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Brushes with fame…

Shakes Sis has a question of the day going on at her pad that I’m ripping off because it’s interesting. Have you had any brushes with fame? Had a chance meeting with a celebrity or landed on TV?

I had to think for a while, racking my brain for some instances to add. Here’s what I came up with…

* Lame one: I was in the audience of the Phil Donahue show way back in the day (late 80s) and he actually dashed up the aisle to give me the mic to ask a question of the guest (which was designer Bob Mackie, of all people; Liz Taylor was a guest as well).

* Bill Russell (the basketball player) actually came to my house when I was little. I cannot recall why he was there, but I didn’t know who he was at the time.

* I shook hands with Al Gore and talked to him for about a minute when he came down to my office after a stop on his book tour for “Earth in the Balance.” Nice guy, clammy hands.

* VP Hubert Humphrey, came to Durham in 1966 to dedicate the opening of the NC Mutual building. He held up three-year-old little Pam after he gave his dedication speech. The photo made the paper. I sadly, don’t have a copy of that one.

Boy did I forget a big one — Frank McCourt, of Angela’s Ashes fame. He was my English teacher at Stuyvesant High School in NYC.

From my 10th HS reunion in 1991 (before Angela’s Ashes), and his pic from my yearbook.

I met up with him again, after he was a big celeb: he was in Durham, NC in January 2000 to promote ‘Tis. I was asked by a local bookstore to introduce him before a crowd of 2500 people that turned up to hear Frank speak at a fundraiser for one of our magnet high schools.

It was great to see him; I went backstage before he went on, and of course he didn’t recognize me from the last reunion, but I brought my trusty ’81 Indicator yearbook (he recognized me in that context), and my copies of Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis for him to sign. He was mobbed like a true celebrity after the event. More HS pics are here.

He’s got another book coming out in November, Teacher Man: A Memoir, that covers his years as a teacher.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding