Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is that.....No! It couldn't be!

If you've had a coincidence this wild, please share it.........

Tuesday, I was at the eye doctor...a doc I've been seeing for probably 12 years. This particular eye doctor collects famous signatures. I don't know what great stuff he's got at home, but he's got pretty great stuff all over his office. The waiting room alone has Albert Einstein, Eddie Van Halen (WITH a guitar in the plexi case where his signature is), John Wooden, Bush, etc., etc. Lots of very famous signatures all over his office.

I'd read all these framed names before over the years, but today I somehow fixated on WES PARKER, an L.A. Dodger baseball player from 1964-1972. I only remember his name because my girlfriend had SUCH a crush on the very cute Wes Parker when we were kids. I've got to admit I found him pretty cute at the time, too.

So, I see that check to my doctor for $1,000,000.00 signed by Parker and framed with his 1963 picture there (a cute way for Parker to have given him his signature, I'm quite sure he didn't give him that much money!) and memories oame back of the Dodgers in those days, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale... VIN SCULLY (who's calling the Dodger games for his SIXTY-FIRST YEAR this year!)...and my dear Dad who loved the Dodgers.

Suddenly, I'm aggravated at having to wait so long to see the doctor, sitting there, and the door opens. Some tall thin guy walks by me to the desk and signs his name on the sheet and asks the girl for the Men's Room key. He turns around and walks back toward the entry door and I think to myself......"is it?" I walk up to the sheet and there it is..."Parker, W." I thought "NO WAY...this just CAN'T BE...this is TOOOO WEIRD." I say to the girl "Is that WES Parker?" She not only says "Yes" but she points to his framed signature on the wall.

He came back a few minutes later, sat down, and read the LA Times. I was called into the Exam Room shortly after. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? (yes, he's still very good looking all these years later. Wikipedia says he was born in '39 but I have a hard time believing that from how he looked today) Another story that comes to mind:

I saw The Temptations and The Four Tops about 20 years ago in a small theater in Beverly Hills. Just after the theater lights went down, a fellow was brought down the aisle past me and seated third row, dead center. I'm thinking "That's Smokey Robinson's profile" Sure enough, he went up at the end of the show and sang with the two groups, one of THE best concerts I've been to.
The NEXT DAY, I come out of the chiropractor's exam room into the waiting room to leave...nobody's IN the waiting room but, you guessed it.........SMOKEY. With his girlfriend, "Ivory" dontchaknow. I went right over to him and said "Would you believe I was at the concert last night?" He couldn't BELEIVE it because the place holds about 1000 people, MAX! I told him what a HUGE fan I was of his and he couldn't have been nicer.

I guess the moral of this story, is make sure you go to your doctor........!! Naa...it's keep your eyes peeled, this stuff is FUN! Got any stories like mine?



sue said...

Z - That's exciting. The only famous person I've ever seen was Jimmy Carter in Frankfurt and then it was pretty far away.

There are about three people I'd like to meet, maybe five, but what are the chances...

I guess living where you do the chances are better!

Z said...

Hi, Sue....you can't believe how many people I've seen; Yes, it's where I live.
I just wrote a big list and deleted it....as much as I love to hear others' stories, I get the feeling some thing it's name dropping. I never get that, it's just FUN to me. But, I deleted!
Yes, I do have a good chance of seeing celebs here..and yes, it is fun, I must admit. But, they're just people, as you know.......

Anonymous said...

Z, you know I love your story about Wes Parker. He played 1st base, and was a fixture there.

He would have been 25 in 1964, having been born in 1939, which was a very good year, BTW. Guess why.

I'm glad to hear he looks good. So does Sandy Koufax who shows up at Dodger Stadium for special events once in awhile.

Those were great Dodger years. And yes Parker was a handsome guy, and it sounds like he still is according to your account.

I've heard we've had a couple of Laker players who live here where we do, but have never seen them. That, you couldn't miss, they tower over everyone.


Z said...

Pris, it's almost impossible Wes is 70...I SWEAR he looks 55....and very trim, too. amazing.

Yes, you can't miss a basketball star! I was single while Jerry West was either single or thought he was (!) and we'd run into each other so often at clubs and restaurants that we'd kind of make for each other to say HELLO before we both realized we didn't KNOW the other person! I did meet him finally but ...

dull :-) BUT TALL!

Z said...

and can anybody wrap their brains around our Vin Scully in his SIXTY-FIRST YEAR OF BROADCASTING DODGER GAMES!>? WOW

sue said...

Well, I will admit that I'd never heard of Wes Parker.

Maybe it is name dropping, but I think that people like to hear about experiences like yours. One day I was at the grocery store and thought - what if I saw a certain celebrity. It would be strange since we just don't get that here.

But Z, we are expecting about 3 inches of snow tonight. I don't think you get that there. Do you?

I'd love to read the list of celebrities you have come in contact with!!

Anonymous said...

I saw Helen Thomas while we were in D.C.

I wasn't exactly overwhelmed.

I might be more starstruck if I saw Jake Gyllenhaal. :P

Z said...

Jen...HELEN THOMAS? That's interesting! but not overwhelming, you're right!

Sue...you get snow, we get celebs!

Okay, if you don't consider it name dropping, I'll tell you...!!
I met Elizabeth Taylor (who treated everyone at a party like they were who she had come to see)...went to Debbie Reynolds's house years ago....I knew OJ, Orson Bean and his wife Alley Mills are beloved friends, ...Betty White, Celeste Holmes, Andrew Breitbart, Pat Cadell..
I was at the Breeder's Cup Ball once and the whole Dynasty cast was there...Frank Sinatra sang about 10' from me...Gregory Peck was there..imagine says "Oh, excuse me" and realizing you'd bumped into Peck? What a face! I saw Henry Fonda, have spoken at length about conservatism with Jon Voight, Michael Reagan, had dinner twice with Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, ..my business partner used to be a band mate of his and was in another pretty well known band I won't mention here......Christina Ferrari, Robert Wagner and Jill St. John, Lou Rawls, ..
who else...It's hard to remember!
oh, Jay Leno, ..darn I can't remember right now, but PLENTY.

One of my VERY biggest disappointments in life was deciding at the last minute not to go to a small wedding (WHY? it's so rude!) and the groom (Gary Wright of the song DREAM WEAVER)'s best friend DID show up; GEORGE HARRISON. I SCREECHED when I heard he'd made it. MAN

Many more.......it's just part and parcel of living in LA, I think.

sue said...

Oh, - you are a name dropper!!!

Most impressed with F. Sinatra. That would blow my mind. I was not surprised what you said about E.Taylor. Also G.Peck, H.Fonda,
R.Wagner. Girl, those are some biggies.

Now if you'd just add J. Depp to the list.

Got to get to bed so I can continue work on my Christmas cookies tomorrow.

Thanks for the list!!!

sue said...


Tom said...

The best one for me was sitting next to Joe Namath in the St. Louis airport. Didn't recognize him at first until I noticed the scars on his knees and I heard him talk to the airport staff. Then I got excited.

Anonymous said...


I kid a guy at work for his connections with famous people, the most interesting being his mother's obstatrician who delivered him--Ron Paul.

Mary from church has a good such story involving Ronald Reagan.

I had a boss in LA tell an interesting story about three friends who went golfing. To make the foursome, they were randomly matched up with OJ Simpson. This was post-Nicole/Ron Goldman. As I understand it, the conversation was quite awakward. One of the people in the group had had knee surgeries, so that was what they ended up talking about to avoid the awkwardness.

I wondered if I'd see any famous people while I was working in LA, especially with as much time as I was at the airport. Then I realized I probably wouldn't recognize them if I did see them.


Elmers Brother said...

Johnny Cash tripped over a sprinkler in front of me once. He was a big guy.

Joe Piscopo and Jean Micheal Cousteau.

Mr. Cousteau I met at an undersea conference. He was a very interesting man.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Z, that list of famous people you've met is the height of cool. My grandparents (now deceased) moved to southern California from Canada in 1963. My grandfather worked as a carpenter, and got to meet a lot famous folks during the course of renovating their homes. He worked on Rod Stewart's house, and recovered a still-working wall-mount oven from none other than Liberace, who was remodelling his kitchen. (The oven ended up in my aunt's house not long after.)

The most famous person I've met in the United States is G. Gordon Liddy, but it's not like I bumped into him in public or at a party or anything. I deliberately stopped in at the radio station from which he broadcasted his show one day in 1993. I'll never forget him: fit and trim, piercing eyes, iron handshake, and very gracious and mannerly.

I saw, from a short distance, actors Ted Knight and Dom Deluise in a Fourth of July parade in Pacific Palisades back in '83.

John Rudolph said...

Famous people I remember being in presence of:

1. Jim O'Barr, the author of "The Crow" comics. We were good friends in high school. I remember seeing him draw very early versions of THE CROW in his basement. I remember suggesting to him "yeah, a macheti knife is cool, but I'd give him an electric guitar instead."

2. Cher, about six years ago at Pentagon City Mall in Crystal city VA. She was coming out of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and bumped into me and said she was sorry. I turned and said "oh, that's ok" and then I realized it was really her. I never asked for an autograph, I just wanted a hug and she gave me one. She had the most awesome perfume!

beamish said...

When I was a little kid, country music star Barbara Mandrell kissed me on the cheek.

When I was in high school (showing my age a bit) I met stand up comedian Larry "Bud" Melman (he did the "Toast-On-A-Stick" routine back when the David Letterman show was remotely entertaining)

I've met quite a few minor celebrities and entertainers back when I worked in the nightclub business. I've hung out with techno artist Moby, partied with raunchy gangsta rapper Too Short...

Probably the most "famous" of people I've met was Dale "the Intimidator" Earnhardt of NASCAR fame.

Ducky's here said...

Wes Parker, another protegee of Steve Garvey who played first base like a log and kept his errors down by keeping his range down even lower.

I hate the Dodgers. They DESERVE Mann "the Mutt" Ramirez. A disgrace to baseball.

The land grab to build Chavez Ravine was one of the most disgraceful takings in history.

Ducky's here said...

I once interviewed Judy Collins.

cube said...

Around here we don't have the number of celebrities you have in LA. How exciting it would be to live there. I think I'd be walking around with my camera around my neck at all times.

I have run into Wade Boggs in the mall a few times, but it didn't mean much to this Yankees fan.

The only two autographs I have are Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard) and Christmas Greetings From The White House from 2004.

Ducky's here said...

I also got Tony Conigliaro's autograph on a twenty franc note, long story.

Anonymous said...

Hum, with that kind of luck, let's you and me do Vegas!

Anonymous said...

Ducky, Wes Parker was not a protegee of Steve Garvey. Garvey played first base AFTER Parker.

Maybe a mentor to Garvey is what you mean.

Hey Ducky, that Dodger infield was together for nine years, and had a good record. Where were the Red Sox when the Dodgers played the Yankees your nemesis, in three World Series, '77, '78 and winning in '81? I'd say the Dodgers were pretty successful during that time.

What was disgraceful was how corrupt New York politics and a powerful developer, blocked Walter O'Malley from buying the property in Brooklyn he wanted for a new stadium.

However no one could more pleased than I am that they did, because we have them here. And just to make it sweet he got the Giants to agree to come west too, creating a competetive market and boosting support for baseball on the West coast.

We have a good young team on the rise, and who will get better. All we need is an ace pitcher to shore up the starting rotation.

Don't hate Manny too much, he'll probably end up back in the American League as a designated hitter, which I see as a stupid rule which hurts the purity of the game. It's a cheat which makes managing a weaker aspect of baseball IMO.


Jan said...

Z..I loved this post!

It reminded me of one of my own experiences, but it was way too long to post here, so I blogged it!

Thanks for the great idea!

I'm glad that you posted your 'list' too. Maybe, someday, I will post mine...or not. LOL

"Honey"...but that should be your name, and not mine. :)

Faith said...

When I lived in Santa Monica a long long time ago I saw Lauren Bacall at the Farmer's Market and Greer Garson all dressed for the Oscars coming out of her hotel. Not that I was a fan of either of them but celebrities do make an impression. Don't think I've ever seen any celebrities outside Southern California.

Anonymous said...

I've seen exactly one famous person at the airport: Al Sharpton.

Z, nice stories, but what we really want to know is if you've ever sat next to Alec Baldwin on an airplane.


Z said...

Faith, I adored Greer Garson until I found out she married the guy who played her son in Mrs. Minnever..WHAT? I still think she's lovely, however!
Lauren Bacall...no interest here, either.

tiob...you want me to tell that story? Maybe I'll blog it soon as its own post. I forgot that creep...thanks!

thanks, Jan...we're both honeys! xxx

Anonymous said...

I thought the Baldwin story was fun--it's interesting which stories stick in your memory.


Elmers Brother said...

Z, you piqued my interes in Ms. Garson...she wasn't married to him for very long and apparently (this was her second marriage) it got very ugly at the end. He accused her of being a has been and of being old. She was 39 and he 28 when they married.

She married a third time.

Elmers Brother said...


Anonymous said...

Funny story from little old London in Canada... While sitting at the local train station waiting for somebody I looked in the driver's side mirror and noticed this thin older man with a white beard and pony tail standing outside the door smoking. I thought, Jeeze, that looks like Willie Nelson — and it was. Somebody else must have recognized him before me as he had a conversation going on in the time that I recognized him.

In Montreal or Toronto it's not (or it wasn't) uncommon to see hockey players in bars and restaurants. Now I wouldn't recognize any of them though.

Years ago I used to have to go to New York sometimes and I recall one weekend shopping at Bloomingdale's and almost coming face to face with another shopper that I thought looked familiar it took a while to register that it was Diahann Carroll. Another time standing at an intersection in New York it took a minute to register the short guy standing next to me was Neil Sadaka — but I never interviewed any of them...


Z said...

Thanks, Elbro..very interesing information ! (interesting :-) (you never have to correct yourself, you make all of us who have mistakes feel badly!!!)

Waylon...you know I'm fond of London because my SIS lives there....very cool of seeing Willie Nelson.

I was waiting for a ride from the airport once in LA and saw a man waiting, too...about 30 ft away...we happened to look at each other at the same time and I mouthed "Are you PHIL DONOHUE?" He smiled and mouthed "Yes, I am." Cracked me up.

You say you never interviewed them...are you a journalist?

Elmers Brother said...

Thanks, Elbro..very interesing information ! (interesting :-) (you never have to correct yourself, you make all of us who have mistakes feel badly!!!)

LOL! I was 4 places away from going to the National Spelling Bee in sixth grade. Correcting my spelling comes natural to me.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

tiob: Z, nice stories, but what we really want to know is if you've ever sat next to Alec Baldwin on an airplane.

Heh! A friend whom I've known since 1982 found himself next to a famous person on an airplane about five years ago. The famous person was none other than Jerry Springer.

Waylon: In Montreal or Toronto it's not (or it wasn't) uncommon to see hockey players in bars and restaurants. Now I wouldn't recognize any of them though.

I wouldn't recognize them nowadays either, but you're right about seeing these guys in restaurants. Once (in 1992) while having brunch with my parents at the Westin hotel on the lakeshore in Toronto, several players from the Pittsburgh Penguins were a couple of tables over from us. Mario Lemieux and Tom Barrasso were among them. That was pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Z, I'm not a journalist. It was just a little nudge at Ducky as a joke who said in an earlier comment that he interviewed somebody or other. And London these days isn't just cool, Z, it's damned cold.

ECI, I don't follow hockey very closely anymore. But back in the 70's and early 80's I was living in Montreal where hockey is almost a religion. Often in the early fall before the season started the super stars came to Montreal to do their best to make team Canada so it was common to see them in places downtown sort of "preparing" in the bars.


Z said...

Waylon, you're actually IN London Ont?
Remind me..I'm sorry for forgetting!
Did I tell you my family's very connected with UWO?

Anonymous said...

It only seem appropriate that someone with the first name Waylon would have an encounter with Willie Nelson.


Z said...

tiob..VERY good :-)

Donald Douglas said...

Well, visiting from Jan's blog. Hope you have a great Christmas!