Sunday, March 08, 2009

Random encounter weekend

I was out in the San Fran Bay Area again this week and flew back home yesterday. Friday night I was at our usual watering hole waiting to catch up with a friend for dinner and as the place got more and more crowded, I gave up my table to an older couple who were waiting for another couple to show up. I got to talking to the two gentlemen, and when the subject turned to international travel, we started talking about German cities. The new arrival asked if I'd ever been to Wiesbaden, Germany, and I said "Been there? I was born there." I explained I was an Air Force brat and my dad had been stationed there. The guy laughed and explained he was a doctor and had been posted to the military hospital there between 1958 and 1960. Which made me laugh because I was born at that hospital in 1959. He was a general surgeon and not an OB, but he did assist in some deliveries during that time, so who knows.

Then on Saturday while waiting to board my flight in Atlanta for Richmond, there was a crowd of teens from a church choir (I could tell because they were all wearing the same t-shirt) gathered around some short older guy who was talking to them. I turned to the guy next to me and remarked that he must be someone to somebody and the guy told me he was Henry Winkler. I couldn't tell because I only saw him from behind. I took another look and sure enough, it was The Fonz.

The gate agents got him on the plane before boarding the rest of the first class cabin, and when I boarded I found that Winkler was in my seat. He asked if I'd mind swapping seats with him because he knew the lady in the window seat and wanted to chat with her. I said no problem and proceeded to stow my stuff as Winkler and the lady next to him chatted with me (the lady was asking about my Baby Taylor travel guitar that I drag around with me on the road), and I took my seat.

At one point while the plane was boarding Winkler got up so a passenger could have her picture taken with the lady in the window seat so I figured she must be "somebody" too, so I took another look and realized it was Sissy Spacek. I guess I didn't recgonize her at first without the bloody prom dress. Weird, huh?

One thing I have to say about Winkler is that he's unusually kind and gracious with fans. After he got done talking with the kids from the choir, he had one person after another come up asking to have a picture taken with him. He didn't decline once and always exchanged pleasantries with the fan.

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