Famous People I Have Known

All two of them.

I like my famous people un-spot lighted, un-made-up, un-scripted, un-programmed, un-scheduled.  In other words, just real and down to earth.

We’ve had two opportunities for that during our lives.  One was with George Gallup, of Gallup Poll fame.   See Thoughts on Listening , if you’re interested.

The other was with James Taylor.

James had occasion to visit Dayton, Ohio, many years ago, for a reason other than a performance.   Hence, he was all of those un-things when I met him.  He was also sick and scared.

Jim Henson of the Muppets had just died a sudden death, seemingly from complications of a flu-like illness.  Performing artists all over the country were in a collective panic that they might be similarly attacked.  Without warning and in a strange place.

As it happened, I was the only person in the small group joining James who actually lived in Dayton and had access to a doctor.  And did we ever need a doctor.

Come ASAP, the office said, when I called.  We hopped in the car, he saw the doc, tolerated the swooning nurses and were quickly on our way, assured that he had the sniffles, a slight sore throat and would be just fine.  Not to worry.

Later that evening, he sang for our little gathering.   Un-made-up, un-lit, un-scripted and un-programmed.  Just a few wonderful James Taylor songs for a small group of people, including one who had enjoyed the pleasure of his company, if only for a short while.

Me and “Sweet Baby James”.  Just the two of us.

And the doctor, of course.