Thursday, July 5, 2012

Famous People

I'm standing at the checkout line of my local market with a single baking potato, two bags of overpriced lettuce, and a hydroponically grown tomato that costs two dollars, which is a lot of money for red water. The woman in front of me tells the cashier her husband took the credit cards away, and she forgot her checkbook in the car, so... Off she trundles, annoyed, to the SUV carefully parked in the shade at the rear of the lot.
The cashier looks apologetic, what're you gonna do?
I scan the magazines in the rack. People. Us. In Touch. Celebrity-something-or-other. A lot of young blond women on the covers, and short-haired young men hugging the blond women. Some are smiling. Some look annoyed. Some display de-cellulited thighs and minimal triangles of cloth across their midriffs. A lot of both the men and the women have curiously perfect chests that are perfectly displayed. 
I realize I do not know a single one of these cover people. John and Jane; Mel and Molly; Patrick and Patricia; Jen and Jude; Tito and Jenna. Wait! Tito! I know Tito! He's a famous Ultimate Fighting thugs. Now, that's better--I am not totally out of step.
But still, I am feeling a little bit out of it. I probably should know these people who command such a vast amount of space on the magazine rack. And then it strikes me: I too have had brushes with celebrities.  So here, as an exercise in vanity, are the famous people I have met, in no particular order save how I remember them.
Charles de Gaulle (former President of France). Willy Brandt (former President of Germany). Hunter S. Thompson (writer, Fear and Loathing, Hell’s Angels. etc.). The Dalai Lama (living god). Cheech and Chong (comedians). David Broder (Pulitzer prize-winning columnist). Brigitte Bardot (movie star). Mary McCarthy (writer, The Group). Jesse Owens (track star). Sonny Barger (former president of the Hell’s Angels). Barbara Mandrell (country singer). Ben Bradlee (former editor, The Washington Post). Marion Barry (disgraced mayor of Washington, DC). Margaret Mead (anthropologist and former blind date. Really.) Jimbo Manion (guitarist, Molly Hatchet). Jacques Fevrier (uncle and classical pianist). Eugene McCarthy (US Senator). Emmylou Harris (singer). Gerald and Betty Ford (former US President and First Lady). Camille Chautemps (former French Premier). Dexter Manley (former Washington Redskin). Bobby Byrd (former US Senator). Josephine Baker (singer and performer). Anna Marly (singer and performer). Hank Snow (singer). James Lee Burke (author, Dave Robicheau series). Dick Smothers (comedian). Marcel Marceau (mime). Nora Ephron (writer, director, producer). Dottie West (singer). Bernard Fall (author, Vietnam war correspondent). Bob Woodward (half of Watergate Woodward Bernstein duo). Fred Maroon (photographer). Jane Seymour (movie star). Ringo Starr (Beatle). Josh Graves (Dobro virtuoso). Brian Bowers (Autoharp virtuoso). Maybelle Carter (songwriter, performer, author of Will the Circle Be Unbroken). Jane Feather (author of 50 historical novels, NYT bestseller). Pat Nixon (spouse of you-know-who). Mike Auldridge (Dobro virtuoso). Florence Florent (author, La Galère, etc.). Tim O'Brien (author, The Things They Carried, etc.). Patrick Juvet (French rock star). Loretta Lynn (singer). Maurice Chevalier (singer and performer). Carl Bernstein (other half of Watergate Woodward Bernstein duo). Lorne Greene (TV Star of Bonanza). Martha Mitchell (wife of former Attorney General and Watergate busybody). Katherine Graham (socialite, late owner and publisher, The Washington Post).
I'll add more as I remember them, but in the meantime, I have to admit I'm pretty impressed.


  1. Bite me. I can't believe I am not on this list.