- Entertainment and Media
Celebrated Celebrities Who Want To Meet "Me"
SPECIAL NOTE: I have to give credit where credit is due. A fellow hubber, Mega1, one of my valued followers, and very talented writer in her own right, gave me the idea for this story. A sincere thank you, Mega1. --KA.
Celebrities from stage, radio, and screen have been around since the 1920’s. I know. There were celebrities (supposedly) in Pre-Historic caveman days, but I am not about to devote that much time and research to people from this era, that all do not know or how they became famous. Maybe a caveman, “Thug-Ugg,” a brave soul with the body of a much-later Greek Adonis, gained a small amount of notoriety by killing the most dinosaurs. Or dragging home, or cave, the most available cave women. I don’t really know. But honestly, speaking of cavemen, don’t you know that the caveman who invented fire was an instant celebrity among his cave folk?
This craft cave-dweller went from obscurity--killing beasts, listening to his cave woman nag at him for not keeping the front of their cave swept, to sudden stardom with one flick of his wrist--smashing a flint rock against another fling causing a spark to set a pile of dry wood aflame. What a night that was! Dancing, grunting, chest-bumps, yeah, what a hot time in the old cave that night. And with his sudden fame, average cavemen and women, far and near wanted to meet this rather unorthodox inventor. Yes, there were some hangers-on, yes, cavemen, who only grunted what this celebrity caveman wanted to hear just to warm their backsides near his new invention: fire. Typical. Even in those dark days of our history. People using people for gain.
Then the wheels of time begin to turn. And turn to the progressive way of mankind. With some era’s and the people in them, came new ways to work--animal power, machinery, and even electric lights. What a time to be alive on Mother Earth. Things were popping. Happening night and day. And I am talking about after all the dinosaurs were destroyed by a huge asteroid.
Many millions of years later, with all of mankind’s labor-saving machinery and intelligence, man became somewhat bored with all that he had accomplished in his time on the earth and wanted more. More out of his life than a meager job that he did everyday to put food on the table. Yes, this bored individual was probably the man who invented show business, well, he improved on an idea that the ancients had started with their magical incantations and sorcery. This man was determined to create a way for average people to be entertained at the end of a long day and at week’s end. He set out and crafted the idea of people, with unique gifts, and low amounts of inhibitions, to become “stars,” as he sold the idea. People, who are as talented as the next “Joe,” but only famous.
Then came theater productions day and night. Comedy, drama, singing, dancing and the occasional animal act featuring a tame bear who could ride a bicycle. Yes, entertainment had arrived. Then theater folk got wise and formed Vaudeville, where actors could get money for their entertainment skills. Yes, greenbacks by the bales being spent by the rich and average working class--looking for a quick laugh or a moment of drama to give meaning to their uneventful lives as laborers, housewives, teachers, and sewer employees. Entertainment was growing and so was the silent element that rode piggy-back on all of the early celebrities. A thing called ‘fame.’ Fame would either make a person or take the person’s life right in front of them and literally, if not kept in check, drain the actor’s very heart, self-respect and dignity right out of their beings leaving only shells of men and women as carnage in the wake of more progress. More elaborate entertainment as mankind longed for more and more laughter, even manufactured laughter to help him contend with or just forget the stress that was produced by shorter deadlines, more production to appease the masses, vendors and company owners all in the same of civilization. There’s a natural paradox for you. Men and sometimes women killing themselves in the ‘machinery of progress’ to keep the country strong and pumping dollars into company coffers that were never shared with the bloodied workers who sold their proverbial souls for the benefit of having a job.
This, mixed with man’s hunger for more entertainment, created a little town in California called Hollywood: the ‘kingdom of the elite,’ ‘the hub of less than humble,’ with men and women who became more than celebrities, but ultra-powerful, living, breathing icons of property owned by the film studios in Hollywood. All for entertainment and its first cousin, money. That’s show business, folks. Sad, but what a price we have paid of progress and entertainment. We, the entertainment junkies, all have carnivorous appetites (that cannot be satisfied) when it comes to watching a famous man or woman in their latest film, that on the normal scale of production, costs in the area of $80 million dollars to make. Did you older readers ever dream that movies would cost this much to produce? And did you also dream that the actors who appear in these ‘fantasies on film,’ would pull down a meager $23 million dollars a picture? Oh, how the moneychangers have left the temple in Jesus’ days and took up residence in motion pictures.
I have one, probing question: According to CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC, and CBS news services, our national economy is ‘on the skids’ with the unemployment rate rising steadily each day and with most huge corporations outsourcing their jobs to overseas countries, more jobless people will soon be on the bread line. I wish this was one prophecy that wouldn’t come to pass. Anyway, my question, simple-minded as I am, “Where is all the money coming from to not only make, but pay the actors in these “budget buster” movies? And if you say big banks are at the root for financing the pictures, then where is the money that is being loaned to these film conglomerates coming from? That’s all I want to know.
Now let’s go on with a lighter side of entertainment and celebrities. I feel comfortable in the fact that I have commentated enough about our failing economy, jobless numbers and somehow weaving this into the field of entertainment. That’s just how I think some days when I am alone. Which is Monday through Friday.
When I was a young boy, and just started out learning the ‘infant steps’ in life, I was excited to first learn who and what a celebrity was. It was the (pardon my fifties term) neatest day of my young life to cast these virgin eyes upon the goddess, Marilyn Monroe with her full, red lips, flowing blond hair and body that could stop traffic on Fifth Avenue, New York at rush hour. She was absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t get enough looking at her in my sister’s Hollywood Story magazine that our parents had let her buy with her allowance. While she was at school, I followed by unchecked desires, like any red-blooded male, and sneaked into my sister’s room and gazed for hours at Marilyn’s ‘come hither’ facial expression accented by those beautiful bedroom eyes. Now I might have been only six, but friends, I knew a gorgeous woman when I seen one.
As time went by and I grew older, my sister married and moved out leaving me at home with mom and dad and not getting any social interaction in those days. You see, and I’ve told you this many times, I grew up in and still live in Hamilton, Alabama, a town that inspired the term ‘rural,’ ‘back in the sticks,’ and other axioms of country slang. There were few celebrities who came though Hamilton. Even when most of the country music stars were still ‘paying dues’ with road tours, none set foot in Hamilton. Oh now once, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and The Foggy Mountain Boys did do one show in our neighboring city of Guin, Alabama, a town as small as Hamilton. My dad and mom took me, my dad’s mom and dad to see them in concert at Guin’s National Guard Armory. They all wore white hats. Flatt, Scruggs and The Foggy Mountain Boys, not my grandma and grandpa.
The only people nearest to being a celebrity was The Terry Teens, a duo from the country of New Hope, near Hamilton, who were Collins Terry and Terry Skinner. These thin, lean, greased-back hair singers were trying hard to follow in the voice prints of the (truthfully) famous, Don and Phil, The Everly Brothers. The Terry Teens were managed by a gentleman from Hamilton who worked at our local AM country-only station, WERH. His name was Edgar Clayton, who did have a few connections in Nashville and did get the Terry Teens as far as the Grand Ole Opry when the tent came crashing down--the night before they were to appear on the Opry. Some of their back-up band grew impatient for bigger pay, and threatened to go home to Hamilton, and so with that, ended the near-careers of the Terry Teens. Now Terry Skinner, one of the Terry Teens, did have a big success at writing songs in Nashville for the who’s who in the pop and country music fields.
You have noticed that I like to really give you your ‘money’s worth,’ by way of information in my stories, so you will not leave hungry. I said all of this to say that even in my pre-teen years, I longed to meet a celebrity. Any celebrity. But my day would never come. Even today at my age of 57, I can truthfully say that I have never met a super-mega-famous celebrity such as Brad Pitt; Jessica Alba; Jay Leno or Adam West, the original television Batman. And I guess I have grown to accept this sad fact. Now I have emailed and written many celebrities over the years and only one has responded: Martha Madison, the very lovely blond actress who played Belle on Days of Our Lives. She played the second Belle and I wrote to her once and she sent back a signed photo and note. I still have her letter and photo in my office at home. To me, Madison defined the term: class.
And now on with my story entitled, “Celebrities Who Want To Meet Me,” and why. And I think that you will enjoy this one.
My list of “Celebrities Who Want To Meet Me,” and why starts with . . .
ART CARNEY - “Norton,” on the hit sitcom, The Honeymooners, written, directed and produced by “The Great One,” Jackie Gleason. I believe Carney would love to meet me so he could teach me the fine craft of listening to others. That’s pretty much all he did in the role of “Norton,” who was employed by the city sewer company. Carney’s gift of listening and timing, helped to create many of Gleason’s “Ralph Kramden” funniest gags.
BURT REYNOLDS - “Bo Darwin,” in Smokey and The Bandit; “Quint Asper,” Comanche Indian blacksmith on the old Gunsmoke series, and numerous films. Burt Reynolds would love to visit with me so he could show me his patented “smooth moves” he used to use on picking up chicks. For me, just knowing how to get chicks would cheer me up.
ALBERT EINSTEIN - the creator of The Theory of Relativity. Smartest man, years ago, in the world would love a visit with me so he could tell me the real meaning of life and the possibility of time travel. I would serve him black coffee and even purchase his favorite brand of pipe tobacco. No celebrity comes for a visit to my house for nothing.
GROUCHO MARX - I would love to see riding up in a Yellow Cab in my driveway--which would be a great trick seeing that he is deceased. I idolized Groucho for years. Loved all of the Marx Brothers films. All classic. Groucho would want to spend time with me just to be a normal guy again. No press. No hoopla. Just Groucho and me. Spending time--allowing me to enjoy all of his comedy routines that I promise, I would not secretly tape and sell on Ebay.
JIMMY ROGERS - would feel right at home visiting me in Hamilton. My hometown is only a few hours from his memorial the shade of a great locomotive. Rogers would be thrilled to eat food like he did while working on the railroad--cold biscuits; baked sweet potatoes and fatback. Plus after our meal, he would be more than glad to sing and play all of his hit blues songs just for me.
JOHNNY WEISSMULLER - would be grateful to meet me so I could tell him that “I” was the first Tarzan Of The Apes, not him. As a lad of eight, I found a long grapevine in the woods near our home and scream his famous “ahhh--eeee-ahhh,” as I flew though the air. Uh, oh. Johnny was the first Tarzan. How else would I have imitated him on my grapevine? My bad.
KEVIN JAMES - wants to meet me to share his secret stories of how great it was to work day in and day out with the sultry, sexy and always-beautiful, Leah Remini. Kevin and I could hang all day and I wouldn’t tire of his Remini memories. And Kevin James would love to be at my home for he wouldn’t be uncomfortable as I am a bit overweight my ownself.
MARILYN MONROE - now surely Marilyn Monroe would be at ease sitting on my couch with me. She would love to meet me for I wouldn’t want to demand more of her than she was able to produce. And she would appreciate me treating her with the dignity and respect she really deserves. No, I wouldn’t ask for her to sing “Happy Birthday,” to me even if it were my birthday.
MARX BROTHERS - would clamor to come to my house to meet me for my good friend, Les Walters, runs our local paper, the JOURNAL RECORD. What a treat for these “comedy kings,” to pose in a photo with me in my front yard. They would enjoy running in and out of my house like my grandkids at play and tell me the real secrets of comedy that I would keep confidential.
DAWN WELLS - is dying to meet me for I fell in love with her (along with every guy in America) when Gilligan’s Island debuted. She, Wells, was THE girl I wanted back in my teen years. And she must have read most of my steamy fan letters and just wants to visit me to thank me. To that I say, “Welcome, Dawn! Welcome! Anytime. Any day.”
MORGAN FREEMAN - wants to land at our local airport in Hamilton, The Rankin Fite Airport, and race to my house to share with me what it was like filming “Driving Miss Daisy, and Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption.” Freeman would appreciate me not bowing down to treat him like a god, for he is in real life, I have read, is an humble, caring man who doesn’t want any fanfare.
RED SKELETON - is definitely headed to my house to shake my hand to he can tell me the story of how he got into show business. When he was selling tickets to a theater production and didn’t sell enough to get in to see the show for it was a slow sales day. Then a friendly gentleman, the legendary, Ed Wynn, who was in the show, bought all of Red’s tickets. Skeleton has said that this one gesture sparked the fire to get him interested in show business. Red would also elborate to me how he made a good living in film and on his own show and at the same time being generous to people and causes, and maintaining a family-type show without any profanities. Red would be my special invited guest and could stay as long as he wanted.
STAN LEE - Marvel Comics’ publisher, creator of Iron Man; Spiderman; Thor; Fantastic Four; Daredevil; Avengers; and more would jump at the chance to meet me to share his creative and artwork secrets with me for he has learned that once in my young life, I loved to draw animals, airplanes and even some made-up heroes before I even knew of a Marvel Comics. Lee would enjoy going into detail telling what all went into the creating and producing a superhero named Spider Man. He would love the applause I would give him at various intervals of his lecture to be held in my living room.
MOTHER TERESA - would love to meet me to add to her millions of friends who she, just by her life, has taught the priceless gift of GIVING OF ONE'S SELF TO OTHERS. I would greatly benefit from Mother Teresa's visit.
But now that I’m at the end of my fantasy, and reality has surfaced, I can pretty much predict with one-hundred percent of accuracy that none on this list of “Celebrities Who Want To Meet Me” and why will never show up. Call me. Or write me. That is a gimme as they say. And what’s worse is that celebrities who are NOT on my list here will never darken my door to just meet me.
That’s okay I guess. I am living with more disappointing things besides a handful of stars who would like to spend a day or two with the likes of me. I will get by. I can be emotionally-tough.
But in all candor, although in story form, it was a world of fun to even be associated with these stars who will always be more than a role model to me.
They will all be legends forever. And would-be friends.