Saturday, April 18, 2020

Famous People Encounters

 My friend Rob asked for a of  list six famous people I've met/encountered/interacted with, but ONE is a lie.   Here's mine, let's play.  Answer follows:
1. Ricky Nelson
2. Marcello Mastroianni
3. Raul Bova
4. John Travolta
5. Art Linkletter
6. Sandra Dee

 The answer is I never met Sandra Dee though I loved the movie Gidget when I was a kid. As for the others here is the story. As a kid I loved the t.v. show "Ozzie and Harriet". My friends father on his off hours got paid as a basketball league time keeper. He used to do games at Hollywood High school at night. Ricky Nelson played for a team. My friend invited me to go and watch him play. It was a thrill and Ozzie and Harriet and his brother David were sitting just above us on the Bleachers. I got Ricky's autograph. He was so nice. The whole family was sweet. When I was at UCLA around 1970 I was an art student taking a ceramics class. The art department was next to the Theaters Arts building. For some reason one of the teaching assistants in my class was asked to give this Italian vip a tour of the department. Her first stop was our ceramics lab. There was only a handful of people sitting at wheels throwing pots and I was one of them. She did not introduce us but he came by, smiled and walked to look around. Later the T.A. came back and I asked who the VIP was and she said an Italian actor named Marcello Mastroianni. He was around 46 at the time I saw him. Too bad I was clueless as to who he was at the time. In contrast fast forward a couple of decades and there was Raoul Bova a hot Italian actor who I did know about. He was in Hollywood for an Italian film festival and I bought tickets for his film and the Q and A that followed. Though it was just a "distance encounter" I was thrilled to see him in person. Before John Travolta was in Saturday Night Fever he did a t.v. sitcom called "Welcome Back Kotter". Aired on national t.v. 1975-79 . He was a wisecracking teen in school. We knew someone that worked on the show and she invited me to watch them film. Another fun encounter and it was fun to see him become so popular during the Disco era. Lastly when I first started UCLA they had an office where students could find part time jobs. In those days finding part time work late 1960 was easy. I found a job working in nearby Century City for Art Linkletter productions. It was a fun place to work and I did menial filing and working for one of the off shoot company holdings. Art Linkletter had an office there but it was his son Jack that came in daily (flew in from Newport Beach in a private plane to Santa Monica airport). This was around 1968 and the secretary for Jack used to tell me that the family had this kitchen gadget that could cook things in seconds or a few minutes. She said she saw them make a baked potato in a few minutes. I was in disbelief. The machine was called a microwave! That was the first I'd ever heard of such a thing and no one I knew had that in their home.

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