Monday, March 13, 2006

Celebrities I have seen in my lifetime

I have lived in some interesting places after leaving my hometown of Hammond, Indiana, when I was 18, including Chicago, Miami Beach, and New York, before finally settling down in the backwoods of Kentucky. I have also been blessed with the opportunity of traveling to a few nice places along the way.

While living in these interesting places, or visiting them, I have come across some celebrities in unusual spots. For example, I used to work at CBS in New York and Chicago. Celebrities frequently came to the corporate offices on Park Avenue to discuss, I imagine, big business deals. I had the pleasure of seeing General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jack Valenti, Peter Falk (in his famous trenchcoat), Danny Kaye (rode down an elevator with him), David Wayne (rode a subway train and actually had a conversation with him before I got off), and Jackie Kennedy (who was all dolled up and getting out of a taxi with an equally snazzy male companion). I saw all the early astronauts, including Alan Shepherd and John Glenn, riding down Broadway in a tickertape parade.

During the 1960s, I met Frank Gifford, Jack Stroud, Y.A. Tittle, and coach Allie Sherman of the New York Giants (that's football) at their spring training camp in upstate New York. While living in the Village in New York, a movie company was filming Two For The Seesaw a couple of blocks away from my apartment, so I had a really good look at Shirley MacLaine and Robert Mitchum. I saw jazz greats Herbie Mann, Jack Teagarden, Gene Krupa, and Gerry Mulligan at clubs in New York. In New York, I sat in on the Ed Sullivan Show. In Chicago, I danced to David Lee Roth and his band at a swinging bar. In 1968, I saw all the activists demonstrating in Lincoln Park before, during, and after the Democratic National Convention, and probably before they got their heads bashed in by the police. I enjoyed Ravi Shankar from India and Tony Bennett from San Francisco in concert. I was entertained by Victor Borge, Robert Morse, and Carol Burnett as they performed on Broadway. At a hotel in Las Vegas, we were honored to shake the hand of comedian Marty Allen.

One night, while husband and I were walking in the Loop in Chicago, we saw the boxer Muhammad Ali and several others exiting a long, black limo. He stopped to wave and smile at us.

While sitting poolside at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach with husband several years ago, we saw a bunch of mafia guys and gals (who looked like they just stepped off the Sopranos set).

The most exciting celebrities I have ever seen were the one and only Beatles in concert in Chicago. I was working at CBS and we heard that one of the CBS Radio DJs was on the air giving away tickets to the upcoming Beatles concert at Comiskey Park (baseball stadium). A friend and I went down, actually got on the air and were given four tickets. So two friends, my sister, and I had the thrill of our lives one summer day in 1965. The noise in the stadium from all the screaming fans drowned out most of the band's music, but who cared. We were seeing the Beatles live and in concert.

I'm sure there are more celebrities that I have seen during my lifetime given the places I have lived and the entertainment venues I have visited . But, they were probably unknown at the time, so who knew? I could have stood next to Donald Trump and never knew who he was (especially if he had normal hair at the time)!

It was fun remembering all these close encounters with greatness. Maybe one of these days I will meet someone who contributed something to the world besides entertainment or politics -- maybe someone who made the world a better and safer place to live.


At March 13, 2006 1:44 PM, Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

All I can say is "WOW!"

You have really seen a lot of famous people...what are you doing in Kentucky? I've only mostly been involved with middle eastern dignataries & just a handful of what you could call famous people. Great post MK.

I've spoken to Richard Nixon, rode my bicycle in his grandmother's front yard and worked on his campaign and
I heard Nelson Mandella speak and
Alex Haley speak and saw Red Buttons in Las Vegas.

I shook hands with the president of Lebanon and spoke to him frequently on the phone before he was assasinated by a car bomb, while in office.

I spoke with the Emerates of Kuwait, received a stunning gold pendant & necklace from a top official in the Kuwaiti government and expensive perfume from France because I had made his arrangements for open-heart bypass surgery and arranged his recovery & post operative care to be in a suite of the Hiatt Regency, in Lexington,Ky.
(everything was to be kept secret).

At one time I thought I was in contact with an assasin because important dignataries died in which ever country he was in.
This man was not famous.

I hope the government doesn't come questioning me because I've suddenly gone blank, and can't remember a thing.

At March 13, 2006 2:54 PM, Blogger MrsGreenThumb said...

I certainly count our visit to Cominsky Park to see the Beatles as one of the highlights of my life. It certainly surprised the young people I work with that I actually saw them in a live performance. I too have met celebrities such as Alex Haley, a very nice gentleman. But I think ordinary people just as interesting as celebrities. Everyone has a story. I miss you too. I'll call from the airport in Houston on Friday. Loveya, MrsGreenThumb.

At March 13, 2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Neo said...

Kitty - Wow, that's cool! It's funny how down to earth some of them are when you meet them up close eh?

Hope your weekend went well.

Peace & Hugs,

- Neo

At March 13, 2006 9:09 PM, Blogger manababies said...

*gasp* You saw the Beatles live?! I am so jealous! If I could go back in time, that would be one of the things I'd want to do.

At March 13, 2006 11:57 PM, Blogger Sue said...

You really have met a wide array of people haven't you! I am much more a small town girl, having living in this same town all my life!
However in the 70s, the world famous Dr. Norman Shumway did open heart surgery on my FIL at Stanford Hospital. (He was the first surgeon in the US to do heart transplants).
We, of course, spoke to him several times. A wonderful man, and true pioneer in his field.
Enjoying reading about your exciting life!

At March 14, 2006 6:58 AM, Blogger jellyhead said...

Hi Motherkitty,

You sure have racked up the famous people-spotting points!

I don't think I've met anyone famous!!

My brother-in-law is a writer (has had 4 books published), and a TV and newspaper journalist - we call him the 'minor celebrity' of the family. That's about it for me!

At March 14, 2006 9:40 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

You have met a lot of well known people. I guess I've never met anyone famous. I've met a few country music singers, that's about it!

At March 14, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Alipurr said...

hey, you forgot the one you & dad went to see sing recently, was it carole king??? and i get to stand next to a big celebrity every time i stand next to are going to beat ken jennings one day, didn't you know?

At March 14, 2006 2:05 PM, Blogger Alice said...

I think you should stand next to a mirror and meet someone who has made a real difference to her part of the world.

At March 14, 2006 6:39 PM, Blogger Motherkitty said...

Well, Alipurr, you are correct. It was Judy Collins and I'm really sorry I forgot about her because she is beautiful. And, thanks for thinking I'm going to beat Ken Jennings!!!

Alice, you are too much. Thanks.

I appreciate everything all of your comments. To my way of thinking, the people who are really special and who are the real celebrities are each and every one of you. So give yourselves a big hug and a kiss from me.

At March 14, 2006 9:48 PM, Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Aah...MK you are soooo sweeet.

At March 15, 2006 5:06 AM, Blogger Wystful1 said...

Just dropping by to see what you've blogged in the past few weeks. Thanks for the special post about my sister. Tomorrow I get to be there and I'm so excited! Thanks again.

(Love the list of celebrities you've been around.)

At March 15, 2006 10:09 AM, Blogger Lew said...

I agree with A.I.P.'s wow! Especially, the Beatles. I would have loved to see them. (I was only two in '65, though. lol.)

I can't remember having any brushes with celebrity. My parents and grandparents have, but nowhere near as many as you.

Btw, I posted on both blogs this morning but so far they are not showing up. On my edit posts page accessed from the dashboard page, it shows the new post, but it doesn't appear when I bring up the blog. Maybe it eventually will. I've tried republishing several times, but no dice. Go figure.

At March 16, 2006 8:24 AM, Blogger susan said...

You are the real 'classy lady' just look at all these celebrities you have seen! We are all jealous.

At March 16, 2006 10:09 AM, Blogger Clance' McClannahan said...

The world is quite small. You never know who reads your blog. I think you and your blogging buddies be some of those "world changing people".

At March 16, 2006 7:11 PM, Blogger Moogie said...

That is so cool! You rock. :) How fun is that. I've never really met or seen anyone famous. Good memories!!

At March 19, 2006 1:31 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Fun post. I think I'll steal the topic one day this week. :) Have to come up with a list first.

Hope the birthday party was a blast.


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