Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brushes with fame

As a journalist I have had many opportunities to meet and interview famous people over the years. Combined with the random encounters I’ve had with famous people outside of my work experience it makes for an interesting list. 

 Autographs sought and found: 
Lyndon Johnson - Found autographed copy of his biography “Vantage Point” at a Library book sale in Connecticut. 
George McGovern - Had him autograph my program after listening to him speak at Texas A&M when he was running for president in 1984. 
Al Gore - Saw him at an airport campaign rally in College Station in 1988 and had him sign a slip of paper. 
Molly Ivins - I have two of her books autographed - one by mail and one in person.
Barney Frank - Found an autographed copy of his book at a used book store.  
Burt Ward (Robin) - Parents took me to see him during a promotional gig at a car dealership in Indiana in the early 1970s. He autographed a promotional photo for me. Bob (Cowboy Bob) Glaze - Parents took me to see him at some event in Indiana in the early 1970s. Got a signed promotional photo of him on his horse. 
Luis Tiant - Former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox signed autographs at Missions baseball game in San Antonio last year. 
E. Gary Gygax - Had him autograph my program while attending Gen Con, a gaming convention in Madison, Wisconsin in 1983. 
Al Warden - NASA astronaut my dad took me to see at Grissom AFB in Indiana. Dave Scott - NASA astronaut (Same as above.) 
Eddie Albert - Actor signed autographs to promote dedication of Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas. 
Cliff Robertson - Same as above. 
Dolph Briscoe - Former governor of Texas. Had him autograph a book after I interviewed him. 
Robert Earle Keen - Purchased a CD that he had signed. 
Tish Hinojosa - Had her sign a CD at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1993. 
Dalhart Windberg - Had him sign a print of one of his paintings I purchased at the Kerrville State Arts and Crafts Festival in 1994. 
Alabama band members - Had all the band members sign a publicity photo after a concert in San Marcos in 1982. 
Joe Diffie - Bought an autographed copy of his CD after watching him perform at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. 
Max Lucado - Autographed a book for me after an interview. 
Sister Helen Prejean - Bought her book "Dead Man Walking" and had her sign it at a book show. 
Nelson Wolf - Former Mayor of San Antonio and Bexar County Judge signed a copy of his book. 

George W. Bush - Multiple interviews before and after he became governor, but not after he became president. 
Rick Perry - While running for Lt. Gov. and again after he became governor. 
John Sharp - While running for Lt. Gov. 
Phil Gramm - Came to Lubbock to promote something at Texas Tech shortly before launching his presidential campaign. 
Victor Morales - The guy with the white pickup truck came to Lubbock during his Quixotic bid for the U.S. Senate. 
John Cornyn - When he was a moderate Republican running for attorney general, before he became a crazy wingnut senator. 
Kay Bailey Hutchison - At some event in Lubbock. 
Laura Bush - Promoting reading or something in Lubbock. 
George Stephanopolous - On a speaking tour in Lubbock. 
James Carville - Same as above. 
Ken Starr - Gave the commencement address for the Law School at Texas Tech and then ducked out the back and breezed past me with a smile and a nod while ignoring my questions. 
Gary Mauro - While running for governor. 
Susan Combs - While running for Ag Commissioner. 
David Dewhurst - While running for Land Commissioner. 
Barney Frank - Interviewed him on the phone about the Superfund toxic waste cleanup issue when I was in Connecticut. 
Bob Bullock - Interviewed him on the phone when I was in Kerrville. 
Chris Dodd - Spoke with him at a pubicity event at the submarine base in Groton, Connecticut. 
Lowell Weicker - Talked with him after a speaking engagement in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. 
Clayton Williams - Interviewed him on the phone after he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. 
Dolph Briscoe - Interviewed him for a feature story at his bank office in Uvalde. Max Lucado - Wrote a feature story on him in 2006. 
Rick Riordan - Wrote a feature story on him in 2007. 
Other Congress critters I’ve interviewed at one time or another: Ciro Rodriguez; Lamar Smith; Charlie Gonzalez; Larry Combest; Mac Thornberry; Henry Bonilla; Charles Stenholm; Sam Gejdenson; Rosa DeLauro 

 Met at social event: 
Ann Richards - Saw her at political mixer at A&M during her first gubernatorial campaign. 
Carol Channing - Was campaigning for Ann Richards at same event as above. Victor Navasky - Publisher of Nation Magazine held a mixer in New York during the 1992 Democratic National Convention. My wife and I rode the train in from Connecticut and attended. Saw Ralph Nader and Molly Ivins there. 

 Chance encounter: 
Jackie Sherrill - Texas A&M football coach. I rode an elevator with him at Rudder Tower - just the two of us - about 1985 or so. Didn’t say a word. 
Drew Gooden - Basketball player currently with the Spurs. Rode an elevator with him at a hotel downtown when he was still with the Cavaliers. 
David Robinson - Walked into Wal-Mart at I-10 and DeZavala one time and saw this really tall guy who turned out to be David Robinson. 
Greg Oden - Walked into McDonalds at I-10 and Wurzbach during the Final Four Playoffs and stood in line behind this really tall guy who turned out to be (I figured out the next day) Greg Oden, who would go on to be the No. 1 NBA draft pick that year. 

 Saw live performance: 
Patrick Stewart - Saw him perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Texas A&M before he was tapped for the role of Capt. Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. 
Alabama - At Southwest Texas State University in 1982 
Cheap Trick - Opening act for Night Ranger at Texas A&M in 1983. 
Night Ranger - See above. 
Trans Siberian Orchestra - A Christmas concert in San Antonio 2002. 
Blue Man Group - Saw them perform in New York in 2001 or 2002. 
Peter Yarrow - Of Peter, Paul and Mary, at the Kerrville Folk Festival. 
Itschak Perlman - Performed at Texas A&M as part of OPAS concert series. 
Dixie Chicks (pre-Natalie Maines) - In Kerrville at YO Ranch Social Club. 
Tanya Tucker - Same as above. 
Robert Earle Keen - Performed several times at July 4th Missions baseball games. Ani DiFranco - At Kerrville Folk Festival 
I saw all these folks over a number of years at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo: Barry Manilow; Joe Diffie; Asleep at the Wheel; LeAnn Rimes; Michael Martin Murphy; Kenny Rogers 
The Fifth Dimension - Performed at outside park in Houston. 
Lyle Lovett - Saw him perform in San Antonio. 
Weird Al Yankovic - Saw him perform in San Antonio. 

 Watched live speaking event: 
George H.W. Bush - He was the commencement speaker for my graduation from Texas A&M in 1989. Also saw him speak during the dedication for the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg. 
Bill Clinton - Saw him give a speech to the Middletown Chamber of Commerce in Connecticut when he was running for president in 1992. 
Hillary Clinton - Saw her give a speech at Yale University when she was campaigning for her husband in 1992. 
Al Gore - Saw him give a speech at a college in Middletown, Connecticut during the 1992 campaign. 
John Kenneth Galbraith and William F. Buckley Jr. - Watched a debate they had as part of a lecture tour at Texas A&M. 
Rob Bell - Saw him in San Antonio during one of his lecture tours. 

 Saw them at live sporting events: 
Johnny Bench - Saw him hit a home run at the Astrodome when the Reds played the Astros in 1978. 
Billy Williams - Saw him hit a home run at Wrigley Field when the Cubs played the Astros in 1973. 
Bo Jackson - Saw him play in the Cotton Bowl against the Texas Aggies after he won the Heisman Trophy. The Aggies stopped him on a 4th and goal situation and won the game. Whoop!! 
Chuck Knoblauch - Watched him play baseball at Texas A&M before going to the majors where he was Rookie of the Year. 
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, etc. - Saw them at numerous Spurs basketball games.

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