Like everyone, I have had my share of crossing paths with the famous. Here are two of those stories.
Back in the mid-eighties I was the manager of a frame and poster shop located in the BU Bookstore in Boston. One day I was walking through the middle of the bookstore when I saw a large crowd lined up with a very tall gentleman standing at the front signing books. I came around to his side and stood about five feet away. Often I do stand with my arms crossed and can look very disgruntled. I don't know why. I must be disgruntled. I am also standing back behind the guard in an area that is off limits to the public. Just as I recognize the Licolnesque Garrison Keiller he looks over at me and stares for a moment or two with a slightly worried look. I probably watched him closely for a good 15 minutes and saw him look back at me many times.
Later that day I went over to the Harvard Coop, the bookstore for Harvard University. A friend of mine worked there and I was on my way to visit him. Lo and behold (love using that phrase), there was Mr. Keiller again in front of a large crowd. Once again I positioned myself off to his right with the same arms crossed and the same unhappy scowl. I can look very unfriendly though it was not on purpose nor did I hold any animosity towards Keiller. After a few minutes he looked up from his signing and scanned the crowd. The he looked over at me, past me, and suddenly his eyes darted back to me, and he did the largest double take I have ever personally witnessed. I stood there another ten minutes and received many sideways glances and I believe he consulted his assistant about me. I like to think he looked around very carefully the rest of the day.
My second story involves Ms. Julia Child. Later in the eighties I worked at Bread & Circus (bought out later by Whole Foods), in Central Square, Cambridge. I worked in the meat department, and though I was not an official meat cutter, in the evening I was usually alone and had to handle all the duties.
One night I happened to be at home watching "The French Chef" and Julia was teaching us all how to pick out a leg of lamb. There were probably four or five main aspects to look for when buying the lamb; I don't remember what they were. Well the very next day (no joke), an extremely tall older woman came lurching down the aisle towards my department. With her was a younger woman that was either an assistant or a relative. Julia did not approach the counter but the other woman did and asked me for a lamb leg. I am not going to use a lot of verbose (verbose?) language to explain my shock and fear at this moment. I went back into the meat locker on a very serious mission to pick amongst five lamb legs to find the perfect one for Ms. Julia Child! I reviewed all the information I had just learned. I am sure I was taking way to much time but it seemed important. Finally I returned to the counter and lifted the leg over the top to display my choice for their approval. The woman turned and said, "Julia, is this all right?" Ms. Child barely glanced over, waved her hand dismissively, and said, "yeah fine" I was very disappointed.