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  • #16
    My Uncle was a Major on the Police force in Canton, OH so when I was a kid he got me on the sidelines of a couple HOF games. Met Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Boomer Eisieson, and a few others.

    Stepped onto a mono-rail at the DFW Airport and who walks in behind me and stands right there (with two smoking lasses on his arms) but David Coverdale! Cool moment!

    That's the top of the head....I'm not an autograph hound so I don't approach people often.
    You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

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    • #17
      Re: Brushes With Celebrity

      Originally posted by bambam1729
      Originally posted by 197hjsteve
      Here's an oldie for you.

      In summer of 1963 I was at a Nedick's orange juice stand at the corner of 8th Ave. and 34th St. in New York City, when I spotted Edwin Roberts, North Carolina College's ( now North Carolina Central ) ace sprinter from Trinidad. I recognized him because their coach, the now famed LeeRoy Walker, used to bring his athletes over to Duke to practice quite a bit, and I was a high jump guy at Duke.

      Anyway I had a great chat with him. Yacked about all sorts of track things. He said goodbye by stating that he wanted to "get better" in 1964.

      Well he got better all right, he got a bronze medal in the 200 in Tokyo.
      Why are you now 197hjsteve, steve?
      Check out the date on my above comment... it was 7/3/03. That was my "handle" on my computer at work. Dukehjsteve still rules here at my home computer... and I'm retired now ! And of course the "197 " part is my very modest PR.

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      • #18
        I was at the Atlanta Track Classic with my coach, sitting in the stands watching the action. My coach (who knew little about the sport) kept talking to the Knoxville TC coach sitting behind us. When I finally looked over to see who he was chatting with, I saw it was Doug Brown! Very nice guy.

        In the mid 1970's. while attending the Mason-Dixon Games as a HS sprinter, my brother and I were taking our tiny Chihuahua Rat down the hotel elevator to go for a walk. Four very sweet young ladies got in the elevator and tried to pet the dog, only to get snapped at. Fortunately they laughed it off and withdrew their hands quickly, as they were the Tennessee State relay team (including Chandra Cheeseborough and Brenda Moorehead).

        I also met Nick Rose at the Mason-Dixon Games in 1978. He invited me down to the track the following night (invitational section) to meet his coach and see about walking on at WKU the following year as an IH guy. Unfortunately, the Freedom Hall security folks did not take my word for it. :cry:

        I attended the International Friendship Games in Jamaica that Mark Winzenreid used to hold. They were actually a series of track clinics and a small meet against local talent on a grass track. In addition to Mark, I got to meet Brooks Johnson who was working at the clinic. They set up an extra meet for us to travel to Kingston to run in the National Stadium against several of the folks who were looking for a tuneup prior to the Caribbean Championships. The highlight for the week was getting to meet Seymour Newman on the same track that Bayi ran 3:51.0.

        I ran into Alan Scharsu at the 1978 AAU Junior Nationals, and a year later got to speak with Eammon Coughlin when he was working for the Irish Tourism Board.

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        • #19
          Yikes !!! A kid I taught when he was in high school just scored a TD in the NFL... cool. Chris Gocong was a 180 foot-plus discus thrower in 11th grade, tonight he recovered Romo's fumble in the end zone for Philadelphia in Dallas.

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          • #20
            Brushes With Greatness

            In 1996, I was living in Berlin. During the week leading up to the ISTAF meet, I read in the paper that the organizers had invited all the living Olympic 100 meter champions to be honored at the meet as part of the 50th celebration of ISTAF (as they had done in '86). The article mentioned that there was going to be a party that night at a small club with the champions. My girlfriend and I went to that party - it was not easy to find - where we found Dillard, Remigino, Hines, Crawford and Wells. Morrow, Hayes, Borzov and Lewis weren't advertised but Hary was but he wasn't there. I had a chance to talk to the meet organizer (whose name escapes me at the moment) and he told me that Hary was arriving tomorrow, when and at what hotel (the meet hdq located in the former eastern sector). At the party I met all the champs and had a particularly nice chat with Wells. The next morning I got to that hotel and planted myself in the lobby where I watched everyone enter for about an hour. Suddenly Hary entered and went to the desk to sign in. No one else recognized him (the lobby being full of people connected to the meet) and I went up to him and we had a nice talk. I'm not into autographs much but I did ask for his. I had a German edition of the '60 Games and had him sign on a photo of the finish of the 100 meters.

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            • #21
              Brushes With Greatness

              Many years ago - I haven't been there in years - the Mt SAC Relays was always filled with athletes and ex-athletes milling around, in the stands, in the parking lot. I ran into Rudy Haluza one year in the parking lot and we had a nice rap and the same thing happened another year with Willie Banks. In '63, I talked with Al Oerter before he went out and competed. I said something to the effect, "You think you can set a WR today?" He replied that he'd try and a few hours later he did. I think he set another WR there either the year before or the year after. That same year I saw Dallas Long standing near the snack bar and we talked. I saw Otis Davis there, as I was getting another snack, I turned around and he was gone. My coach at Orange Coast College was Ernie Bullard who had vaulted in the 50's for USC and he'd hold very informal, indoor clinics at OCC. He invited Jack Davis and Ron Morris one year and one could talk to them as long as one liked. In 1984, I was going through some T&FN issues from '58 and was reading about Rafer Johnson's WR in Moscow. I put down the issues, got in my car, drove down the street to a hamburger stand, walked in and who was standing there with his son but Rafer Johnson. Twenty years had passed since I had first talked to him, on the field after the Compton Invite had finished. In 1999, I came across Johnson at a news stand in the SF Valley. I was in the formative stages of compiling my book on the straddle and asked him if he had remained in contact with any of his peers from the past. I asked him about Ernie Shelton and he told me Shelton was dead. I was stunned as I'd never heard that. A week later I was talking to Shelton on the phone (and didn't mention the previous conversation). At the '84 Olympics, I was working out of the media center and encountered Adehemar da Silva on an almost daily basis. One day I brought in the '56 T&FN Oly issue as he'd never seen it before, of course. He was addressed as "El Campeon". I ran into Roger Moens in the village one day. We began talking in English when, suddenly, he asked me if I knew French. I said "no" and he said, "we can't talk anymore" and walked away.

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              • #22
                I think I told this one before under another thread.

                In about 1988, I was in Houston on a business trip, and had just checked into my hotel room. About 10 minutes later I heard someone trying to enter my room... he had partially opened the door with a key, but I had the chain on. I asked, what's the deal ? He said he was registered in this room. We both quickly realized they had given him the wrong key, but he obviously was not a
                "bad guy", so I opened the door to talk to him. There he was... Peter Snell ! I brilliantly then said, " You're Peter Snell ! " He said, How did you know that ? And I replied, " How would I not know ? I'm a Track fan ! " He was quite friendly but a bit embarrassed by the whole thing, so I did not delay him as he went back down to the main desk to get the correct room key.

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                • #23
                  Brushes With Greatness

                  One year while walking towards the entrance of either the L.A. Sports Arena or the Forum, I don't remember which, I found myself walking next to John Walker and we rapped. The same thing happened one year while I approached the entrance to the L.A. Coliseum and encountered Roger Morgan, the excellent high hurdler out of Louisiana. Real nice guy. I believe he won that night at the Coliseum Relays. Later that year, while competing in Europe, he had an accident while riding a scooter in Italy and never ran again. The second day of the '64 FOT, I came across Russ Rogers, who had finished 4th the day before in the highs. I thought he'd be on a slight downer but he was anything but. The year before, at the Long Beach Relays, I found myself sitting next to Dick Ganslen, who had written several volumes of "The Mechanics Of The Pole Vault" and been an excellent vaulter himself. He was taking movies of the vault that he later used in one of his editions. Someone gave me - or sold to me cheap - some glossies of C.K. Yang vaulting that had been taken a few weeks before. Yang was vaulting that day and after he was through made his way to Ganslen. He saw the photos and wanted me to give them to him. I was torn but didn't do it. At the '64 Compton Invite, I talked to Hayes Jones after he ran his heat (they had heats in those days of major invitationals which I thought was a great idea). After the final, I talked to him again (both conversations taking place from the grandstands - one could do that at Compton) and asked him if he'd won (I couldn't tell from my position), "No", he disappointedly replied (as he'd been beaten by Blaine Lindgren. "You'll get him next time", I replied (which he did, winning the AAU in their next <I think> encounter) and beat him again at the Semi Final Olympic Trials after that (as well as in their last-ever duel, the Olympics).

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