It was my choice to become a kindergarten dropout (long story) but dropping out didn’t seem to affect my ability to absorb knowledge. In first grade I learned to write cursive and with my dad’s help, I penned my first and only fan letter. How exciting many weeks later, to receive an autographed stock photo from Frank Sinatra, one I thought he’d personally signed just for me. We were connected, Old Blue Eyes and me. But only from a distance.
Up close and not under the spotlight, stars/celebs behave pretty much like the rest of us. On their own, they blend in and ask for help when needed. As did one man, years ago, who came into the office where I was working the front desk. An ordinary looking fellow, with ginger hair and freckled skin, he wanted suggestions for good places to eat in downtown St. Louis. Before I could respond, one of my co-workers hurried over to give the stranger her ideas. That’s when I recognized him as Tom Ewell who’d co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in The Seven-year Itch, one of her most famous roles. You may recall her standing over the sidewalk grate, white skirt billowing above her knees.
Stars and former stars can be found everywhere and when least expected. San Antonio, for example. One year while strolling on the Riverwalk, I passed by a man standing off to one side while chatting with a woman. Very petite with short blonde hair, the woman wore slacks and a knit top. Had it not been for her heavy make-up, I wouldn’t have taken a second look and realized she was June Allyson. The former MGM musical star was doing dinner theater in San Antonio.
Naturally, stars hang out in luxury hotels. I saw Cheryl Ladd (Charlie’s Angels) sitting in the lobby of the George V in Paris and shared an elevator with Rue McClanahan (Golden Girls) at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis. Stars even hang out at local eateries, such as a restaurant in Island Park, Idaho, in the middle of the day, where Michael Keaton (Mr. Mom, Batman, etc.) sat at the bar, his big white dog settled on the floor beside him. Everyone in our group of ten needed to use the restroom, anything for an excuse to walk past Michael.
And then there was the time I was visiting New Orleans with Hubby D. I’d convinced him to stroll through the Garden District with me, hoping to see the home of Anne Rice, prolific writer of Gothic horror such as Interview with a Vampire among others. Unsure of the author’s address, we stopped and asked a local woman who was walking her big white dog. She gave us exact directions to Ms. Rice’s house and after thanking her, we continued our unhurried stroll through the neighborhood. Upon reaching our destination, who do we see in the front year of the Rice house but the woman who’d given us directions. She was getting into a stretch limousine and only then did I recognize her as Anne Rice.
So, how about you. Any star sightings you’d like to share?