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Most Famous Person I’ve Met?

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Donald Trump. From 1983-1987. Worked for Arthur D Little, a consulting firm out of Cambridge/Boston, for a few years, and worked the "Trump" account for the Trump Organization, also through RSA (NYC Landlord's Association) representing Fred/Donald Trump, the Harry/Leona Helmsley, Samuel LeFrak, Peter Kalikow, etc. (Kalikow bought the NYPost from Murdoch). I met Fred and Donald Trump, and Kalikow, and at least a dozen NYC landlords who were much wealthier than the Trumps, but whose names are not so well known. 

I gave two data analysis presentations over those years with Trump in the boardroom. He asked legitimate questions and although already known for an ego in the media, on these occasions he did not come across the way he is now portrayed (and the way he portrays himself).

The job developed from a college internship with the Bureau of Labor Statistics where I ran SQL and SPSSx queries on huge US Census Bureau datasets, and DHCR datasets. (NYC Department of Housing).

Funniest thing during this period happened when I saw a RFP in the NYT for some data analysis project the city needed run on the DHCR database. RSA also owned data on every rental property in NYC. I made a proposal that I could do this for $20,000 which would pay for the access to the databases and the time on a mainframe (actually a mid-size Honeywell, not technically a mainframe). If done right this should have left a couple thousand for myself. On checking with the landlord's association for permission/access, I was told that the contract was already theirs and that it was for somewhere north of a million dollars. But I was hired to do the same work at $20 an hour which quickly turned into my first full-time job after college.

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I lived in Hollywood, California, up in the hills, on Pacific View Trail, for several years, and SAW several famous people, but had no interest in meeting them.

I did have a race with Paul Newman, on Pacific Coast Highway, me on a Honda 350 motorcycle and him driving a Limo, circa 1969. 

We pulled up at a stoplight in Malibu, grinned at each other. I revved up my motorcycle ... he revved up his Limo, and when the light turned green we both roared North.   

I got up to 45mph, and dropped back ... he disappeared into the distance..

But technically .... I did race against Paul Newman.

 

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9 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

But technically .... I did race against Paul Newman.

 

In my teens I skied downhill with Princess Caroline and her sister Stephanie of Monaco. I don't think it was a race though. They didn't even see me of course xD and they were much better skiers than me anyway. Later that week I got an autograph from Roger Moore. My cousin who is a few years younger than me went up to him and said "hello 007". I know that doesn't impress you at all though. Sorry, I wish it was Sean Connery.

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I'll keep this going . . .

About a dozen GRAMMY-winning artists and producers. Attended a couple Grammy Awards with meetings throughout the "Grammy week" that precede the live Sunday broadcast, meeting various artists and songwriters, and attended one "afterparty." I never got up the nerve to "meet" the most famous artists, but did meet several of the most famous producers and record label owners. [Names removed on purpose.]

I once worked at the headquarters of a religious organization/publisher where Michael Jackson and most of his entire family toured in 1976. Also never "met" any of them but did say hello when they passed near my desk. I did briefly meet a performing artist named George Benson (singer/guitarist) at the same headquarters in 1979.

Similarly, in an IT job with an international financial services company that I kept from 1987 to 2015, I "met" technical leaders like Steve Jobs, Steve Chase, Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, and other CEOs, etc.,  who sometimes gave the opening addresses at trade shows and seminars I attended at NYC's Jacob Javitz, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego and Las Vegas convention centers, etc. I heard Richard Branson speak in San Diego, but I never actually talked to any of these people for more than 5 seconds. Most of them, none at all.  

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15 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

But technically .... I did race against Paul Newman.

Reminds me that we did pre-assembly work for the JW summer conventions in Springfield, Illinois almost every year from 1971 to 1976. It was on the racetrack and we started setting up 1.5 to 2 weeks before the actual assembly to prepare signs and wiring for our own sound system, special electrical and "sewer" lines from a cafeteria kitchen area carved out of the parking lot, etc. 

Got to stay overnight a few times as "security guards" during the days leading up to the assembly when they still had a few races scheduled. We got to attend a race for free and I saw both Bobby Unser and Al Unser in the same race, not from the stands or announcer's box, but from our own sound system booth, right up against the edge of the racetrack. I had not followed racing but this was just a couple years after Bobby Unser had set a 195 mph record at Indy.

Another story. My brother and I both had guard duty at Bloomington, MN in pre-assembly work and we snuck into the Vikings locker and found a covered hot tub in the middle of the floor. We opened it and it was full of room-temperature, unopened bottles of champagne in lukewarm water. About 100 bottles or more. My brother said they had just lost the division championship game earlier that year that, otherwise, would have qualified them for the Super Bowl. No celebration, I guess.

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Chuck Schumer.

Not me. My wife. She ran into him at some community college function and came across him unexpectedly. She was there for other reasons and probably had no idea that he was visiting.

She asked him about high taxes in New York--so high that reports are of many people fleeing the state.

He told him that yes, many do leave, however they come back later when retired. Why? For the services, he told her.

He did not seem to realize that that made the situation worse. They leave when they can put into the pot. They return when they can take from it.

There is a certain pundit known to @James Thomas Rook Jr. (I've never met him, by the way, otherwise he would top my list) who maintains that the most dangerous place in the world to be is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.

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Jane Spillane

Mickey’s wife.

okay, okay, so it is only through social media.

I wrote a Mickey Spillane summit parody for Jane Spillane, who is re-releasing the Mike Hammer tough-guy series of late 1940's private eye books. It is a spoof on what if the President had handled Putin like Mike Hammer might handle a crime boss. She loved it. She said so on my FB and Twitter feed.
 
Mickey Spillane later became one of Jehovah's Witnesses and his work changed a lot. That triggered my interest in his books. Now, Jane is not a Witness, probably has mixed feelings about them at best, and may feel they were responsible for 'sabatoging' his work, since his post-JW writings lose the excess sex and violence and thereby become less of what Mickey himself once said about Hemingway and the highbrow authors: "What those guys could never get is that you sell a lot more salted peanuts than cavier."
 
Since the violence and sex is excessive in his early days, it is easy to dismiss the novels as so much garbage. However, as to the writing itself, Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged) lavished high praise on them and compared them favorably to some elite authors of the day. Mickey's own dad, I think he was a bartender, called his writing "crud." Ayn Rand did not feel that way.
 
Atlantic Magazine (I think it was) interviewed him in later years ('I may write one more Mike Hammer, but that's it. I can't sit eight hours in a chair anymore. My rear end gets sore.') and pointed out that his latter books were winning some critical acclaim. "To Mickey's disgust, one suspects," the author adds. Come on! It is impossible not to love this guy. He had the combination of intense interest, yes, even love, of people, coupled with an absolute lack of pretence, and a willingness to go 'in your face,' traits that were a trademark of Jehovah’s Witnesses of a certain generation.
 
The parody follows:
 
Mickey_Spillane's_Mike_Hammer_Diamond_Studio_City_Walk_of_Fame

Mickey Potus strode into the room and eyed his enemy. The crime boss was not so impressive in person as when he was pretending to be a tough guy on horseback. He sat in his tailored silk suit, hoping to bluster, trying to look like he didn’t have a care in the world, but Mickey knew his entrance had shaken him to the core. The puddle of piss on the floor gave him away, That often happened when Mickey came calling.

Mickey decided to play with this piece of human scum for a while. Real casual-like, he said to Vicious Vlad, “Let me tell you about a friend of mine, a knockout woman name Velda.” A bead of sweat broke out on Vlad’s brow. Maybe he had heard. Maybe he knew the game was up.

“My friend Velda, she’s got intelligence, you know what I mean? She’s got real intelligence. She has more intelligence in her little finger than you have in your whole nation of goons. And Velda tells me….,” Mickey stopped dead, so that next words he said would hit the little punk with the force of a sledge hammer. Velda tells me that – you’ve – been – meddling – in – our – election.” That hit home. The little man shook.

Mickey grabbed the punk by the lapels. “Now you listen up and you listen up good. Cut it out!” But Vlad was too much of a stool pigeon to know when to cut his losses. He voice trembled, but he tried to stammer back: “We didn’t me-me-medd….” He never got the words out. A smashing blow from Mickey’s fist sent blood and teeth flying everywhere.

“I said ‘cut it out’” Mickey roared. What! You think I’m taking the word of scum over my intelligence? I checked out that floozie you were with and I’m not impressed. She can’t hold a candle to my Velda, a real class act, and one of these books I’m going to marry her. There won’t be any hanky-panky beforehand either. I’m kinda an old-fashioned type of guy.”

“Now I’ve got one and only one question for you,” Mickey glowered. The little man, real cooperative all of a sudden, all the fight out of him, quavered, “Wh-What?”

“Why don’t you get me a cup of coffee?” [it is what Mickey said to Jane during HIS interview when she began to hog it (in his estimation): “Honey, can I ask you a question?”]

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20 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I remember that interview.

For a while I toyed with starting another persona - like @A Nice Guy, @Vic Vomidog, @Dr. Adhominem, Prof Bob “Hammer” Urabi,  @Top Cat O’Malihan , ......

a phony “Mike Hammer” account & harass your with it.

 I came pretty close. Trouble is, I could not be sure that you and he might not hit it off and come after me, even though he was my creation.

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10 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

 I came pretty close. Trouble is, I could not be sure that you and he might not hit it off and come after me, even though he was my creation.

Although I personally would not care, one of your created multiple personalities  might in fact come after you.  It HAS been known to happen ... usually while someone is  sleeping.

May I suggest you start sleeping with a razor sharp hatchet under your pillow?

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3 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Although I personally would not care, one of your created multiple personalities  might in fact come after you.  It HAS been known to happen ... usually while someone is  sleeping.

May I suggest you start sleeping with a razor sharp hatchet under your pillow?

I’m on it. Thanks for the tip.

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