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Freak or Famous?

Freak or Famous?

Freak or Famous?

There have been a couple of times in my life when I saw someone that initially struck me as being some kind of weirdo, but then I saw they were actually someone quite famous. I was wondering if anyone else has had this kind of thing happen.

The first experience was in the late 70's or early 80's in Westwood California, home of UCLA. I was with some friends one Saturday night to see a movie. We were wasting time before the movie by going into the different shops and browsing. We were in a T-shirt shop looking at all of the humorous shirts when I noticed this guy standing a few feet away with his back to me. I almost laughed out loud. It wasn't very cold out, but he was wearing a very large OD green army jacket. He wasn't very tall, but he filled out the jacket pretty well (think muscular, not fat). He had a bright orange knit cap on. Coming out from under the jacket were two legs in bright orange tights. Yes, bright orange tights. His shoes were black high top canvas Converse Allstars. My impression was of the worlds largest green olive, with pimento sticking out the top and bottom. First impression ... Weirdo.

Just then he spoke, or I should say shouted to his friend in the store while pointing up at a shirt, "HEY!!! LOOK!!! I'M WITH STUPID!!! AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!" At that moment, I immediately knew from the very unmistakable voice, it was Mr. T! I maneuvered around to get a front view. Sure enough, Mr. T, shorter than I thought he'd be, wearing enough gold to sink a small boat. So it was all right. It was Mr. T.

The second experience was at a gun shop in the San Fernando Valley called The Pony Express Gun Shop (long since gone out of business). Again, probably late 70's or early 80's. I was just browsing their nice selection of antique and historical rifles when I saw someone at the counter that caught my eye. Again, his back was toward me and he was dressed very uniquely. He had jet black hair combed into a DA. He had a black silk long sleeve shirt. He had black pants with silver conchos down the sides of his legs. His belt was black with silver conchos. He wore black cowboy boots with silver accents. I could see silver rings on his fingers. Ok, who dresses like that out in public? A giant mariachi?!? First impression ... Weirdo.

Just then he spoke, asking the man behind the counter to see something in the case. On the very first word out of his mouth I knew it was "The Man in Black", Johnny Cash. There he stood, much taller than I thought he's be. With the boots, he must have been a whole head taller than me. He looked "right" in black and silver, as if anything else would be a costume of some kind for him. So it was all right. It was Johnny Cash.

Anyway, I was just thinking about this after my Vanity Planes post, and though it fit pretty well into "Making an Impression".

RE: Freak or Famous?

Not meant as a "me-too" to your post, Sam, but while in Bethesda, Maryland, on an assignment with Oracle several years ago, I was staying in the Hyatt Bethesda. They have several gift shops in the lobby. I got back to the hotel late, about 3:00 A.M., and decided to window shop for a gift from the hotel's jewelry store.

I was browsing through their front window and sensed someone else to the side and behind me. I turned to confirm my impression and saw this "kinda homeless looking" guy (with Levis, a scraggly beard, and a knit cap pulled down over his ears), window shopping, as well. Then I realized it was Willie Nelson. In the surprise of the moment, all I could think to say was, "Well hey !". Willie says, "Well hey back !"

Feeling rather stupid, inarticulate, and embarrassed for myself, I sheepishly said, "Okay, we'll see ya' later," and I walked off.

Now all we have to do is find MAI members who have stories about seeing Waylon Jennings and the rest of The Boys, to complete our Johnny Cash "hat trick".

(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Freak or Famous?

Well, I was looking for "me-too" moments. And your story fit the bill perfectly.

I was born and raised in the LA area, so I've seen more than my fair share of famous people. I've always been fascinated how some have a very polished image for the screen, but are pretty normal people when not "on". The other side of that is that some people seem to be naturally "out there", and that's a big part of their onscreen persona. But when that extreme out-there-ness is seen in public among the masses, they are kind of a weirdo. That may be a little harsh, but if they didn't have the fame to back it up, they would just be "eccentric" at best.

RE: Freak or Famous?

I used to work in a coffee shop in Erie, PA. Patrick Monahan came in one day and I got his kids ice cream. It was ok.

RE: Freak or Famous?

The main difference between 'weirdo' and 'eccentric' is the size of you bank account. (Coming from a weirdo.... hoping to one day... be eccentric) afro2

Think twice, speak once~~!!~~

RE: Freak or Famous?

I've been called a weirdo all my life.
Now I just have to get rich. :D

Just my 2¢

"What the captain doesn't realize is that we've secretly replaced his Dilithium Crystals with new Folger's Crystals."

--Greg http://parallel.tzo.com

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