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ProfessorTomoe

What Are Your Brushes With Fame?

30 posts in this topic

Just like the thread title says, this is for documenting your brushes with fame, no matter how small or how large. There are only three rules:

  1. No intentional one-upmanship for its own sake.
  2. It must have actually happened, although documentation is not required (no tall tales, in other words).
  3. No posting of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch video. :)

I'll try and start things off with a small brush with fame. Share your own, please!

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One of my briefest brushes with fame was on a Southwest Airlines flight. (I suspect flights will make up a good number of items in this thread.) I was sitting on the aisle seat and watching people board. At one point, I noticed an elderly black lady being brought onto the plane in a wheelchair. I didn't recognize her at first, but when I got a second glance at her later on, I realized it was none other than United States Representative Barbara Jordan from Houston! I hadn't realized she was so far along in her life. I didn't get close enough to ask for an autograph or a handshake, but just being on the same plane was an honor.

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I was told "good brief" by GEN John A Wickham, then chief of staff of the US Army.  The LTC that gave me my challenge coin told me "the general never says good brief unless it's very [redacted] good.  You are the first NCO I've seen that has got one."

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Posted (edited)

[Rolled over with lint roller.]

Edited by The Old Hack
Judge's Order

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5 minutes ago, Don Edwards said:

My dad once bought a brush from a Fuller Brush salesman.

Bailiff, strike this man and his comment with a lint roller.

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I don't normally stand in line for autographs, but I made an exception for this one:

large.MarioAndrettiLeeJacksonE3_1998_1b.jpg

I got an autograph from Mario Andretti when I was at E3 in 1998 at Atlanta. Joe Siegler of the company I worked for, 3D Realms, took the picture. The irony is that I'm an A.J. Foyt fan.

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More seriously... we've attended science fiction conventions for like 20 years now, so I've met and chatted with more SF/fantasy authors, and made more well-known filkers regret singing with me, than I can name. Catch is, I'm not big on celebrities in general, and in particular I have never gone for autographed books. (Some idiot scribbled something on the title page! Throw it out!)

So let's see... whom can I specifically recall?..

George Martin I pretty much ignored, as I don't care for his stuff. Got a picture of my wife sitting in the throne from the TV series, at her insistence (They have two of it, one occasionally travels; it was in Missoula on this occasion.)

I made a comment to Mercedes Lackey at Norwescon in Seattle, and a year later at Windycon in Chicago (was in the area for two weeks for business reasons on my employer's dime) she saw me, recognized me, and replied to the comment.

I got a chuckle out of Dr. Forward.

Steve Barnes, teaching a Saturday-morning tai chi session, watched my daughter for about 15 seconds and asked "how many years have you been doing ballet?" (the answer, at that time, was 12.)

Filkers: Heather Alexander, Michelle Dockrey (Escape Key), Cynthia McQuillen, Cat Faber and Callie Hills (Echo's Children)... dangit there are a few more I want to put here but I'm not remembering names...

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That shirt I'm wearing in the above picture got worn in another brush with fame, this time a serious one, still 3D Realms related. I kinda had mixed feelings about it, being the company composer, but it was still a neat event.

I got to meet KMFDM back stage at Liberty Lunch in Austin. I think I also stood at the urinal next to Sascha Konietzko before the show began. We didn't brush there, thank goodness.

The producer in charge of the original Prey project—the *very* original one—apparently had connections to Sascha. He managed to get the entire Prey team All-Access passes to the show in Austin. It must have been in early December of 1997, since Rammstein opened for them. (I walked past their lead singer, Till Lindemann, after the concert, too.) I stood far away from the mosh pit and wore ear protection, since the acoustics inside the former Liberty Lunch building were ear-shattering. KMFDM did a good show, but I remember thinking that we should have signed Rammstein instead of KMFDM (this was back when Rammstein had just started their Sehnsucht Tour that would blast them to popularity). Anyway, after the show, we went back stage and drank KMFDM's vodka. I got to hear En Esch make fun of Till Lindemann's opening line from their first song and asked him about it. He didn't have a high opinion of Lindemann, apparently.

It was a kick-ass experience, nonetheless. I've still got my pass out in a box in the garage somewhere.

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Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor) asked me to be his Companion!

Well, okay, it was a Q&A, and when I asked who his next Companion would be, he replied by asking if I was free.  I say that counts!  ;-P

 

Prof, to me, the original Prey is a TV series.  Which had Vincent Ventresca as a main character, and I hung out with him on the Invisible Man set, so that comment totally fits this thread.

 

Don, I used to hang out in filk rooms till they gave up in the wee (or sometimes adolescent) hours.  My hometown hosted a relaxacon which is heavy on filk, and when I was a kid that was the only Con I could get to most years, so I'd bring a tape recorder and then spend the rest of the year listening to them.  I didn't know who the big names were, or who was singing what by whom, and most of the time I didn't even know the official title and had to guess when labeling them.  Still some of my treasured memories.

These days, I usually go to the room parties, and by the time I've finished hanging out there, I'm too tired to stay and filk, considering that I often have to be at work the next morning.  Still, when I can make it, often at the Dead Dog, it's a blast!

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5 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

I made a comment to Mercedes Lackey at Norwescon in Seattle, and a year later at Windycon in Chicago (was in the area for two weeks for business reasons on my employer's dime) she saw me, recognized me, and replied to the comment.

I forgot about her.  I was in her used bookshop in Tulsa when she got the notice that her first story or novel, I forget which, sold.  Also played SCA a bit with her.

And I got my clock cleaned by Duke Paul Belatrix, but that's a given.

 

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Once met Steve Jackson, of Steve Jackson Games, at a con.  Got him to sign my GURPS Basic.

He was testing a concept for a game about Tabloid Newspapers at the time.  I don't think anything became of it.  A friend of mine at the con got stuck when he was attempting to create a tabloid headline.  For some reason, he couldn't make a good headline when his available words included (no joke) "Disease", "Madonna", and "Snatch".

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Making a headline with those three words wouldn't be hard... but a good one? Ah, I'll pass.

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6 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Once met Steve Jackson, of Steve Jackson Games, at a con.  Got him to sign my GURPS Basic.

He was testing a concept for a game about Tabloid Newspapers at the time.  I don't think anything became of it.  A friend of mine at the con got stuck when he was attempting to create a tabloid headline.  For some reason, he couldn't make a good headline when his available words included (no joke) "Disease", "Madonna", and "Snatch".

 

2 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

Making a headline with those three words wouldn't be hard... but a good one? Ah, I'll pass.

"Diseased Man Snatches Madonna's Purse! More on page A5."

 

I was on an episode of The Ramblin' Rod Show once... 

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Let's pick this one up again, shall we?

Date: early-to-mid-December, 1980. I was a senior in high school in Houston (technically in the Pasadena, TX school district). Several people convinced me to go on a trip with the Close-Up Foundation to Washington, D.C. with them. Needless to say there would be shoulder bumping if I went, but I didn't think I had the money to go. It was very expensive for the time—I think $600.

Here steps in my step-mother, in one of the only good deeds she ever did for me. She worked as a secretary at a very, VERY high-end business club on top of one of the skyscrapers in Downtown Houston. She raised her voice to a few select members and asked for sponsorships. It worked. She got enough money for the trip, no strings attached, plus an extra $100 from none other than World War II war crimes prosecutor and Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski for me to spend on the trip!

More on this later, with people I actually saw/met/spoke to ...

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I proved I was the biggest nerd in a large roomful of nerds geeky enough to be attending a live recording of an episode of a podcast about nerdity.  In the auditorium at the Cards Against Humanity HQ.  I got the only 8 out of 10 on an extremely nerdy trivia quiz.

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More IndyCar stuff. This happened during a trip down to Galveston and Houston in 2013 that Mrs. Prof planned for our 30th anniversary (sort of—it was a bit early, but the idea was what counted). We went to the first race of the 2013 Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader, which is best known for the second race crash that brought Dario Franchitti's career to an end (we didn't go to that one). Well, my health was deteriorating, so we parked in the handicapped spots (I had a placard). Unfortunately, there was no path to get from where we parked to our seats without climbing stairs to a tower bridge. Mrs. Prof went into action, talking to this policeman, that official, and so on. We weren't the only ones with this problem, so they worked something out for us. We just had to wait a few minutes while some pre-race prep took place at a gate next to the front stretch of the race course.

That pre-race preparation involved a parade of every IndyCar in the field, so close you could touch them, followed by each of the drivers on their pre-race scooters, again close enough to reach out and touch their fire suits. Mrs. Prof is a huge Tony Kanaan fan, and she saw him up VERY close and personal. We even saw Dario Franchitti drive out for his next-to-last-race.

After the entire field went past us, we got to walk across the track to our front stretch seats. Man, what an experience.

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Close-Up Foundation Continuation:

We were led around by guides to meet with certain dignitaries, mainly on a listen-only case. A bit of explanation is warranted: we had two sub-groups in our tour. One was from parts of Greater Houston, while the other was from around Nashville. We'd split up and meet with our own representatives at times. In one instance, we met with our U.S. Representative, Congressman Ron Paul. He answered some questions, but one big ticket question—public transportation in our district—he sidestepped. Not once, but twice. I stood up and flat out called him on it, saying, "You've haven't answered this question twice, so now I'm going to ask it a third time ..." He still managed to dodge the question. Since this is not the political thread, and therefore not a thread for opinions, I will not give mine of him here. However, I will say that the entire district group came away from the meeting with the same feeling about him.

More to come ...

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Our girl scout troop spent some time learning about hunger issues and then took a trip to Washington D.C., where our troop leader had arranged visits with some of our congressmen.  One, named Dixon, stood us up; we never got any further than his waiting room.  I'm pleased to say he was not re-elected.  The other one I remember is Senator Paul Simon (who once co-hosted Saturday Night Live with the other Paul Simon).  He was friendly and gracious and gave a group of schoolgirls as much respect and attention as he would any powerful rich white male.  It was a great trip and I learned a lot, one of the most important lessons being that politicians, like any other profession, are individuals, some good folks, some jerks, some kind, some evil.  I can't help but think that anyone who claims all politicians are evil, hasn't bothered to actually meet many politicians.

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59 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

My closest brush with: Fame.

Are you saying you met Irene Cara, or do I need to call the bailifff in here? <_<

 

1 hour ago, CritterKeeper said:

It was a great trip and I learned a lot, one of the most important lessons being that politicians, like any other profession, are individuals, some good folks, some jerks, some kind, some evil.  I can't help but think that anyone who claims all politicians are evil, hasn't bothered to actually meet many politicians.

Agreed. One other politician I met on the trip who is not so famous as Ron Paul, father of Rand Paul, would be congressman J. J. "Jake" Pickle, leader of the House Ways and Means committee and Representative from the district in which my grandfather lived. I went to his office on our off day, just wanting to get a ticket to see the House chamber, but when he heard who I was and who my grandfather was, he invited me into his office, making a military person wait while I went in! He was a charmer, who talked to me about the help he'd given my grandfather during the Great Depression (yes, he was very old), he talked to me about the age of his office room, and not much else, but he gave me time from his day just because he was friends with one of his constituents! I respected his privacy and did not take any photographs in his office. I'm still glad I didn't, because I've got that image burned into my brain forever.

No one else would consider this a brush with fame. I consider it a brush with a great man.

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Sigh. Okay, then, another Close-Up Foundation story:

On my off day, after I watched the House of Representatives for a while, I walked through the halls of the Capitol toward the Senate chambers. Outside, I noticed a lot of news reporters gathered, waiting for someone to come out. I had my Close-Up Foundation tag on and my camera around my neck, so I loitered near the group. A Capitol policeman tried to shoo me away, but I returned, this time getting closer to the group. I also had a notepad in my pocket, so I pulled that out and pretended to be writing. No one bothered me after that.

The news group grew more active, so I moved in just a bit closer. Finally, the person they'd been waiting for came out: Senator Ted Kennedy!

I put my notebook away and took some pictures. Unfortunately, I put them in one of the sticky albums that everyone was using at the time, so scanning them is difficult. Mrs. Prof did her best for me, and I'm retouching them in Irfanview 64. Here they are:

large.KennedyPicture1_01c.jpg

large.KennedyPicture2_01b.jpg

large.KennedyPicture3_01b.jpg

I wish I could remember what he was talking about. It was some bill, but I don't remember what the bill was. Also, I apologize for the lines across the pictures. That's from the adhesive used in the photo album. I hope I can find the negatives one day and scan them.

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I remember those sticky albums.

They were a contributing factor to my dislike of photography as a hobby and personal / family historical archives.

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