YOUR EVERYDAY “BRUSH WITH GREATNESS”

Good Morning Children of ‘Idée fixe,’

Many of us have had, as made famous by David Letterman, a “Brush with Greatness.”  Sure I caught a glimpse of Barbara Streisand on Jones Beach, NY in 1972 as well as a brief smart-ass’d remark to Stevie Ray Vaughn in 1980, but I think most of us have had one or two brief encounters with the rich and famous.

I’ve referenced Bagwan’s list on more than one occasion, and with today’s last minute insertions the list of Bagged One’s chance rendezvous seems at first glance far to excessive for us normal people to comprehend let alone believe.  The veracity of this list will no doubt come into question, but you need to put it in the context of the ‘Holy Fucker’s’ career and lifestyle.  For 35 years he played a significant role in a high powered brokerage company that put him in a position to fly first class, stay at five star hotels, and dine at the best restaurants.  Unlike we the unwashed, this put him in a position to meet the upper strata of our great country.  So with that in mind, please consider his list:

Zuki’s gratuitous comment about me meeting celebrities got me to thinking about how many of the famous, near famous and infamous I crossed paths with in some 35 years of travel. I never told the stories thinking they would impress anyone — why would they.  I told the stories the way old men tell any of their stories, just as a form of reminiscing. From Zuki’s tone I gather he thinks I am either a phony name dropper or maybe just a liar.

Let me see how many I can remember on this last day of the earth (May 21, 2011):

  • Paul Newman and Gene Hackman at a car race
  • Robert Redford at Beaver Creek
  • Jack Nicholson on a plane
  • Sightings at bars and hotels around LA include George Burns, Milton Berle, Michael Caine, Morley Safer, Kenny Rodgers, Ricardo Montalban, Telly Savalas, Paul Henreid
  • Farrah Fawcett at the Houston airport
  • Former Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen on an airplane
  • One of the Country Hanks  — Thompson or Snow, I don’t remember which
  • Former NY Governors George Pataki in a restaurant and Mario Cuomo on the street
  •  Dick Van Dyke in a swimming pool in Arizona
  • John Elway at a golf course, in bar, at another golf course, in another bar and so on
  • Elizabeth Taylor at PJ Clarke’s in NY and JFK Jr. in the same place
  • Rita Moreno on a plane
  • The Air Force Academy mascot , a real live falcon who sat right across the aisle from me on a 2 hour flight, perched on a cadet’s arm with a hood over her head

I am sure there are more but these are all I could come up with under the time pressures given the coming events of today.  I hope you are all suitably impressed.

Additions to the list:

  • Billy Crystal and Tommy Smothers at LAX
  • The guy that played Jaws on a plane
  • Foster Brooks on a plane
  • All on the same flight: Wolfman Jack, Max Robinson (ABC anchor who died of aids) and Peter Strauss
  • Tom Watson on an elevator
  • Met with Tom Kite for business

New additions:

  • John Lee Hooker on a flight out of Santa Barbara where he had played the night before at UCSB and Sam Donaldson on a flight to SB on his way to irritate Ronald Reagan at his ranch.
  • Wilt Chamberlain at Emerson Street East in Denver

Just remembered on 7/11/11

  • Tommy Lasorda having dinner with Daryl Strawberry in a Cubs-theme restaurant in Scottsdale about when Strawberry was having problems,
  • Rupert Murdoch in a restaurant  on the Upper East Side in NYC
  • Shared office space with the astronaut Wally Schirra
  • Met Gary Hart during his Senatorial campaign of 1974 while I was working for an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate (Mark Hogan).
  • John Denver and Barry Switzer at DIA
  • Terry Bradshaw at Stapleton airport.
  • Dick Butkus standing out in front of the Oxford Hotel where I kept my office for 2 years
  • Bart Starr and Ted Danson at Stapleton
  • Sat next to Emmy Lou Harris while watching Merle Haggard perform at a bar
  • Anthony Quinn walking into the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
  • Jimmy Durante on the beach at Del Mar
  • Two relatively famous New Orleans DA’s in bars: Jim Garrison & Harry Connick Sr.
  • OJ Simpson and Marcus Allen together in a bar in Brentwood.

Just a few more that came to me overnight:

As I promised you before there is not a single lie on the list and in fact I have left off people like Roy Romer, Governor Hickenlooper and even Keith Jackson (on a plane).

And just a couple more:

Alexander Haig on a plane and Howard Cosell as I was walking up the steps to meet a friend at ABC in NYC.  There’s probably more, but I think you get the idea.

Bagwan

  • zuki

    I ran into Harlen the resident Native American at Blondies.  A TV screamer for the women’s soccer team almost parlayed his passion into a fist fight with a tall African American who thought he was joking!  I’m certain this doesn’t qualify for anybody’s list, but it was priceless!

    • Bagwan

      No wonder you and Always Anus are regulars there.

  • fez

    I read the list and thought that over thirty-five years it’s at least plausible.  Then I thought who gives a rat’s pa-tootie and began to create my own list.  I’m up to 14 but struggle over several others.  Maybe the Bagwan can help by creating a minimum standard that can be applied for such a list.  What is noteworthiness?  

    • Bagwan

      I am not sure what the “minimum standard” should be. Certainly when I mentioned that guy who played Jaws and Foster Brooks I lowered the bar quite a bit. Here is the one rule Zuki and I agreed on: it had to be someone I encountered in everyday life, it couldn’t be someone I paid to see. So for example when I sat next to Emmy Lou watching Merle — Emmy Lou counts and Merle does not.
      Since you are from Chicago, I would say you could include anyone from Community Organizers up to imprisoned Governors.
      I hope you share your list with us.

  • Always ANONYMOUS

    The image on the Bagged ONE’s Diatribe bears an uncanny resemblence to the Fugitive JJ… just saying…

    • Bagwan

      Certainly during JJ’s “salad days” there is a certain resemblance but near the end there weren’t a lot of salads so who knows now.

  • zuki

    Yes I can back Baggie’s account but with one minor correction:  In the mixed doubles match they actually went down in flames!  sorry.

  • ada

    pretty impressive list of whos who.  ever meet ghandi mr bagwan?

    • Bagwan

      Thank you ada for asking. Yes I did meet Gandhi on the golf course. I was playing Peeble at the time and we needed a fourth. Lee Iaccocca and Bernie Madoff were supposed to play Gandhi and myself. Turns out that Bernie had a court date and sends in Alice Cooper. Well Gandhi says that Alice is a ringer and all hell breaks loose. After a lot of pushing and shoving we finally get Gandhi calmed down by having Alice give us an extra stroke a side.
      Unfortunately we still lost.
      Remind me some time to tell you that story of when I played mixed doubles with Joan of Arc.

  • Bagwan

    I suppose that picture of Robin Leach is fair warning of where of lifetime of name dropping can lead. Actually I don’t think I am guilty of name dropping so much as just paying attention to stuff that doesn’t really matter.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Name-dropping is used to position oneself within a social hierarchy. It is often used
    to create a sense of superiority by raising one’s status. By implying (or
    directly asserting) a connection to people of high status, the name-dropper
    hopes to raise his or her own social status to a level closer to that
    of those whose names he or she has dropped, and thus elevate himself or herself
    above, or into, present company”