To Do

To Do

38. Shake hands with someone famous

My Story

Updated May 11, 2009

I’ve met and seen a few famous people. Kathy Bates came into the shoe store where I was working during college and had herself a little shopping spree. She was awesome to talk to, but I didn’t shake her hand. I attended a lecture given by Ray Bradbury and talked briefly with him afterward, but again, I didn’t shake his hand. I ate my birthday dinner one year at the next table over from Neil Patrick Harris. I had a girls-night-out dinner at the next table from Frankie Muniz. I saw Alannis Morrissette at church one Sunday morning.

I guess I’m just going to have to shake someone’s hand one of these times.

Shared Stories

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One Shared Story:

  1. Ed shared this story

    January 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    You know, being the nerd that I am, I’ve met and shook hands with several Star Trek, BSG, and similar celebrities. Those were fun encounters and the people are great to their fans. But, I think the spirit of this “To Do” isn’t satisfied by encounters in artificial circumstances like charity fundraisers or nerd conventions.

    One night, I think it was winter 1990, some friends and I decided to visit the Observation Bar on the upper deck of the Queen Mary. The bar is beautiful, an art deco showpiece. Back then, the waitresses wore coats with tails and pillbox hats. We always dressed nice to go there, though we never met girls (girls weren’t hanging around there date-less!). It was the atmosphere that demanded it. We always ordered ‘mature’ drinks, and mellowed out to the sounds of the live bands that would perform jazz or torch songs on Friday nights.

    My friend James, mid-sip of his gin & tonic, nudged me. His eyes were wide, looking over my shoulder. I turned, and there was an elderly man sitting with two other people in the half-empty bar. The tables around him were clear of patrons. I didn’t recognize him, so I turned back and raised my eyebrows at James. ‘who?’ I mouthed.

    He decided to show me rather than tell me. He stood up, straightened his sport coat, and pulled me out of my comfortable leather chair. He led me over to the other table, calmly stuck out his hand and said “Mister Ebsen, I just want to say I’m a big fan, and shake your hand.” (Of COURSE! How had I not recognized him?)

    Buddy Ebsen stood, he must have been in his early eighties then, and took James’ hand. He turned to me and shook mine as well. We passed just a few words, basically ‘thank you for watching my work’ and ‘yes, sir. Thank you!’ and such. Then he went back to his companions and we went back to ours.

    It was cool to find that the guy was such a friendly sort, even after six decades in show business. I’ll never forget it.

    Thanks for letting me share!

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