Yep, I kind of a big deal. At least in my own shower. I’d been thinking of all of the celebrities I’ve met in my life and am 0 dollars richer because of it. So this post is for all of the Hollywood producers who need a new gimmick for a new TV show. It seems we have a reality show for every Tom, Dick and Kardashian on the block. This will not be a show about famous people, it will be about people who have met famous people. Close enough, right?
Alright, not in any kind of order of when I met these celebs, so I’m just gonna ramble.
I’ve dated a Rose Parade Queen (Hi Katie!).
When I was at SDSU I worked at a club called Confettis. During the summer of 1984, the men’s Olympic basketball team was practicing at the University of San Diego, right down the street. One night I’m at work and in roll Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Waymon Tisdale and Chris Mullin. Now Michael wasn’t “Michael” yet. He was still popular, but I can’t imagine him trying to go to a club and stand at the bar like normal people today. I went up and shook hands. Michael – nice, Patrick – Shy, Waymon – fun, Mullins – partier. Mullins is from NYC for goodness sake, what did you expect?
At the same club on a different night during football season, I’m working the bar on the 2nd level where it was virtually empty at the time and who walks by? Walter Payton! Very nice guy. Couldn’t have been more cordial.
At Golds Gym in San Diego where I used to workout, there was a normal Charger crew that would come in during the off-season, every morning, led by Junior Seau. Among the people he brought in was Rodney Harrison. I got to know Junior a little bit over the years and was heartbroken when he killed himself. I was at a Charger dinner one evening and he sat at my table and thought it was funny when I asked him to sign my dinner roll.
Now, I’m not even in the same league as my Mom. She was the daughter of a busy character actor during her childhood, John Gallaudet. She had people over like William Frawley (Fred on I Love Lucy), Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, Johnny Mercer, Forrest Tucker at her house daily. Frank Sinatra drove her to school for heaven’s sake.
I was at Fashion Island (Newport Center) walking around one day and who crossed my path? O.J. Simpson. But this was O.J. prior to being O.J. I waved at him and yelled, “Juice”. He smiled and waved back. Little did I know.
I was peeing in a bathroom at a theater in Westwood and who pulls up next to me? Cuba Gooding Jr.? I said, “I think they put something in the popcorn to make us pee.” He said, “You know, I think you’re right.” I left him mid-stream.
When I was in high school, my Mom and I moved from the O.C. to La Mesa in San Diego. Best move of my life. Anyway, our next door neighbor was Keith King (later changed to Linden). He was a rookie linebacker with the Chargers. He had this silver Corvette that we would haul rear-end around San Diego in. I was on 15-year-old cloud nine. He had Pete Shaw, another Charger player over and we went to shoot some hoops. I remember Pete calling me a racist. I had no idea what for. I later learned in an interview that he was an angry black man back then. Duh. I also went to high school with a bunch of future D1 athletes but the most famous one is Karl Dorrell, who later went on to become the head coach at UCLA. Also played basketball against Cliff Livingston, who later would win a few rings with Jordan and the Bulls years later.
My college job was driving a limo. Great job. I drove Rush Limbaugh and Kim Carnes who was famous for singing, “She’s Got Betty Davis Eyes”. But by far the most famous people I ever drove was Van Halen. This was in 1984 and they were huge then. I picked up Sammy Haggar, Valerie Bertenelli, Eddie VanHalen, and their posse from San Diego and drove them up to their house in Malibu. In all honesty, I think Eddie would have been a genius at anything he tried, he was that sharp. Valerie sat up front with me so I was happy.
When I was at SDSU, I played volleyball there. During the summers, beach volleyball was all we did. During that era the U.S. National team practiced at Balboa Park in the mornings and then head over to Cohassett Street during the afternoons. Karch Kiraly, Pat Powers were among the players I saw. Met Sinjin Smith at a club. Went to high school with Steve Timmons in Newport (prior to the move). My best celeb of the volleyball era is Mike Whitmarsh. Mike went to Monte Vista high, which was in the same league as Helix (my school), so I played basketball against him way back then. I knew him before he blew up. Mike was just learning the beach game when I was at SDSU and I was lucky enough to be his first beach partner (2nd Place, RATS!!) Mike would go on to become the Silver Medalist in Beach Volleyball during the 1996 Olympics. I would often run into him from time to time in San Diego during his off-season and he was the most humble guy. This was when beach volleyball was very popular. It was fun watching him on TV. My heart was broken again when I went to his funeral after he had taken his own life.
I was in the U.S. Air Force. I worked as a pharmacy technician at an Air Force base hospital in Riverside, Ca. One morning I opened up our windows and who was standing before me? Reggie Miller, Cheryl Miller and their parents. This was when Cheryl was the better known of the two (scored 100 points in a game). But I knew about them both and we had a good conversation.
And finally, my favorite celeb meeting. I was working in Westwood, teaching Real Estate classes to people who were going to take the state test. One day, Brian Bozworth walked in. I spent a couple of days with Brian and he was the nicest, smartest celeb I’d ever meet. He was living in Malibu making those horrible B movies and wanted to get his license. When I asked him about his Oklahoma-Barry Switzer days when sanctions were unheard of, he had two words, “Total autonomy”.
So, Producers, you can get ahold of me through this website. I am available Saturday mornings or Tuesday afternoons.