Monday, July 24, 2017

WHEN THE FAMOUS DISAPPOINT


Recently Cranky Old Man posted about the long list of the celebrities he has bumped into. It reminded me of one of my early posts in 2009 and since I only had 4 commenters on that day, I thought I'd rework and repost. Two of those commenters are still with me. Thanks Betsy and Robin for hanging in there with me all this time.

This is a two part story so to spare you eye strain and mind numbing boredom, I'll post the second part next week.

*****
The table sat 12 and Jerry and I claimed two empties about midway. At the head sat one of the richest men in America at that time, John D. MacArthur. This was totally his court. Directly across from me sat the "Great One", Jackie Gleason with his long time companion. At her side sat a household name golfer who for this account shall be nameless and go by the initials AGG (Arrogant Golfer Guy).

AGG  was alive when I first posted this and  though he passed not too long ago  I will continue to keep his identity secret. He may have changed mightily with age. Plus his family is still around so he will go by that acronym for this story.

The rest of the chairs were filled with lesser name golfers and business men. Jackie's girlfriend and myself were the only women.  We were at a country club in Palm Beach Gardens which had just become the headquarters of the PGA and the early round of a four ball tournament had just concluded.

And what, do you ask, was I doing there? Just darn lucky. I was working at the bank at that time so I was on a first name basis with a lot of the local business giants. Somehow, my short stature and incessant grin made me adoptable to a lot of people. Jerry was not my date, but a friend and he was high up in the MacArthur organization.

Though I was personally a poor golfer, at that point in my life I followed the game closely, especially with the national headquarters so close to home. Jerry got me passes for the tournament when he heard of my interest.

The main person I wanted to meet (he appears in the next post) was not at the table but I was content and awed by who was.

I was never a fan of the Honeymooners but had enjoyed Jackie Gleason in the movie The Hustler. He was a decent golfer and was one of the celebrity participants. Here I was eye to eye with a comedic legend. How cool was that? Not very, it turned out.

I foolishly expected lunch to be one laugh after another with the famous comic present. I have since learned that often performers are seldom very entertaining "off stage." Jackie, who was equally famous for his alcohol consumption, did not disappoint in that area.

His only conversation between drinks were a few nasty zingers, often cruelly directed towards his companion. Her name was Honey and she suffered in embarrassed silence. His eyes narrowed with each drink and his zingers became more hurtful.  Truthfully, the man scared me.  He may have normally been a kind, caring, delightful person----he just wasn't even close to one that day.

To take my mind off him, I turned to the famous golfer and reminded and him of a magazine ad we had done about 3 years earlier. No I am not a model, I just happened to be in the right place and earned a whopping $25.00 for the shoot.

The ad for Heinz Ketchup did make the Post Magazine but with all my moves, my copy is gone.  Of course he did not remember me but he did ask me to dance.

I was not aware of his marital status at the time and I said, "Sure."

"Will you or won't you?" he whispered crudely in my ear as we danced. At first, my naivety left me confused and I looked quite blank so he continued.

"You know what I am talking about."  He sounded almost angry.  "I'm not in town long so I can't waste my time if you won't."  I had heard classier propositions in high school.

When his clumsy offer sunk in, I just told him to look elsewhere, that I had plenty of time to"waste". He promptly steered me back to my seat. The music was not finished but he was. AGG certainly was serious about not wasting time.

Twice in a short period, I had seen the meaner side of the rich and entitled.My celebrity elbow rubbing that day for lunch proved to be a huge disappointment. Thankfully the day was not over and it got delightfully better before night fell.

Continued next week.

You ever have a celebrity disappoint you?

29 comments :

  1. Wow and to not even finish the dance sure does show his arrogance! What an ass. Gleason was well known for the way he acted---drank too much and was a nasty drunk.

    I've never met a celebrity. It was just not something that was ever on my Bucket List except for Oprah and Obama and I doubt either would disappoint me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean R,
      Yeah, he was in a real hurry.
      I think you are totally safe with those two.

      Delete
  2. I don't think I've ever actually met someone famous, but it's possible I've just forgotten. I had heard that about Jackie Gleason, that in person he was a miserable man. You are a really good writer, Patti, and you've got me salivating for Part Two! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Djan,
      Thank you so much. I'm so glad you think so. Part two has some really nice folks in it but there is also a brief appearance of AGG. He doesn't improve.

      Delete
  3. I've met famous people (Abbie Hoffman, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti), but no celebrities that I can remember. None of the people I met were anything like the crude jerks you describe here. I can't wait to read Part 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. robin,
      I would call all three of those celebrities. AGG reappears in part 2 but the rest I met were much nicer.

      Delete
  4. I posted my celebrity encounters facetiously, yours was real. Interested in what happened next, and please tell me AGG was not AP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's who I thought it was!!

      Delete
    2. Joeh,
      Hey, Tony Danza isn't chopped liver. It does get better in part 2.

      Delete
  5. I don't care how much celebrity anyone gains, it doesn't give them the right to look down on anyone, nor to think you are simply there to be used for their pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jimmy,
      Sadly, some do feel it gives them all the right in the world to act like jerks.

      Delete
  6. Wow! This is a great story! Can't wait to read part 2. Years ago Susan Lucci was on the same Jet Blue flight as I was. She was so kind a gracious.

    I'm still shocked about the AGG jerk that said that to you! What a pig.

    Wish you still had the Heinz Ketchup ad. Would love to see that! Great post Patti!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole,
      Oh I like Susan and have always heard she was nice and it is great to hear she really is.
      A friend did locate the ad for me on Ebay--what can't you find on Ebay-- but if I posted it, it would expose AGG and it is just too soon for that.

      Delete
  7. I look forward to the conclusion. I can't recall meeting and being disappointed by a celebrity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen,
      Well the conclusion has some much nicer celebrities. I'm glad you haven't had any illusions shattered.

      Delete
  8. I've met a number of celebrities Amazing how a little public recognition can bring out some people's worst qualities. Most have been pleasant. This tame story had to do with a govt. official, but I always remember being surprised when a Senator's wife whispered confidingly, but instructively, to me that she hoped a cute young female would apply this older man's makeup in preparation for his TV appearance because that would perk him up before going on camera. I didn't tell her in advance, but we had a young male recent college graduate who did makeup. I thought that was a strange request coming in the way it did from the Senator's wife.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joared,
      Wow, she really wanted to be a politicians wife and would do what it took. Don't know why I am surprised.

      Delete
  9. So eager for part two. You've got us on the edges of our seats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annie,
      Hope I don't disappoint. There is a bit of revenge coming.

      Delete
  10. Dear Patti, like Granny Annie, I am "so eager for part two"! You do know how to build the suspense.

    I've never met a celebrity except for a young man who was in French IndoChina back in the mid-50s before the French left and the war began. He came to many colleges and talked about the torture the French were using. I can remember being outraged. He was so popular at the time, but the only name I can come up with is Tom Dooley. I'm not sure that's right.
    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee,
      I remember soldier friends being angry about the French involvement. Think you are right about his name.

      Delete
  11. What a great post. Boy those two were certainly nasty. Yes, I had one old friend who went through waves of fame. He killed himself in a particularly ugly way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mage,
      Oh how awful. I am so sorry. Fame is a cruel mistress.

      Delete
  12. Your experience was par for the course in the mid 50's when I worked in NY City. It is portrayed very accurately in the TV series "Mad Men" ... UGH !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginnie,,
      Now I am glad I missed that series. Part two however will paint you a much nicer picture.

      Delete
  13. Some famous folks in a nutshell...I would even venture to say most, but surely not all are P*&^cks. I used to love Ashley ____ I thought she was a good actress, but after her crazy yelling speech about bleeding I have rethunk that thought. I'm not saying that actors don't deserve to have political thoughts...I just wish that they would understand only an imbecile would agree with them just because of their stardom. To me, everyone has an opinion, just like everyone has belly buttons. Some are just so full of lint, you can't tell if there really is a belly button under there or not.
    Poor analogy I guess. I always thought Jackie Gleason was a drunk. I don't know why. I never liked his show- but I did love Lucy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri,
      Guess I'll have to Google Ashley's speech. The first time I heard Jackie say "One of these days Alice, POW, right in the kisser." Never could see the humor in spouse abuse.
      My next post shows a much nicer couple of guys.

      Delete
  14. I've met a number of celebrities Amazing how a little public recognition can bring out some people's worst qualities.



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    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been rather busy, but stole this moment to check up on you. Wow! What amazing stories you are telling. I didn't know that about Jackie Gleason. As for AGG, sheesh! You really are an awesome writer. I need to get going, but I can't seem to stop reading.

    ReplyDelete