Too cool for that.

If you live in a big city then chances are the rich and famous hang out there too. Some may be passing through, some may live there.

As you all know I spent the first 44 years of my life in New York City – can’t imagine any place with more rich and famous people of all stripes – and it was a point of pride amongst us natives that we never hassled those folks. Hey, they’re just neighbors. You could shout out a ‘Hey, how ya doin’?’ even a ‘Love the new movie/play/song/book ‘ but then you just kept walking.

Hanging around the stage door waiting for a sighting and an autograph – that was ok because that was expected. Before the days of smartphones there were indeed folks who brought their cameras so old time selfies were not unknown. BUT – there was a time and place for autographs and photos and a restaurant or the dry cleaner wasn’t  it. Making a fuss was never a cool thing to do.

Celebrity sightings were common as dirt and most hardly registered unless you were a super fan. Only once did I do the super fan screech.

A friend and I had been bopping around one night and between stops the need for a bathroom became urgent. So we popped into the Waldorf Astoria to use the bathrooms there. As we were walking through the lobby who comes floating through – coming right towards me? Peggy Lee! I stopped in my tracks, did the whole “OMG – It’s Peggy Lee. I love you! Her two bodyguards shifted her out of my path and as she passed she nodded and gave me that wonderful half smile of hers. I think I peed right there in the lobby.

But other than that…it was all just ho-hum.  I gotta tell ya tho – people who you have only seen on tv? In person they are WAY taller.  I know you are laughing but – you see someone on tv and people all look basically the same size and you probably don’t think about how tall (or short) they really are. The you see them in real life and it’s “OMG – he’s tall!” And Alan Alda’s eyes really are that squinty and I don’t know how they hell he sees out of them.

A lot of names I could drop would be meaningless to most of you because I am old and you are not. And most of them are dead now anyway.

Jackie Gleason? When I say I bumped into him, I mean that literally. I was mad dashing down 5th Avenue, late to the office after lunch and BOOM I hit a human brick wall, went down on my ass, my glasses when flying….as the human wall that I bumped into was picking me up, handing me my glasses and I was apologizing – I hear “That’s all right, girlie, you ok?” “Oh, Mr. Gleason, I’m sorry” – He just laughed and walked on. I got back to the office and did the whole “You’ll never guess who I bumped into…”

Oh yes, we were all very happy to lose the cool amongst ourselves – but never in public. We were way too cool for that.

19 thoughts on “Too cool for that.

    1. I fell in love with Peggy Lee when I was a little kid – I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I probably didn’t appreciate her music until I was much older but – She co-wrote and performed all the songs in “The Lady and the Tramp” which was released in 1955 – and I definitely saw that movie – so – long history with Miss Peggy Lee (interesting and talented woman –

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          1. She has a sexy voice. Here’s another Grace Slick type star who could make the straight girls go just a little bit queer. I read she was in a movie about a blues singing alcoholic and now I want to see it.

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            1. “Pete Kelly’s Blues”, there was a tv series by that name and with that same story line in the late 50’s. I watched it and even got the record of the songs featured in the tv series – the Peggy Lee part was played by Connie Boswell of the famous Boswell Sisters singing group.

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                1. There are songs that grab you from the first moment “Is that all there is” is one of them – great lyrics and Miss Peggy Lee (she was always MISS Peggy Lee – respect!) Yeah, I relate.

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                1. DIdn’t get eaten, for some reason it was waiting for approval…it’s showing now that I approved it but I’m in the middle of washing floors right this minute – took a quick break while hubby is vacuuming the kitchen – I will read article later. {{huggiez}}

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    1. That happens sometimes – people in real life don’t always look like their ‘famous’ self. But you’d be surprised how many folks do even when you don’t expect them to.


  1. When l used to work in banqueting l used to see all sorts of celebrities and even when l used to supply the catering gigs in some of the huge civic halls l was surrounded by celebs.

    I never used to get excited ever! In the 80’s and 90’s in London when out partying, l was meeting this person and that person and someone once said to me “Rory don’t you ever get starstruck?” “Nope, they are just people, like you and me!”

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    1. What’s the old show biz advice about stage fright? Just picture the audience naked…Or nerves about meeting someone high and mighty? Just picture them sitting on the can…

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      1. Yes there are variations – sitting on the can, angel wings , dressed as clowns or visualiing everyone sitting in their underwear.

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