Tuesday, October 6

Over the years various family members have had some interesting experiences with celebrities. I thought just for fun let me share them with you.

My great grandmother's family owned property in Harrison Hot Springs BC in the early 1920s and throughout the 30s. My Nana, as a child, and her siblings and cousins would play on the beach there. Just down from their place an American couple had just purchased a cabin - one Mr Clark Gable and his first wife Josephine Dillon. I have a couple sepia colored photos of them on their front porch, taken by my family while the up and coming Mister Gable vacationed away from the Hollywood excitement and lifestyle.

In the next generation, my grandfather was an Executive in the energy field. He had received his Bachelor of Commerce from UBC and landed a great position with BC Hydro following WW2. From the 40s through to the late 60s he worked his way up through the organization. I believe at the height of his career he was head of the Labour Relations for Hydro. Being that his career spanned the golden age of hydro and the nature of his position, he spent a lot of time travelling extensively- California, Arizona, Chicago. Often meeting with various union leaders and companies, discussing and reviewing ideas, living out of a briefcase and carton of cigarettes and frequenting men's Playboy clubs. Based on the size of his collection of swizzle sticks and matches he amassed I know the man was well travelled. We have reels and reels of his experiences. He filmed Hollywood and Vine as it was teeming with 1950s cars. We have some footage of a small IBM plant somewhere- lots of neat time capsuled moments caught on film, forever immortalized at that date. Mom says her dad called home one night and spoke to her from Chicago. He was in a phone booth there and said in a very low, serious voice, "Right now, I am standing five feet away from John F Kennedy and can I tell you- he looks better in person than on film." Very cool.

Flash forward to some years later and my mother had begun vacationing in the Gulf islands of BC. At a small local marina
a not so local man had docked his boat, raising some eyebrows and exciting some onlookers. People tried to look nonchalant, but John Wayne waved and bellowed a hearty hello to them all.

My personal experiences are not quite as exciting as these, although I can think of 2 interesting and noteworthy moments. When I was likely oh ten years old a local grocery store hosted the Vancouver Canucks for autographs and I received a signed Canucks puck from Tiger Williams. In the early 80s (and to a 10yr old rural kid) this was pretty cool. I see online that if I still had this puck it'd be worth a cool twenty bucks.

Later in life, and only a few years ago, I worked with a relative of a celebrity. So it came as not much surprise to us when one day Ryan Reynolds walked in to our workplace. At the time he was still dating Alanis Morissette and living around Vancouver. I don't think one person went and said hi to him, either out of fear or respect I'm not quite sure which!

Last ones I have, a friend and fellow artist from highschool landed a great gig as a bass player. You can probably figure out which one she is in this photo of her band State of Shock. I'm pretty impressed with her ability to follow her dreams and actually have that elusive career as a successful artist. It's good to know people who do that, like Brad Turner (Brad Turner Quartet from Vancouver- jazz musician) who I went to church with throughout my childhood (amazingly talented family) And of course I might know this guy here at far right in the band Idle Eyes. Course his hair is different now =)... Nice work, people- inspiring lives you lead.

One little celebrity I am doing my best to promote and support right now (as you may have seen in prior posts) is Miss Sophia. Check out her site here, and learn about her Ready For Bed Week quest. Sophia wants to raise money to buy bedkits for kids in developing countries. She's pretty inspiring too. Rock on Sophia; you've done more by age six than many do in their lifetime.

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