14 May 2004

Nice to meet ya

I missed last week's assignment, so I am only happy to participate this week:

I've had a grand total of two celebrity encounters, and I wasn't even aware that the first one was until after it was over.

When I was in high school I used to play a lot of golf at a local nine hole golf course with a friend.  Rain or shine, we played a few times a week.  One day, when the weather was less than perfect, an older gentleman approached us as we were standing on the first tee getting ready to hit and asked if he could join us. 

After the third hole or so I had a feeling that I had seen this man before, but I couldn't place him.  I was working 30-35 hours a week in a busy drug store by then so I thought perhaps he was a regular there.  I never asked him who he was.

It took us less than three hours to play.  This man could not have been nicer to us and we enjoyed playing with him.

A week or so later, I saw an advertisement in the Friday entertainment section of the Tribune for a play that was being performed at a theater not far from the golf course.  It was in the middle of a three week run, and it stared Red Buttons, who I'd remembered from seeing some old movies on television, particularly "The Poseidon Adventure."  Once I saw his picture in the ad, I recognized him immediately as our golf partner from that day.  Of course, when I told my friend about it, he had no idea who he was.

My only other encouner occured in the mid-90's.  I had been to a game at Wrigley and met up with a buddy who was entertaining a bunch of clients, and after the game we went to a local hangout.  He was introducing me to clients and co-workers, mostly accountants, for most of the evening.  I came back from the restroom at the bar thinking it was time to go home when my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said "Jim, have you met Sammy?"  Turning around expecting to meet my 75th accountant of the night, I instead saw Sammy Sosa standing there.  This was a few years before his career exploded.  He stayed and talked with us for fifteen minutes, and could not have been more nicer.  That always impressed me more than any home run he has ever hit.

So that's it, an unassuming golfing actor and a future hall of famer.  Guess I don't get out much!

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