More Encounters with Famous People


Since I've been talking about meeting famous people in all kinds of exciting situations over the past few weeks, I figured I might as well keep it going and get it all out of my system. I'll write about the rest of my Encounters With Famous People and then be done with it.

I used to work for the CEO of a financial services company. He's since sold the company and used some of the money to build himself a nice house. He liked to travel around the country and have meetings and conventions. He took me with him so I could tend to all of the people who came to the meetings and conventions, and deal with all the problems they caused. Things like congregating en mass in the foyer of the MGM Grand Arena, causing the Fire Marshall to issue the company a fine that costs more than a new car.

I wanted to make myself a wardrobe of t-shirts that said things like: "Who me? I'm just a tourist."

My first encounter with Famous People was a concert with The Beach Boys. The only things I remember about them were they were very nice, looked very old, and wore white shorts. Those last two things don't compliment each other very well.

General Norman Schwarzkopf gave a rousing speech during an evening awards ceremony, and was to do a meet and greet with special award winners afterwards. Let's just say the awards went a little longer than planned. At nearly midnight we were finally(!) ready for him to meet and greet. Well.... the General had gone to bed. And yours truly had to give him the 'ole wake up call. Luckily, he took his anger out on the guy who picked him up in the golf cart. Part of the meet and greet included a photo with the General. He instructed me to tell everyone that they better not talk to him. By the time I got my photo with him he seemed in a pretty good mood. He said, "I like your dress a lot, but not your hair."

The Pointer Sisters played at one of our events in the late 90's. They could have hooked up with the Beach Boys because they looked old, too. They made so many special food requests it would make your head spin. Wait! I think their heads did spin.

The very best performer I met during these conventions was Huey Lewis (minus The News). He was funny and very charming. I asked him several times if there was anything I could get for him. Only one time did he ask for anything... a peanut butter sandwich (white bread) and a glass of milk (ice cold). It was my pleasure.

Stephen Covey spoke at various meetings throughout the years. He had kind eyes, a very warm spirit and a bright smile. I could tell that he truly believed and lived the things about which he spoke. His staff and the people that traveled with him were outstanding. One man, whose name escapes me, could sing God Bless the USA so well it brought tears to my eyes.

Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker, visited our corporate offices here in Atlanta several times and spoke at several meetings. Prior to his first visit I called his assistant about a whole list of things. Unprompted, she gave me a strict list of his dietary preferences (for a lunch we were having). He was a nice man, very engaging and very tall.

And I have saved the best for last. This is a story that, in many ways, is one of my proudest career achievements. Several months in advance of our biggest convention in Last Vegas, the CEO said he wanted the final night to feature Muhammad Ali in a boxing ring in the center of the MGM Grand Arena. The reply from his agent: "Mr. Ali has not stepped foot in a boxing ring in eleven years and will not plan to do so for your event." Our CEO's reply: "That's not what I instructed. Get him to appear and get him to appear in the ring." Nine months later that is exactly what happened. When the spot light came up on Ali in that boxing ring, tears just streamed from my eyes. The things I remember vividly about Ali when I stood beside him that day: His skin was beautiful - flawless and smooth. His eyes were dark, dark pools of wisdom that danced and laughed. And when I got my photo taken with him, he said, "She makes me smile."


Susan :

That was interesting!

Susan :

Those are some serious encounters. When Schwarzkopf was directing the Gulf War, we lived in Tampa. Every once in a while, we'd see him in a store. It was really strange to see him shopping when the war that he was running was going on!

The Ali thing gave me goosebumps.

I want to know who CLEANS that monstrosity of a house!?!?! It's gorgeous...and over the top.

What experiences you've had!

:-) Susan

Susan :

Thanks for your comment on my 100+ post, Jill. I don't think you've signed my guest book and would be really honored if you would :o)

Lori :

Wow! This is great stuff. What have you done with all the pictures of you with these famous people? Do you have them hanging in a special place in your home?

What I'm most amazed about though is that there is a website that is exclusively about someone's home (mansion)!

You've had quite a fun life!

Sonya :

Ok, now I am officially jealous of you!

Vader's Mom :

You have quite the interesting life!!

Stephanie :

What great tales you have, Jill. I love reading them. Thanks for sharing!

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