help but notice how many references you make to the Orioles. Love those Os! Here’s my story: After college I worked at a video production studio (in Baltimore), where our main client was the WWF. I interacted with (not wrestled) many wrestlers and promoters, including Vince McMahon, but my most memorable encounter happened when I turned a corner in our building and almost collided with Hulk Hogan. My eyes were about 3 inches from his left bicep. Quite an surprising sight. If only he had actually knocked me over, then he might remember me, too. But alas, he is only a famous person who almost knew me. Fun post, Bonnie!

    Reply
    • That’s very interesting. Of course I know who Hulk Hogan is, but I had to ask Scott about Vince McMahon. Glad you kept your interactions on a professional (not WWF professional) level.

      Reply
  3. LOL. I was just commenting on another blog about my “almost” Kevin Bacon number. A three degree separation, if you’re interested. But, as a long-time Star Trek fan, I’ve been to many a convention, chatting briefly in autograph lines with just about all of the Trek famous, and not-so-famous. Plus a few other random sci-fi folks that might be around at such conventions. I think one of my fave memories, though, is one that’s more about someone who almost knows my sister. At a very small comic book con, Marc Singer was in the autograph room. I liked him in V, but my sis really liked him in Beastmaster. I called her to tell her he was there, and was still on the phone when we got near his table. He was kind enough to chat with her on the phone for a bit, which I thought was great.

    Reply
    • That is so sweet that he talked on the phone to your sister. You’re a good sister looking out for her. I would love to hear your story about Kevin Bacon.

      Reply
  4. Linda

     /  September 19, 2012

    I immediately thought about the Jim Palmer meeting as soon as I saw what you were blogging about. I still show people the picture of Jim and I sitting together looking like we’re out to dinner or something. I also still have the blue and white dress I was wearing, which he touched and so of course I haven’t washed it since (kidding!). He is a very nice guy.

    Reply
    • I am racking my frail brain here and I can’t remember that picture. You need to fill in the blanks or better still scan a copy of it and plop it on your facebook page or email it to me. I’d love to see it.

      Reply
  5. I love your blog!! I love you and miss you but glad you are still making me smile….

    Reply
  6. moggie

     /  October 30, 2012

    I was at the Daytona Speedway just for the day before race practice stuff, I’m sure there is a proper name for that. Anyway as I was walking infront of the stands I passed Paul Newman, could have brushes his shoulder ,as he passed I turned around and yelled his name but alas he didn’t answer, does that count? By the way I am 5ft 2in and I looked him in the eye.
    This ones for you Bonnie, I went to a ball game in Washington DC,I think,as I walked around the out field stands as close to the field as I could get, I saw Micky Mantle and this time when I yelled his name he turned around and waved at me. I am sure this counts ! see you soon. moggie

    Reply

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