I met some nice relatively famous people.
I had a brief encounter with Mayor Wilson Goode when he was the mayor of Philadelphia. I don’t remember if it was before or after he okayed bombing MOVE, a militant group, in West Philadelphia, wiping out a full city block.
Anyway, he said, “Hello, nice to see you again.”
The fact was that I had never met Mayor Goode before that encounter, yet he felt that he knew me.
I was blessed by a Cardinal once. But I don’t know why he blessed me and I can’t remember if being blessed actually helped.
I made a comment to a Pennsylvania governor that he and Charles Barkley made me laugh at a commercial that they had made. The governor chuckled. I felt an immediate bond with him and I voted for him in the next election.
I hadn’t met anyone really famous until I met an NBA MVP.
He was sitting in his Bentley with the top down in front of a restaurant in Philadelphia. I noticed him right away leaning back in his leather seats, talking on the cell phone, wearing a do-rag and sporting a huge diamond earring.
I was excited. He was one of my favorite basketball players. He single-handedly propelled our team into the NBA finals. I was proud of him. He was short and skinny but played tall. He had a lot of heart.
Once I saw him in his car, I smiled and let out a big hello. I called his name.
I expected a warm reply. I expected him to be gracious. I expected him to give me one of his signature smiles and give me a warm greeting.
But he didn’t. He gave me the meanest stare I ever received. It was so bad that my jaw dropped; I felt threatened and I began to tiptoe backwards, quietly and quickly.
Needless to say, I was not a fan of him any longer. He must have had bad Karma because his career went quickly downhill and it wasn’t too long before he hung up his sneakers and retired.
Which reminds me of a poet I recently met that was disappointing as well. Read more, Ignorance is Not a Poetic Virtue.
Oh, and how could I forget Jeff Garlin, of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame (and The Goldbergs), who I met at a Hollywood mall who was taking pictures of people.
He had such a nice smile on his face that I just had to ask him how Larry (David) was.
He smiled back to me and said, “He’s doing good.”
And then he asked me how I was doing.
“Fine,” I said, realizing in that moment that I was chatting with a relatively famous person who actually wanted to know how I was doing.