Who do you want to meet?


Blame this on the Olympics and the fact that Scott Hamilton’s voice is prominent during the analyses of the figure skating events. Every time I hear him speak, it makes me wish I were at the Olympics. Not that I want to watch the athletes — which okay, yeah, I wouldn’t mind that — but mostly because I want to meet him.

When I was younger, Peggy Fleming topped my list of “famous people I want to meet”. Then in the early 1980s, Hamilton blew to the top of the figure skating charts and he replaced Fleming on my list. This was partly due to the fact that he was raised in Bowling Green, but probably due more to his ability to skate so well despite having lived with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome.

He was such a cute little guy and his flawless performance in the 84 Olympics mesmerized me. More than 20 years later, daughter number 2 and I were driving to her new apartment in BG when I noticed that the street sign said Scott Hamilton Way. I was so excited I almost drove off the road. She just rolled her eyes. Obviously, he wasn’t on her list of top celebs, which probably was headed by Audrey Hepburn and Jeff Buckley.

This just reminds me of my peon status and the minimal chances of my ever meeting him…not that we’d have much to talk about except the fact that I can skate backward and do a pseudo figure 8…but it did get me thinking about who I have met. There was that soap opera character…David B-something…who I interviewed during the 80s while working at the Lima News. I was not impressed but my boss was.

Then I was assigned the dubious pleasure of interviewing Dale Evans. I was dubious. My husband was ecstatic. He’s older than me, which is only important in that he grew up in the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans era so knew all about her. For two days, that was all he talked about. By the time she and I met, I knew more about her than I knew about myself.

As luck would have it (his, not mine), I locked my keys in the car in my rush to get to the interview on time, so the husband sped to my rescue with an extra key. In the end, he got to sit in on the interview. Easiest interview I ever did — the two of them chatted like old buddies.

In the early 60s, one of my brothers had a fix on William O. Douglas and was SO excited when our parents told us we were renting a house in suburban Boston from Douglas while our dad studied at Harvard. Poor James. He was so disappointed that the William O. who showed up to greet us was not the person he’d envisioned. Or maybe I just remember it that way — maybe James just told me that’s who it was but knew all along it was a different William. I was pretty gullible back then.

My mother told us that during her college years, she babysat for Phyllis Diller’s son. Of course, that was before she became the famous comedienne. But still.

Daughter number 1 “met” Harrison Ford when she was shooting photos for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Despite the fact that she (literally) grew up on Indy Jones, she was more impressed by her two profs at Ohio University who had worked for National Geographic.

 If you asked my husband who he’d like to meet, it would probably be Perry Mason or Hercule Poirot, but since they’re fictitious he might not admit that. He’s already met Count Basie, a story he’ll be only too happy to tell you. On his still-to-meet list is the late Cary Grant, and Spike Jones — not to be confused with Spike Jonze, the director/producer.

This is the late Spike Jones, a musician known for his satirical arrangements of popular songs such as “The William Tell Overture”, performed on kitchen implements using a horse race as a backdrop. I know this because in my basement is a sizable collection of Jones’ record albums. Real 78s.

Admittedly, this proves nothing more than each of us has our own dreams of who is important. But think about it for awhile. Who’s on your list?

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8 responses to “Who do you want to meet?

  1. I think I have the fortune that your husband has – my ‘hope to meet’ is long gone. That would be Jane Austen…..despite the consistent fact that people who met her often left with the discomfort of the prick of a satirical stiletto point between the shoulder blades.
    Those of us with such hopes have very strong imaginations.

  2. Pannabecker Steiner Mary

    You do love Jane Austen, don’t you? I wouldn’t mind meeting her either!

  3. Jesus, definitely, and maybe Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, at the same time.

  4. Pannabecker Steiner Mary

    Interesting conversation!

  5. I have to admit I’ve never wanted to meet anyone famous. And I have to say, I’m not ready to meet Jesus any time soon. I hope James meant if Jesus could be here in our living room he’d like to meet him.

    I meet so many interesting people every year. Not famous but really interesting.

  6. Pannabecker Steiner Mary

    I meet a lot of interesting people too, but that doesn’t prevent me from having some heroes…in some cases, mentors (although they’d never know it). I don’t watch tv and have obsessions for those type of celebrities. My interests are usually just people who I see as “everyday”. Oddly, Jesus was never on my list, although it seems like that’s what a lot of people say.

  7. Dick’s father had a date with Dale Evans, but I doubt she mentioned that in her interview with you.

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