My Little Rock Star

My company does a fun summer program that includes concerts out on the big lawn between two of our buildings. On Thursday it was Chris Kroeze.  As I was tapping my toe I noticed a toddler towards the front of the crowd, not more than four.  His folks and younger sibling were sitting on the grass behind him but there was no sitting for him.  He had a small electric guitar (probably not real) and he was wailing on it.  Non-stop.  And he had moves; he looked like he would have been right at home up on the stage.  I stayed out on the lawn for about 30 minutes and this kid was playing his heart out the entire time.   I thought about going over and introducing myself and asking his name, because I’m sure in 15-20 years, he’s going to be famous and I would be able to say I knew him when.

Have you ever met a famous person? Was it what you expected?

63 thoughts on “My Little Rock Star”

  1. I’ve written about these matters before. When we were kids in central Iowa, i hunted snakes with Nick Nolte. In college I worked on the student body president campaign of actor Peter Coyote.

    The most significant contact with a famous person was when, in my constitutional history class in Grinnell, I asked Harry Truman about the bombing of Nagasaki. He threw a hissy fit. I once wrote a blog piece about that, my way of apologizing for the impudence of youth. Dale disagreed with my apology, so the piece never aired.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. maybe you can be famous for helping others to be famous
      i have an artist friend who has some work in museums and art galleries but is slreally good at showing artists how to get their stuff seen and placed in big time venues

      what’s your area of focus tina?

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  2. i know artists and writers who have a fame of sorts but meeting celebrities who are known on sight is a bit different. i feel like their lives have been stolen. not to be able to go out without having people recognize you.
    years ago i saw casey jones the children’s tv celebrity of the 60’s at a perkins at midnight with a half a buzz on. how uncomfortable for him.
    i saw paul newman in the holiday inn in brained at the bar and wanted to respect his privacy do i nodded and left him alone. he had way more freckles than i expected
    kirby puckett couldn’t go anywhere without having people go nuts. gotta feel for him.
    margot kidder who played lois lane in superman lived across the street from my hangout in montana and would be out walking on trails where i would see her. again i felt like she deserved her privacy. she always had a scared look in her eyes. turns out she was haunted
    meeting authors at book signing is cool. jesper fforde amy tan john updike garrison peter o‘toole jimmy carter pat conroe edward albee anne lamont in their glory after a presentation a few insightful words is about right.
    i met traffic with steve wind wood and dave mason after a concert but my guess is it was mushrooms that had them smiling so hard not me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You met Townes Van Zandt, too, didn’t you tim?

      I keep a straight face when I bump into a celebrity, like the time Sarah Jane Olsen (aka Kathleen Soliah) was shopping near me. I didn’t want to let her know I recognized her. But when I saw Carl Eller in a Danish modern furniture store, his face broke out in a huge grin that made it clear he wasn’t trying to be anonymous.

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      1. yep i met townes but it was an odd set up. there was a bar in the hotel and if i recall the details correctly there was a total of 5 people in the bar, the two musicians hired to play, townes and my buddy and me.
        the two guitar players introduced the guy next to me and said he was really good.
        townes isnt really good at singing and the music he writes is great after you get a chance to digest it but first time at any folk song is a task to absorb and evlauate for me.
        they had him come up and he sang a couple but he doesnt sing well and the songs were good but it wasnt until a year or two later that i heard them for the 2nd or 3rd time that i recalled that the guy in the bar said he wrote them and he must be hot stuff. i looked him up online and found out the guy who wrote poncho and lefty was townes. he had a low key presence and drank even more than me so there was a camaraderie there. we were buds for a night. no adoration, not even much admiration, i am guessing i wouldn’t recognize him again if we were out again except odds are that cant happen cause he’s dead. he kept drinking too much and singing off key and writing good songs and i didn’t. ive read that he had it bad with depression drugs and alcholism but that night we were just guys in the bar and he sang his songs and i didnt sing mine. watch out what you wish for. there was a blip on the raido the other day that they did a survey of atheletes asking if the athletes were given a dose of magic stuff that would allow them to win a gold medal in the olympics but cause certain death within the next 10 years would they do it and some number like 50% said yes. townes was a song writer who took a different angle on writing finding topics that never occured to anyone else. as for a drinking buddy he was a guy like any other guy. my guess is that most folks are like that. normal guys when you get them to a relaxed conversation about everyday stuff. we all are.

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  3. Well, I once flew on a commercial jet with Donny Osmond. I also met Antonia Brico when she was a guest conductor at Concordia, and I grew up seeing Fredrick Manfred quite a lot in Luverne.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. So true. This morning I met Taylor (whose last name I can’t pronounce or spell) but she is the founder and owner of Taylored Expressions which is one of my very favorite stamp companies. So I feel like I met a celebrity today.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. A bit of a trick question, VS, because famous is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. Probably my most intimate brush with fame was playing 9 holes of golf at Braemar golf course in Edina back in the late 80s or early 90s. I was a single and happened to get paired with Tino Lettieri, the goaltender for the Minnesota Kicks soccer team (our first pro team, home games at Metropolitan Stadium, we had season tickets for a year or two). The team played from 1976-1981.

    The reason I consider Lettieri to be famous is that I was the goalie for my soccer team in HS and played some intramural (club) soccer at the U of M. I was actually able to talk shop with him a little bit as we played. I’m not a sycophant when it comes to celebrities, so I didn’t fawn all over him. But he was a good goaltender and not too bad of a golfer, as I recall. He was laid-back, cordial, and didn’t seem to have an attitude. Just a regular guy out to relax on the golf course.

    Of course, his level of fame meant that I was probably the only person on the course besides the person who checked him in for his tee time to know who he was. And maybe that person wasn’t aware of his “fame.” anyway.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  5. We are not rock stars today. Husband , daughter , and I are strangely exhausted after the funeral yesterday. Daughter flies back today. We drive back tomorrow. Our grandson is feverish with teething, and it is hotter than blazes out. Bleh!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. give the grandson chamomellia 30c every 6 hours for 4 times or 200c 2 times from the health food store. it is magic on teething.
      chamomile tea is a substature in case they dont have it in you local health food store.

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      1. yep bir and i have both met her, i met peter ostrushko t the airport. i met the vice chairman of macedonia and chatted with him form new york to minneapolis. big dog from a small country but a celebrity. just a kid. 30 years old.
        ive shaken hands and gotten autographs from big time clelbrities like joe namath, fran tarkenton, the playmate of the year but when these people are held hostage and signing autographs there isnt much humanity about them . they are on a mission to be pleasant and sign and get on with it.
        sports guys, entertainers, actors,
        then second tier, wolrd leaders, bi wi kids like bill gates and uckerman, , popes and religious guys, science breakthrough guys and astronauts.

        today i chatted with dean phillips the new congressman from the 3rd district and the two eden prairie representatives to the state at a shindig for folks who wanted to talk diversity. ive met walter mondale and mayors up the ying yang over the years. jacob frey was a speaker at a breakfast club of 15 guys i was in years ago. i have met with rt rybek a couple of times. norm coleman was like a cheshire cat as phony as they come,

        celebrity. they are folks who get recognition for doing something noteworthy and then have a hard time chatting with the minions because the minions are in awe of these normal people who have a heavy dose of success in their lives.
        22 year old athletes are screwed, millions of dollars and adoration for being blessed with a freak show ability to do your thing better than anyone else.
        writers are given the gift of being adored for their voice, singers too and the musicians for their ability to let their souls connect with us.
        i think the world is so full of the middle of the road that to celebrate anything measurable is cool. i have seen people celebrated who have stacks of quarters on their elbow pointer at the ceiling and they can catch them without letting them hit the floor. mother theresa and the quarter catcher have different fan base but being the best in their own right is the thing worth noting. the worlds largest ball of twine and the fastest man on earth have something in common.
        leonord cohen and race car driver richard petty,

        barbara streisand and bill nye the science guy all in one kettle of fish. adoration by the masses.
        mankind is an interesting study. eh?

        the story about leo buscaglias mother came up today in a writers group i am in.
        leo’s mother decided to go back to college and one of her fellow students said “but you will be 64 when you graduate” she said. ” thats ok… im going to be 64 that year anyway.”
        what will i do between now and time to stop going forward? i am deciding every day.
        what am i really good at?
        what do i care about? what would i love to spend my time pursuing?
        life is so simple sometimes
        how bout if i adore life and the options it offers.
        celebrate options along with celebrated success stories

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It didn’t go under, Garrison sold it. It’s now called Next Chapter Booksellers. The new owner retained the staff from Common Good Books, so it’s very much an ongoing business.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I think this is all stuff I’ve mentioned here before, but I still have some vice-presidential cufflinks Hubert Humphrey gave me, I once directed Peter Lawford in a photo shoot and the Duke of Argyll personally kicked me out of his parking lot.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. We were in Inverary, Scotland in mid March. Inverary is the seat of the Clan Campbell and home to Inverary Castle, which is not especially old but very picturesque and the grounds it sits on are old, with photogenic stoneworks throughout. Many of the castles in Scotland are opened to the public for tours part of the year to help pay their expenses. The public season usually starts after Easter and this was just before. We had been in the country two days and didn’t know about the official season. We pulled into the parking lot near the castle and wandered out into the grounds. When we returned to our car an hour or so later, a Range Rover drove out and a guy in what looked like groundskeeper’s clothes got out. In a dismissive way, he asked us to remove our car. Reacting to his haughty attitude, Robin commented, “Who does he think he is, the Duke of Argyll?”
        Later, we found a photo of the Duke of Argyll. Same guy.

        When I retell this incident, I term it as, “Only two days in the country and already the nobility was asking us to leave.”

        Liked by 3 people

  7. You all have fun stories.
    I’ve talked before about meeting famous theater lighting people.
    Back in my stagehand days, I opened the door for Wayne Newton and his entourage. They were all coming in a side entrance that I knew was locked and I just happen to be passing by. He said “Thanks”.
    My favorite story; I stood next to a guy who, as John Denver passed,
    John put his hand on this guys back.
    I pushed Kenny Rogers to the stage in a box.
    I stood backstage and talked with Dana Carvey for a few minutes.
    And during some MPR event, I talked with Dale Connelly for a bit and probably wore out my welcome but I was so excited to talk with someone as famous and neat as he is! That was probably 25 years ago.
    Kelly rode in an elevator with Ted Koppel. And she’s seen several well known people (and she’s not supposed to talk about it).
    My brother, who was in Media Services at The Mayo Clinic, put a microphone on the Dali Lama.

    A few years ago I was in discussions about working on a show that would involve Jaime Farr (Klinger from MASH) but it all fell apart.

    Ed Asner was at the local civic theater last year on his tour about prostate surgery. Everyone said he was really very nice.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’ve met a smattering of “famous” folk singers, and quite a few of them have stayed at our house, some repeatedly. Here are some that come to mind: Rosalie Sorrels, Mary McCaslin, Eric Bogle, Harry Manx, Pete Morton, Dave van Ronk, Ray Bonneville, Michael Johnson, Mike Seeger, Martin Simpson, Paddy Keenan, Andy M Stewart and Donal Lunny. The last two were a hoot. They were at the end of a tour of the US, and were barely on speaking terms by the time they arrived here. Rosalie Sorrels and Dave van Ronk were phenomenal story tellers, and would regale me for hours on end with stories about some of the “famous” people they knew, including Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. On one occasion, Rosalie and I were invited to a gathering hosted by Terry Tempest Williams at her hotel room following a reading at the Hungry Mind. On another, I got to hang with Rosalie and her old buddies Willie Murphy and John Koerner at some Cedar Riverside bar. Hearing them reminisce was amazing; a lot of shared memories of people we have all heard about, and it wasn’t always kind.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. On stage they were very much professionals, and I’m pretty sure that whatever differences they had were a result of being in such close proximity to each other for an extended period of time. Pretty different temperaments, so plenty of opportunity to get on each other’s nerves. Their last evening here, after the concert, I drove them to the Dubliner on University Ave. I drove home with every instrument they owned in the back of my old SAAB.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. i studied guitar with michael johnson and pat donahue among others . normal guys at that level. i met bobby mc farrin and he was not appreciative of my asking him how his (i think it was and opera he had stated he was working on) that project never came to be (or at least so far)
          i loved the idea of his putting to gether an opera based premise piece. i’ll bet it would be right up my alley

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  9. We (my erstwife and I, plus a friend) spent a bizarre, drunken evening with Sally Ordway, heiress to the 3M fortune. She was the woman who “stamped her foot” in frustration when she was told Saint Paul had no downtown entertainment venue. Her pique was so strong she built the Ordway Theater. I used to regard the evening we shared with her as a funny story. It had comic moments. I now see that experience as more tragic than comic. I learned a lot that evening about the anguished life she led, and the evening no longer seems funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. moneys a bitch for some for sure. the cargill sister who liked the arts has a nice office in eden prairie but she had a heck of a time getting her brothers to cough up the chunk of dough to let her do her thing. they couldnt figure out how to do it by breaking up cargill and making it publicly owned so they started mosiac the fertilier company. i dont know exactly what they did but they came up with 500 million for her to get on her way. or something like that.

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  11. When we worked for two summers in a fly fishing tackle shop near the Brule River, we met many folks from extravagantly wealthy families. Oddly enough, our employer was one of them, but we didn’t know that at the time; we thought he was poor! Like many wealthy men who were part of that scene, our employer was ashamed of his money and determined to prove it hadn’t spoiled him. I was personally amazed at how unhappy those wealthy folks were. One woman from the Ordway family seemed happy and unaffected by her extreme wealth. She was the exception. If I were to judge by what we saw, I’d say one of the worst curses that can fall to anyone is to inherit great wealth. But I won’t say that. I don’t have enough observations to allow me to draw such a dramatic conclusion. I’d like to think rich people don’t suffer as much as the ones we met did.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My cousin’s wife worked at the Edina Benson’s Optical in the late 60s. Two of her recurring customers were Henry Deutschendorf and his wife Annie. That’s my 2 degrees of separation from John Denver.

    There was something else I was going to mention, but it flew out of my head and I can’t seem to get it back. I’ll be back if I can catch it again.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. i saw john denver play warm up for blood sweat and tears and i think he was still john deutschendorf at the time. he played leaving on a jet plane and i really liked it then i heard peter paul and mary play it and didnt like it as well. it turned him into a thing though and i was always glad of that. i liked him
      https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=sunshine+on+my+shoulder+youtube#id=2&vid=b336aef93e223341d409ec44dfc500b3&action=click

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  13. I worked and traveled with a guy who worked on the Northwest Orient Airlines commercials with Buster Keaton. That puts me at one degree of separation from Buster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That reminds me, Chad Mitchell came to an impromptu party at my house after a concert at the Commodore Hotel ca. 1977. At the time, he was trying to kick start his career after having been incarcerated for possession of marijuana.

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      1. i think thats how john denver got his start. they gave him chads spot in the chad mitchell trio when chad got busted. it didnt last to long.
        the chad mitchell trio starting john denver with no chad…
        i can see the duke ellingti=on orchestra carrying on after duke died but thats different.

        oh i smoked a cigar with august wilson ( he smoked a cigerette) at the pnumbra when they did a season of his stuff.
        nice guy.
        my son was 13 or 14 at the time and when he got to high school he wowed his teacher telling them we sat and hung with august for 15 minutes during the intermission.

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  14. if degrees come into play ive got pablo picasso, salvadore dali, bob dylan, ernest hemmingway, leonard cohen, paul mccartney angelina jolle
    bart star, roger maris, harmon killebrew, flip saunders, and a whole nother list.
    fun topic vs, thanks

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