I had to go to New York City to experience my closest celebrity encounter. About 15 years ago I stood three people behind Uma Thurman while waiting in a Ladies Room line at Carnegie Hall. I pretty much just stood there and stared while thinking, “Wow. That’s Uma Thurman. And she has to pee.”
Southern New England is not considered a hotbed for celebrity sightings. You may get lucky now and then if you attend a Celtics game or go to a political fundraiser. Well actually, I take that back. We do get our share of sports celebrities.
I once saw retired Patriot player Ted Johnson seated across an aisle from me at a Golden Fork. I pretty much just sat there thinking, “Wow. That’s Ted Johnson. And holy crow, he has a really thick neck.”
I also saw Patriot running back Laurence Maroney at an Italian restaurant near Gillette Stadium. I just sat there thinking “Wow. That’s Laurence Maroney. And he’s got some serious hair.”
Are you seeing a trend? I’m not the type to get all giddy and run up to a perfect celebrity stranger and say “Hi, you’re So-and-So, and I just love you. Can I have your autograph?”
I prefer the I-am-too-cool-to-bother-you-and-will-purposely-look-away-save-a-few- glances method. I therefore surprised myself several years ago while traveling down I-95 in Rhode Island.
There we were moving along when I looked over and saw a Roto-Rooter van. Driving the van was none other than Jason Hawes from Ghost Hunters. Now they are based out of Rhode Island, so a random encounter with one of the TAPS crew should not be all that shocking. But how did I react? Oh, so embarrassing.
It was in the spring; I was riding in the passenger seat, and both of our windows were down. I saw him and immediately shoved my shades atop my head for a better look. I started bouncing up and down in my seat and shouted, “OH MY GOD!!! IT’S THE GHOST HUNTERS GUY!!! LOOK! IT’S THE TAPS DUDE!”
Just as I was in full swing with my bouncing, pointing, and eye bulging hysteria, Jason Hawes looked at me. It didn’t even occur to me that I looked as ridiculous as I surely did. Tony, in all of his my-god-my-wife-is-losing-it horror drove quickly on by. Jason Hawes, with what can be described as a look of partial incredulity and partial amusement smiled and gave me a little wave.
I vowed that the next time I ran into a member of TAPS I would act decidedly much cooler.
This summer Tony and I went with my parents to a PawSox game. Sitting in the stands I looked over into the next section and spied a young man carrying a video camera and filming the fans. I recognized him immediately.
“Hey Mom, that’s Dustin from Ghost Hunters.”
“Looks a lot like him, but that’s not him.”
“Yes it is! That’s him.”
“No, I really don’t think so.”
This conversation continued on for sometime. No one believed me, except Tony who flat out didn’t care, but I knew better. So I sat there, calmly I might add, thinking to myself, “Wow. That’s Dustin Pari from Ghost Hunters. And that is a huge camera.”
That night as soon as I got home I went online and looked up Dustin Pari’s Twitter account (Notice I keep using first and last names with intended My So Called Life Jordan Catalano irony). Sure enough, he had tweeted earlier in the afternoon that he would be working at the PawSox game that night.
“I KNEW IT!” I screamed out to no one. My next step was to prove it to the world by Facebooking and Tweeting the following message:
What I can’t show you, because somehow I accidentally unfollowed him (a horrible act which has since been rectified), was his reply back. I SWEAR he messaged me and said, “You have a keen eye, my lady!” Well. I was needless to say thrilled. I pondered to myself, “If a celebrity tweets me, have we technically met?” Oh, I know…probably not.
But then on Saturday my friend and loyal reader Sherry showed up on my doorstep and surprised me with this:
It turns out the old saying in our area that you always know somebody who knows Somebody, has once again proven itself to be true. Sherry knows someone who knows Dustin Pari. For the first time ever I have my very own personally autographed photo, and I could not be more geeked! (i.e. really, really, really happy)
To my friend Sherry, who truly does good deeds just for the sake of it, thank you!!!! And to Dustin Pari, wherever you are (hopefully somewhere dark and whispering “What the hell was that”), thanks for being such a great sport and signing my photo…even if our meeting was only ever virtual.