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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Have you been around famous people?

Posted Monday, March 24, 2008, at 3:44 PM

Have you ever been around and talked with someone who was famous, soon-to-be famous or imfamous and didn't even realize it?

I was around one such person at the NASCAR races in Atlanta and he even took a seat beside me on the grass as I took pictures between the third and fourth turns. We talked about the race at times.

He seemed to be a good ol' Georgia boy, dressed in jeans and comfortable shirt, who really knew racing. I was right on both counts. What I didn't know at the time was that he had served as governor of Georgia and in the near future would become President Jimmy Carter.

What famous people have you been around and didn't realize it?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Phil Bredesen, one year after becoming Tennessee's Governor. Martina McBride, when she was singing at local venues and nobody really knew her. And, for now that's all I can remember...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 3:50 PM

Having worked in the horse show industry, I've encountered some famous people over the years. I remember the first time this happened. I was in Lexington, Ky., and I heard this familiar and distinct voice from a man walking in front of me but I couldn't put my finger on who it was until he turned around. It was William Shatner. I was star struck.

-- Posted by sfowler on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 4:01 PM

As much as I travel, I run into folks quite frequently from the music industry, sports, TV, movies, politics, etc. I knew who most of them were, but I do not recall finding out about a person's fame later except for Carl Perkins.

When I met Carl I had no idea what his part in music was, but I knew who he was because he did not hesitate to tell me. I honestly do not remember much of what he said, but lately I have been watching specials on rockabilly music and realize that he really WAS important in that musical genre.

My conversations with the others was even less remarkable because I went out of my way not to do discuss their work, except to acknowledge that I knew who they were. Otherwise, we just talked about what was happening at the time.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 4:35 PM

Marilyn Manson, Joan Jett, White Zombie, Dokken, KIX, Saigon Kick, Wrathchild America, Yngwie Malmsteen, Pantera, Molly Hatchet, and Nora Roberts.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 4:53 PM

EM, I would bet that we are a few years apart in age.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 6:00 PM

I have been around many many famous and soon to be famous people while working at the Nashville Network. When I first met Randy Travis he was working at Nashville Palace as a dishwasher.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 6:05 PM

Are we talking about what concerts we've been to or famous people we've been around EM?

-- Posted by Annette 5 on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 6:35 PM

Kirk Franklin, Skillet, TobyMac, and Newsboys.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 7:22 PM

I love Skillet!

-- Posted by For the kids on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 7:31 PM

OMG, me too!!!! They are VERY kind in person.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 7:38 PM

John Mellencamp, in Bloominton Indiana, I told him that the restraunt we were both eating in had the best Brownie's in the world.I was a hair dresser in a shop next door to the restraunt and when John finished his brownie he came by stuck his head in the door and said I was right; I said I told you so and everyone in the shop was dumbfounded, encluding me once I realized who I had been talking to.

-- Posted by redcat00 on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 8:56 PM

Annette 5,

I went to school with some of them, and a few I worked and hung out with on the Dual. For example, Shannon Larkin of one of the guys I hung with the most in Hagerstown MD, along with Jimmy Chalfant. Both drummers. Shannon currently tours with Godsmack as their drummer.

And if you want more of my history I even was friends with alot of Christian bands like Thresher(John one of the writers) went to school in the same district I hung with him for a whole summer, Paragon, No Surfing in Hell etc were some of the good ones. I liked The Watchmen, they sounded alot like Dio.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 9:09 PM


Not by too much.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 9:10 PM

Oh yeah I forgot, I lived next door to Jack Sonni when I lived in Fla for a few years before moving back North.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 9:12 PM

What about Marilyn Manson?

-- Posted by Annette 5 on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 9:34 PM

What about him? I hung out with him in suburb near Baltimore with my friends.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Mar 24, 2008, at 10:02 PM

I used to hang out in a Nashville coffeeehouse called Koinonia.

I met quite a few people who had or would have their moments of fame.

Dion (of Dion and the Belmonts),Fireworks,Gary Paxtom,Nick Goulas (not the best wrestling promoter but an INCREDIBLE poet and essayist),Sandi Patti and many others.

At the theatres there,I met David Alford,Katherine Hepburn,Katherine Houghton,Bobby Goldsboro,Joey Heatherton and Richard Harris.

I also saw t.v. news personalities like Pat Sajak,Huell Howzer and Oprah Winfrey.

At Davis-Kidd,I got to meet mystery authors Marcia Muller,Sharyn McCrumb,Margaret Maron and Carolyn Hart.

During horse shows,I met Zsa Zsa Gabor,Ed Bruce,Dale Robertson and Wendell Burton.

I saw Minnie Pearl when she spoke at the Library Luncheon here.

I met Larry Elmore,Steve Jackson,Gary Gygax,Dave Arneson,Jon Pertwee,Tom and Colin Baker,Peter Davidson ,Bill Mumy,Angela Cartwright,Marta Kristen,Deanna Lund and Michael Forrest at science fiction conventions.

I've met Al Gore,Fred Thompson,Bart Gordon,Howard Baker,Lamar Alexander etc. who would later have some name recognition in the political field.

Of course,I've been lucky enough to meet most of the folks who made the movie here (and the real-life counterparts of the people they were portraying).

So far,most of the famous people seem very unaware of being anything that "special" -especially after they become well-known.

They like what they do,they work hard and they feel very,VERY lucky.

They know they owe a lot to the people who supported their dreams and they place a lot of importance on having a life outside the limelight.

I guess I've learned at least two things from these folk:

1. The ones that will become famous aren't that easy to spot.

You'll see people just as amazing who the world will never hear of.

2. The ones that do succeed are more in awe of other people and life in general than themselves.

They are ready to step back when fame leaves them because it's not all about popularity and power in their world.

The greats aren't self-destructive,skittish or arrogant.

Their humility and energy stand out more than anything else.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 4:53 AM

I guess I forgot part of the theme of the thread (not knowing the famous person).

I didn't know who any of the writers or game people were before introductions.

The politicians and newscasters would become big later.

The Koinonia bunch were just folks to hang out with.

Harris and Hepburn were right behind me at the theatre and I never knew that was THEM until later.

They could disappear among regular people but they retained a powerful presence that wasn't about being "stars".

Other celebrities (even when one knew who they were) lacked that strength of personality.

I don't count "knowing" people unless there's a minute chance that they might know me! ;)

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 5:12 AM

I once shot pool against a very large man in Murfreesboro. After beating him a few games I wasn't sure my friend and I would safely get out of the establishment considering the size of his ontourage. (not that there was any gambling going on.....) After the fifth game in a row that I beat this guy, he called me over to him and stuck his hand out. He said " My name is Warren Sapp and you really shoot a great game of pool. If you are ever down in Tampa, look me up and I'll hook you up with some game tickets." My friend and I couldn't believe it. He was actually in town with former Tennessee receiver,Alvin Harper and a few other Tampa Bay players for the girls State basketball tournament. Warren carried me over to their table and introduced me to Alvin who was sporting his Super Bowl ring that he won as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

I'll probably always remember that night, because I went from thinking I was going to get killed by the biggest guy I'd ever beat in pool, to meeting one of my favorite players from Tennessee and my new friend, Warren.

-- Posted by Mike Molder on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 6:43 AM

When I lived in Manteo North Carolina I meet Andy Griffith..He had a house boat there and a big home on the sound side. I cleaned his house boat when he used it. He is a very down to earth guy. He would sit around the cause-way and shoot the bull with all of us. He is a very NICE person. His son was a good kid too. I was shocked when his son passed away from a over dose of drugs. He was a good teen-age boy when he was on the coast with his Dad. He still has his home in Manteo North Carolina. I was hoping he would be there this pass summer when we went home to see the kid's and grandkid's. But was told that he did not come as much as he use to.

-- Posted by rebelrose on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 7:01 AM

Richard Petty.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 7:50 AM

One time while I was working at the Calsonic Arena during a Tracy Lawrence concert, I was standing by the stage and kept looking at this man that looked so familiar to me. We began talking somewhat during the concert and I met his wife and son that were with him, but still could not place him. He was super nice and about halfway through the concert, Tracy Lawrence brought out his special guest, Sterling Marlin, whom I had been talking to the entire time. I met Tracy Lawrence also and have to say he was an absolute ass!

-- Posted by titansfan on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 8:39 AM

When I worked at ESPN I met a lot of sports people - but never knew who they were until afterwards, like Steve Young, Monica Seles...I know nothing about sports.

-- Posted by cfrich on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 11:38 AM

As for being around famous or to be famous I have had the opportunity to have been and still around all the NASCAR drivers in Cup, Nationwide and the Craftsman Truck Series. As an employee of NASCAR we can speak but not allowed to socialize with the drivers. I met Dale Earnhardt, Jr. when he raced at the Nashville Fairgrounds long before he started in Cup. For me personally meeting the Allison family has always been a "thrill." Bobby, Donnie, the late Davey and the late Clifford Allison great individuals. A lot of people show up around NASCAR events just a few weeks ago met Ashley Judd. The list goes on and on. But like I said it is a job for me so we pass each other just like anyone else does in the business.

-- Posted by redddj on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 1:07 PM


I'm assuming you and I once worked together judging from you post. How are you enjoying retirement from your "other" job?

-- Posted by Mike Molder on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 1:17 PM

Drake Bell, Jared Leto, Chris Carrabba, Jon Bon Jovi, Jeff Bridges,New Kids on the Block,the rock group Chiodos and I was 10 feet from Chester Bennington, couldn't get past the bodyguard though, I tried so hard ;) All of the above were super super nice.

and working at a McDonald's when I was younger, I met Brooks and Dunn. Both were A-Holes I may add.

-- Posted by stolen25 on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 1:19 PM

Mike good to hear from you, we did and don't miss Nissan one bit. Give me a shout.

-- Posted by redddj on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 6:20 PM

Several years ago when the Unionville Jaycees and Jaycettes existed, I was working in the concession stand at the Celebration Ground for our fundraiser - when JIM ED BROWN appeared to make a purchase from me. Of course he gladly had his picture made with me. Another time several years ago, I was on a flight from Washington DC with CONGRESSMAN BART GORDON sitting across the aisle from me. I was fortunate in 2006 to visit Bart in his DC office.

-- Posted by Bedford Co. resident on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 8:50 PM

David Adcock , Jeff Faulk, Chris Thomas and Ben Hilliard

-- Posted by seedsower on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 11:48 PM

My cousin is Dean Jones (played in a lot of Disney movies). My mother was friends with one of Randy Travis' aunts and they were trying to play match maker (before Randy married) and wanted me to go out with him. Since I am not a big country music fan, the deal was that I would go but I did not want to hear him sing.

While I was a senior in high school, I worked at, what was then, Big K. Mr. Joel Tinnon was the store manager. I was cleaning up the snack area, at that time customers could buy a bag of pop corn, assorted nuts, candy by the pound and drinks. Mr. Tinnon walked up where I was working with a gentleman and the gentleman ordered a half pound of cashews. I bagged his order and told him that would be 69 cents. Mr. Tinnon looked at me and said, "you do not know who this is, do you?" I looked at the man and I said, "I don't care who you are you owe me 69 cents for those nuts!" Mr. Tinnon promptly introduced me to Mr. Konce, one of the brothers that owned Big K.

While in Nashville one evening, some friends and I went to a club for a girls night out. It just so happened to be a place that some of the country music singers would go to hang out (I wasn't in to country music so I really didn't know anything about them or what they looked like, I had only heard their music when my two sons would watch the country music channel.) Well, this guy came up to me and ask if I would like to dance with him and of course I said yes (he had long dark hair and looked like he was of Indian descent.) As we danced the night away together he stated, "you don't know who I am, do you?" Ofcourse I did not and told him I didn't. Well he starts laughing and introduced himself as Neil McCoy then I started laughing and I introduced myself as Marilyn Monroe. We had a long moment where he is trying to prove to me his identity and had several of his band members and friends tell me who he was. They were never successful. The next evening, while my sons were watching the country music channel, I walked into the room and who was singing.......

-- Posted by lmarlow on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 11:41 AM

I was a cheerleader with Mandy Moore in 2000. She became famous later. I still have my T-shirt. We were Buckhorns together in Huntsville, AL. She was one of my team leaders along with my cousin Beth and she was so nice and a lot of fun. She taught me a lot about cheerleading, too ( she was still a brunette then :D ).

-- Posted by terrortiffany10 on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 12:10 PM

I've met Vince Gill. He was very nice.

-- Posted by Murphy's Law on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 4:01 PM

Garth Brooks on several occasions...He's kinda moody. Very nice one time and ego-trippin the next.

Me and hubby sat behind Ricky Skaggs at a concert once. He was super nice and made lots of small talk with us between sets.

I know Dunlap from the Red State Update:-)

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 11:10 AM

"Garth Brooks on several occasions...He's kinda moody. Very nice one time and ego-trippin the next."

Maybe the time he was ego-trippin, it wasn't Garth but was actually Chris Gaines...

-- Posted by cfrich on Sat, Mar 29, 2008, at 7:31 AM

I once covered a local murder trial with a young Tennesseean reporter by the name of Al Gore.

Through his racing activity I was on a first name basis with the late Marty Robbins.

-- Posted by bomelson on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 4:37 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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