Famous (Almost)

So…sitting right behind me is a SEMI famous local personality who has a cooking show on community television. Somebody else recognized him and said hi or I wouldn’t have even noticed.

I really really want to tell him to include more vegan dishes, that there’s a huge demographic out there that would love him if he included cruelty-free recipes, but he’s totally self absorbed and constantly texting on his phone. Additionally, he’s not THAT famous or he wouldn’t be sitting in the cheap seats, right?

His style of cooking isn’t my cup of tea, but I support his “I’m just a regular guy” niche of encouraging everyone to cook with the ingredients already on hand in the pantry.

So far I haven’t annoyed him, but I’m not at all a shy, timid forest creature. I have zero problem approaching anyone. For any reason. No matter who they are.

On the other side of me is a young man wearing a Stanford Medical School sweatshirt. He’s starting med school in the fall. (I asked.) How awesome is that! I told him I was proud of him. I’m sure you might think…who am I to share unwanted praise, right? But I did. Bright children who follow their academic/life dreams need our support and encouragement. It takes a village, yes it does, and it only takes a minute to utter a few positive words.

I was trying to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm but for some reason I couldn’t get my phone to enlarge to full screen, so a kind stranger directly to my right (an obvious techie) took my phone and messed around with it until he figured out what the problem was.

As terrible as the stories are on the news, in spite of the violence and Covid variants and all the rest, there are still kind and helpful people in this world.

Not a bad way to spend 2 1/2 hours. Not bad at all, especially when I arrive to THIS:

And this:

Another encounter with a famous person, a rock and roll superstar…

I just saw an old video of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and it reminded me of something from my past.

Sometimes, when my son was around eight or ten years old (early 1990s), I’d bring him along with me to the gym and he’d go (reluctantly) to the babysitting room for an hour or so. It was mostly other doubledigiters so he didn’t have a real problem with it, and eventually became friendly with a boy about the same age.

Their friendship progressed beyond the gym to birthdays and sleepovers. For a while, these two boys were inseparable.

One day, out of the blue, and I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, the boy’s dad asked if I could give him a ride to LAX. It’s a ninety minute drive and I’m not sure why I said yes ‘cos I seriously HATE to drive, especially if it involves LA traffic, but I loaded the boys and the dad (along with his guitar) in my car.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I learned that his dad was Ron Blair of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but I was suitably impressed and starstruck. All I do remember is that he was always quiet but courteous and appreciated the airport ride. He looked EVERY bit a rock and roll superstar.

A couple weeks pre-Covid, a friend invited me to a fundraiser for the local food bank. It was an outdoor venue with a lot of musical guests. The headliner’s name was a familiar one. Lo and behold,  it was Ron Blair, who now lives in my little town.

We chatted a bit; I can’t honestly say that he remembered me, but he did remember my son which was cool.

Still quiet, still friendly, and amazingly talented.

Blair performing in 2017

We’ve all aged and I’m obviously way too old to be a groupie (sigh), but I do remember THOSE good old days, haha.

My brain just recollected something else…meeting my son’s friend’s maternal grandmother, Mother Antonia. She was infamous for having renounced all her wealth to become a Roman Catholic American religious sister and activist who chose to reside and care for inmates at the notorious maximum-security La Mesa Prison in Tijuana, Mexico. As a result of her work, she founded a new religious institute called the Eudist Servants of the 11th Hour. (Wiki)

Before her death in 2013, she was on TV quite a bit advocating on behalf of the prisoners.