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By the time you receive the e-mail of this blog, or log on and read it, we will be on a plane or — even more likely — at our destination: Miami. We made the decision to go late Wednesday afternoon, a short time after I arrived back in D.C. from New York City — so it was rush, rush and more rush preparing for last night's show and planning our "road trip."
Our flight for Miami leaves at 8:15 a.m. and arrives early morning in Miami. We are leaving early since we need to be in Miami before 1 p.m. (For those who also travel all the time like we do, it means a "short night." You know: home after midnight last night, packing, up at 5 a.m., leave home at 6:30 a.m. and to the airport by 7:15 a.m. That's not much time for sleep, but this job still remains much easier than so many more, e.g. nurses, teachers, firefighters, ambulance crews, etc. I am certainly not complaining, my job is easy.)
Why Miami? Time for you to guess! And yes, you will find out — maybe not tonight, but certainly by Friday's show.
By the way, many of you have asked me when we are going to have Beth Holloway Twitty on the show to discuss her journals. She kept copious notes from the time she landed in Aruba until she left many months later. We had her on about 10 days ago to discuss her journals, but the time with her got cut extremely short with the breaking news of the miners' tragedy. We had re-scheduled Beth for tomorrow, Friday, this time in New York instead of D.C., but now I am on the road in Miami. So, once again we must re-schedule and the plan is to have her with me in D.C. on Monday. I don't want to disappoint her on Monday.
Because time is rather short, I need to get to the airport. I am putting all of you to work today on the blog with your e-mails — many of the e-mails recount meeting famous people. The "prize" goes to the e-mailer No. 25 (Joanne Beers) below... and she even provided pictures of proof!
Now for your e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
I am impressed to say the least with Sharon Rocha. She was gracious and kind, much kinder than I believe I would be under the same circumstances. It's interesting to me that Anne Bird and Sharon Rocha do not know each other, but in their books you come up with Scott being depicted in the end as the same selfish, cold person. I have a daughter and a son around the same ages and life would be over with in many ways without them. I know the Petersons will never get over this, but I can't help but think that Scott might have reacted differently if they wouldn't have been so blind to him and helped him to take responsibility for what he did. It's obvious to me that Laci was not the love of their life and they had not connected to any unborn child of Scotts by their actions. I think it is great that Sharon wrote her story about Laci and I believe it is an excellent read and for a great cause too. I didn't waste any time buying it.
E-mail No. 2
I agree with you that these hearings are so important to everyone. They are very interesting at times, that is when you get to hear Judge Alito's thoughts on everything. What is not good is when the Senators on the committee spend so much of their time 'blustering' about their own agendas.
What has happened to Congress? I know down through history we have always encountered those in government (Congress in particular) who have agendas and do not seem to really care about anything else. In this day of instant communication, it is really out there for all of us to see and know about right away — and it's really ugly — we need to clean up our act and try to be more involved ourselves in our government. We need to make the right decisions when it comes to voting these men into office. We must pay attention to what they say and then how their actions follow their promises. For myself, these hearings are enlightening and have only made me even more aware of my duties as a citizen when voting time comes around!
Sandra J. Novak
E-mail No. 3
I met Larry McMurtry while he was in Beaumont, Texas, for a "reading" at Lamar University. He had just the night before completed his novel Anything for Billy while staying in the Beaumont Hilton. He read us the final chapter of the book. The audience was quite small, and he interacted with us very well, signing books for those who requested it.
E-mail No. 4
I’m leaving my "Famous Person Sighting" experience open for meeting Shepherd Smith, if I’m ever in New York! Why doesn’t he have a Blog? His fans demand daily Shep’isms!
E-mail No. 5
I met Muhammad Ali in Miami, Florida. It was in 1971 just before he fought Joe Frazier. I was working on a construction site or more accurately a housing development. My friends and I used to cash our checks at the local liquor store. Apparently the owner of this establishment was one of his sponsors very early in his career and he stopped by to say hello. He was as friendly and funny as anyone I have ever met. A truly nice guy and no phony ego. We did the fake spar thing... man I wish we had a camera! Don’t forget Natalee!
ANSWER: I met him, too. I was thrilled to meet him. I met him at a Larry King book signing party in Washington, D.C. years ago. I just remembered another one: When I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, I shook Lady Bird Johnson's hand when she did a short trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan. I was in a huge crowd greeting her and happen to be lucky in where I was standing.
E-mail No. 6
I met George Burns many, many years ago while I was standing in line waiting to get into the show, "The Price is Right," and while standing there I saw George Burns come out of the studio doors and I walked over to him to ask him for his autograph. He was sooooooooooo sweet and then we were bombarded by tons of people and I got shoved to the back. He made everybody stand back till he could find me and return my pen to me. He was a class act all the way! It is something I will never forget.
Chino Valley, AZ
E-mail No. 7
My kids and I met Adam Sandler last year during the time of the Super Bowl here in Jacksonville. He and his family were dining at the same Longhorn Steakhouse where we were. He was very gracious, very nice to the kids — allowed them to snap pictures with their camera phones — and he and my son discussed who they thought was going to win the Super Bowl.
E-mail No. 8
The most memorable famous person I met was country music artist Clay Walker. I was working as a reporter for the local NBC affiliate and had an interview with him. I had two chairs set up and had the camera ready when his manager walked over and said, "Oh, Clay doesn't sit." If you know anything about cowboys and their ultra-starched Wrangler jeans you'll understand why Clay "doesn't sit." He is one of the most gracious people I've ever met, famous or not.
Lauren Van Sickle
E-mail No. 9
During the mid 1970s I was stationed in Germany as a CID Agent (criminal investigator). On one of many trips back to the U.S. to testify at either a grand jury or criminal trial, I passed thru Heathrow Airport in London. While waiting for the plane to board, I saw a man standing by the first class entrance who I instantly recognized. It was Bob Hope. Being the adventurous person that I am I approached him and introduced myself. I told him that I had seen his last USO show in Vietnam a few years before and I expressed the appreciation of all military people who had had the good luck to watch his shows. He was a very gracious man and we spent about 30 minutes before boarding, talking about his long experience with the U.S. military. I have never forgotten that meeting. He was truly a great man and entertainer.
Sierra Vista, AZ
E-mail No. 10
Most famous person I met: Eric Clapton. Sat next to him at a preview showing of a thankfully obscure movie, "Rainbow Bridge." The movie was made by some California hippies living on a commune in Maui and featured some footage of Jimi Hendrix and interviews with Clapton and other culture icons. The footage of Hendrix was shot at a concert that was supposed to manifest "high energy" so aliens would make contact. After the screening I got into a conversation with Clapton because he heard me muttering something to the effect of "...a bunch of idiots," and maybe he thought I was the only other sane person there.
E-mail No. 11
I literally bumped into the late Formula 1 racing car driver, Ayrton Senna, at the Adelaide Grand Prix. I was crossing the complex to leave after the race had finished, went the wrong way and ended up at the back of the pits. It was raining and I had on a shirt and bra that had gone see-through in the rain. Ayrton Senna stepped back, looked me up and down and, with a wicked grin on his face, said "Madam, you win the wet T-shirt contest by a mile!" I was mortified and blushed so furiously that steam came off my face!
E-mail No. 12
I got to meet then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon in Knott's Berry Farm. We were having lunch at one of the restaurants and my mom and dad heard that he would be coming in, so the whole family ate and ate and ate some more so that we wouldn't be asked to leave before he and his wife, Pat, arrived. A couple of hours and several pies later, we finally did meet them.
I blame them for the subsequent weight gain, which is now a life-long struggle.
Thanks for the great reporting!
E-mail No. 13
In regards to your blog question, when my husband was a very young child he got to shake hands with President Harry Truman. The whistle stop tour spent time in my husband's hometown of Wooster, Ohio. Truman got off the train and mingled with the crowd. As for me, I got to stand next to my one time movie idol Paul Newman when he visited my college for a political event many years ago. I was too "shocked" to even say anything to him.
And while on a family vacation to Hawaii in 1985 we had the pleasure of meeting the extremely nice magician David Copperfield. He was at the hotel pool and posed for a picture, talked on the video camera, and signed an autograph for our then young daughter. Cyndi Lauper and her entourage were also at poolside. She was downright rude and our daughter vowed to never buy her music.
E-mail No. 14
I love your show. To answer your question, I met Shaquille O'Neil in California in 2000. He was staying at the same hotel as my family. I did not know who he was, as I am a Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) fan. I was in the golf pro shop with my kids and saw this tall man in there. I said to the golf pro, "He is really tall, he should play basketball." Well, my kids were so embarrassed, they left me standing there and the pro said, "Ma'am, that is Shaquille O'Neil." To which I said, "Who?" Well, we were standing outside the hotel and there he was. I asked the man who was with him if I could take a picture of my kids with Shaq, but the man said nothing. I asked Shaq if I could take his picture with the kids, he said nothing. So, I told my kids to stand next to him and I took a picture! He was like a cold statue. If he said no, I would have understood.
He was in town for "Legoland." A few hours after the photo, he was on TV — Legoland charity work and he was smiling, and Mr. Personality. His whole attitude changed once the cameras were turned on.
I was very polite when I asked for the photo. There were other players and celebrities at the hotel who were friendly.
I have met other famous people who were very nice.
Needless to say, I will stay a Boston Celtics fan! That's my story.
Please send my prayers to Sharon Rocha and Beth Twitty.
E-mail No. 15
Met George and Barbara Bush (when he was vice president) in 1985 (maybe 1984) at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal while my parents were stationed there. I was a pre-teen then. What makes this really amazing is that my husband was stationed there in 2003 when George W. Bush and Tony Blair had their Atlantic Summit with Spain and Portugal and I received a press pass and was allowed to attend the press briefing. It was an awesome experience. Who would have thought I would see both of them in such a far away place?
Linette K. Hollandsworth
E-mail No. 16
Bruce Willis in New York. He went out with my roommate a few times. I've seen a lot of celebrities, but met very few. He's a really nice guy.
E-mail No. 17
The most famous person I ever met was Gene Autry in a New Orleans Hotel. This was in the mid to early 60s. My mother handed me a pen and pad of paper and had me go up and ask for an autograph, which he did very quickly. I asked my mother why he was in such a hurry. She said he either had to go to the bathroom or his boots were too tight. As a little kid this made perfect sense to me. However, the doorman overheard this and thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard. Within 24 hours the story was all over the hotel: Gene Autry, The Tight Boot Cowboy.
E-mail No. 18
Actually, I've met quite a few, most of whom were rock stars. A former boyfriend was a stagehand working in Philadelphia in the 1970s. The ones with whom I had the most contact were Billy Joel and John Belushi.
I met Billy Joel backstage during one of his first tours. I forget the theatre. I was standing backstage watching the first act (don't remember who it was) and he came up and asked for a cigarette. I gave him one and we stood there talking. He asked me if I'd heard of him before and I said no (I really hadn't!). He asked me if I'd heard, "Captain Jack" and, again, I had to say no. He was very nervous and worried that the audience wouldn't like him. He was very sweet. I tried to encourage him. Of course when he took the stage I couldn't believe it was the same person. His stage presence was so powerful. I often wonder if he remembers that encounter.
We met John Belushi when he and Chevy Chase were doing the National Lampoon show, "Lemmings." He and my boyfriend hit it off and we partied with him after the show a couple of nights. We went to McGlinchey's Pub in the Theatre District and then back to his hotel when the bar closed. Those were wild and crazy days!
E-mail No. 19
These are not the most exciting, but here goes:
Joan Rivers: I had taken my dog for a vet appt. and a limo rolled into the parking lot as I walked out of the office. Joan was on QVC that day and I lived near the studio at the time (mid-90s). She travels with her dogs and one had become ill, so a QVC staffer got her an emergency appt. Considering the situation, I just said a quick Hello and Good Luck as I walked by, and she smiled and said Thank You. Next vet visit, I asked and was told her dog was treated and doing fine.
NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin and Derrike Cope: Terry and Sterling at my employer's site, they were each sponsored (at different times) by Sunoco in the early 90s. Cars were on display and drivers were present to "meet and greet." I was allowed to sit in Sterling's car and have photos taken. Met Derrike at Pocono Raceway on qualifying day. All three drivers were very nice.
Rock band Dokken: Record signing in 1986 at a "Wall to Wall" record store in Philadelphia. My husband and his friends also met Don Dokken by chance at Boston's Logan Airport in the late 80s.
John Schneider: At a car show about 1980, he was there with the General Lee car from "Dukes of Hazzard." My sister and I were excited at the time, but now we would not want to admit that!
Love your show and your blog!
E-mail No. 20
The most famous person I've ever met was none other than the all-time great, Ray Charles. What an absolute delight it was to meet this man. I was on one of many business trips, and while waiting to depart from the airport in Dallas, I spotted him and his elegant lady friend. I probably shouldn't have, but I couldn't resist the urge to walk up to him and introduce myself as one of his biggest fans. He was very gracious, and treated me as though I was one of his best friends. He even sang a few notes to me, then threw that head back and laughed. I don't know who that beautiful lady was, but she was getting a big kick out of me acting so stupid. Such delightful people. They were the epitome of class.
I've danced many miles to Ray Charles' music in my younger days. I couldn't believe I had actually met and talked to this man like an old friend. I'll always remember it.
E-mail No. 21
I waited on Eunice Shriver at the Gino's fast food restaurant in Rockville, MD, many, many years ago. My dad got to shake 'Bibi' Netanyahu's hand while in Israel last year. My dad still talks about it!
Griner, Isobel S. (SSG)
E-mail No. 22
I love reading your blog (I don't get to watch your show often so the blog keeps me updated.) I am writing to respond to your question about the most famous person I've ever met. Several years ago my family and I met Nicolas Cage! We were traveling from Birmingham to Atlanta and stopped at a favorite BBQ restaurant in Anniston, AL. Nicolas was eating in the restaurant and visiting around the area trying to pick up on the Southern accent and lifestyle while preparing for the movie "Con Air." My mom and I talked to him and got his autograph (well, she talked and I mostly stood there with my mouth open!) Now the family joke is that his awful Southern accent in "Con Air" is a direct result of his conversation with my mom!
E-mail No. 23
My husband and I love your show and watch almost every evening. We met Martin Sheen when we lived in Charleston, South Carolina and he was there doing a movie. The newspaper had an ad for extras so we went down to the high school where it was being filmed. The movie was "O." We became part of the audience during the basketball scenes. Mr. Sheen was so friendly. He had time to talk to anyone who approached him. He even posed for a picture with me. My husband could only handle one day of "shooting" due to so much down time. I, on the other hand, loved every minute of it and returned all three days. (P.S. Our cat, Odo, was so named because I wanted a dog, which would be a great pet and also a security asset. My husband thought dogs 'high maintenance' pets, especially on cold winter nights when you have to take them out. So we adopted a beautiful 20-pound cat and named him Odo after the Security Officer on "StarTrek." He is our security cat and he patrols the house day and night, when he's not napping).
E-mail No. 24
On your show last night, you featured a story about a woman who used DNA from her neighbor's dog to solve the mystery surrounding the death of her cat. During your report you showed a picture of this dog and you stated that the dog was a German Shepherd. The picture of the dog was that of a mutt, with very little resemblance to a German Shepherd. The dog looked much more like a yellow-lab mix.
Regardless of the exact mix of the dog, it is inappropriate misreporting about dog attacks, exactly like that on your show, which drives a public opinion that certain breeds are dangerous and malicious. Dog attack stories often quote the breed of the dog as one that has a "reputation" rather than the actual breed of the dog.
Please correct this misreporting and this type of "racial" profiling of our animals.
Proud owner of a very sweet German Shepherd.
ANSWER: Julie, you write about Tuesday's show. I do not recall the picture posted during the show, but I own TWO GERMAN SHEPHERDS (two girls: Charlotte and Zoe.) So shame on me!
E-mail No. 25 — and the "grand winner" of who met what famous person is Joanne Beers. Read her e-mail and check out the pictures posted above:
I have met a lot of famous people in my prior career as a stewardess for Western Airlines back in 1962-1964. (This can be said by a lot of stewardesses/flight attendants.) Western Airlines was a favorite of the movie industry. Some of those I remember where the Mills Brothers (I even asked them to sing for the passengers, but they kindly said no!); Johnny Mathis (very nice — one of our stewardesses dated Johnny); Jayne Mansfield (she snuck her little toy dog on our flight back from Vegas); Peter Lawford (he sat in front of me on a flight to New York); Sammy Davis Jr. (very nice man — met him playing blackjack at the Sands on one of my layovers); Mickey Rooney (he dated my roommate); Clifford Odetts, the playwright, (I was so excited about meeting him that I was telling everyone in the stew lounge when my flight returned but no one knew who he was!); George Raft, Peter, Paul & Mary, Milton Berle, Andy Williams, Carmen McRae, Henry Mancini, Victor Borge (he entertained us) and Richard Eagan who had the most beautiful deep voice, (his brother who was with him is a priest and was very, very handsome).
The really special one was Elvis.
Back in 1956 I had the privilege of meeting Elvis Presley when I was 15 years old. This was at the beginning of his huge popularity. Elvis came to Seattle, Washington for a concert, which was held on a Sunday night at Seattle Six Stadium. Earlier that day I was lying on my bed listening to a rock 'n' roll station and the disc jockey said that the first person to call into the station would win the opportunity to interview Elvis as well as see his show. My phone was right next to my bed and I dialed the number. When the disc jockey told me I was the first call, I almost fell off my bed. He asked if I could go and of course I told him yes! I then ran downstairs to tell my parents and the first thing my dad said was, "It's some hoax!"
(I am sure he did not want to drive me across town and pick me up close to midnight on a work night!) At that time most parents thought he was too "racy." My mother, who knew I was crazy about Elvis, told my father he had to drive me down to the show. My younger sister who was 5 at that time came along. She remembers my dad constantly saying, "They are not going to let you in!" I just sat there and kept my mouth shut. (I have no memory of the ride down). Of course I got in and was escorted to the pressroom. All the Seattle press were there, asking questions. I was standing about two feet from Elvis, and could hardly believe it. He was so drop dead handsome I think I was in shock (much more handsome than a lot of photos of him). I did ask him a couple of questions, however I don't remember what they were. I was the only one not writing down his answers! Elvis was very polite to everyone and we had our photo taken with him afterwards. He kissed me on my check after the photos were taken. Some little kid came up to me and asked if I was going to wash my face! (I told him yes.) We were then escorted outside to attend the show. The press was the last to be seated and we walked in front of those in the front row of the stadium. One of the guys in my high school saw me and asked what I was doing there. I told him and he suggested I sit on his lap. Seeing that he had a front row seat, dead center of the stage, I decided it was a better view than where the press was going to sit on the side of the stage. A few days later, I had to pick up the photos (there were two photos... one with Elvis and myself and one with Elvis, myself, and another press lady. I then heard that after the show, Elvis took the press out to dinner! I know there would have been no way for me to have gone to dinner at midnight with Elvis since I was only 15 years old. I could just see me asking my father if I could stay longer to have dinner with Elvis and have my dad come back and pick me up at 3 a.m.! Every year I send a photo Christmas card to my family and friends. My photo with Elvis was my 2005 Christmas card. I have had a lot of people ask me if it was real! I told them the story. I told them that if they look closely at the photo they will see a coat rack behind us! I have attached a copy of that photo as well as one of me and my roommate when we flew for Western Airlines.
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