Owing to my line of work, I’ve been blessed to meet lots of people. Some celebrities. Most not. I just love meeting and talking with people. It’s never matters to me how so-called “famous” they are. After all, “fame” can be a fleeting thing. Being “real” is far more important. I love sharing an enthusiastic moment with anybody, although I confess, it delights me when I meet a celebrity who embraces being genuinely nice and considerate to all.
When people inevitably ask me ‘Who’s the biggest star you ever met?’, I consider a few different factors. “How well known is the person around the world?” “What are his/her accomplishments?” Maybe near the top of the list, “Did you have a real conversation (with a unique question) instead of just occupying a place in a line?”
No doubt, though, is “How kind was he or her?” (Four-time Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali goes right to the top of the list. But there are others.)
Having interviewed lots of different celebrities, I always prided myself in being prepared with a question having an interesting answer on the back end.
Working at a big Country station (50,000 Watt WDGY-AM/Mpls.St.Paul) in my hometown in 1980, we were paid a visit by Olivia Newton-John (pictured above.) This was about a year and after the movie release of “Grease,” both a critical and box-office smash! The “Grease” soundtrack was, at the time, the biggest-selling musical soundtrack ever! She was, at the time, one of the biggest stars in the world!
Standing in line, waiting for her to make her way down to where I was standing, and fishing my mind for a good question, I suddenly found myself with her standing in front of me! And I had nothing to ask or say! I was dumbstruck! Not a word came out of my mouth! I could think of nothing to do but smile and bow!
Thanks to her gracious nature, she curtsied! And after a pause, we both laughed! I finally said, “Nice to meet you.” She, “You too!”
We later had a nice and more meaningful conversation! At a reception later that evening, she was as gracious to my wife as she had been to me!