Jesse Hayworth
Jesse Hayworth


Jesse Hayworth

I think we’ve all had a moment or three where we’ve brushed up against a Famous (or Semi-Famous) Person of importance to us.

When I worked at a local feed store, I once waited on a profoundly stark-looking man with long dark hair and these crazy silver rings that looked oddly familiar. It took teenage me a few tries to place Joe Perry from Aerosmith … and I only stuttered a little when I took his grain order. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Same goes for the other members of the band, who all came in at one time or another.

I will also confess to totally and abjectly fangirling (I’m not even going to tell you what autocorrect wanted to make that into!) Connie Brockway at an RWA convention not that long ago. Because, Connie Brockway. If you haven’t read My Dearest Enemy, you must do so immediately.

I stared at the back of John Cleese’s head at a horse show at Madison Square Garden once, and I’m sure I’ve had a few other brushes that are currently eluding me. Which brings me to my husband.

Now, Arizona does pricing for a high-profile company that makes art-piece-level woodwork for the likes of Oprah and Sting, and he’s not generally struck with any particular “Ooh, aah” in that milieu. So it was highly entertaining when, as we were heading up the mountain at a bike park near us this past weekend, a random dude asks if he can jump on our lift chair with us, and strikes up a conversation about Arizona’s beloved, carefully built and much prized mountain bike: a Canfield Jedi. And then, about halfway up the mountain (after they’ve talked about turning radii and compression damping enough to make my eyes cross), introduces himself as Lance Canfield … aka the guy who engineered Arizona’s bike, and a top-notch rider in his own right.

I may never again see my stoic, manly man of a husband close to tongue-tied, so you can bet I enjoyed the moment. And to give him credit, he was totally cool and genuine about being a fan, and then got back to the technical questions. Because, Arizona.

How about you, JauntyFriends? What is your favorite brush-with-fame story? Was it an author? An actor? Something else entirely? I’m curious as to what hits each of our “squee!” buttons.

19 thoughts on “In Which Arizona Fangirls (Fanboys?)

  1. Dawn A says:

    Unfortunately, I’ve never had one, although, I did touch Lenny Kravitz’s dreads at a concert.

    1. Ooh! Touching totally ups the game, even if it was somewhere you’d expect said Famous Person to be. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ann M. says:

    The first time I went to a Suz Brockmann signing. I am not even sure what I mumbled. Proudly say Suz remembers me and know I am Ann without an E.

    Had some squee moments at Sci Fi conventions and author signing.

    1. Well, of course. Because, Suz Brockmann! (Who is one of the loveliest and most genuine authors I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.)

  3. Lisa Hutson says:

    I got nothin’. But love your husband story. What a great meet for him. I always imagine I would fall apart in such a moment. Ha ha

    1. I kind of wish I’d had my camera going … 😉

  4. What a thrill for Arizona! And that was probably a really nice interaction for Lance Canfield too.

    I’ve fangirled incoherently over some authors at RWA conferences. This past one, I met Susan Elizabeth Phillips in an elevator when she was just trying to bring some takeout back to her hotel room, and I said some combination of ohmygosh it’s really you/I love your books/I can’t wait for First Star, etc. It was probably all dreadful but she was very nice about it. And her food smelled great.

  5. Men are such dorks. McIrish would fan-boy at meeting the guy who designed NYC’s septic system, I think. But when he helped Jennifer Lopez get the wheel of her baby stroller unstuck, he didn’t even recognize her.

  6. Julie Chittenden says:

    The first time I fangirled, it was over the astronaut Rick Hauck. I was staying at a hotel for a band competition in DC. (Yes, I said band competition. Don’t judge. 🙂 the naval aviators ball was in the same hotel. Yeah. I totally fangirled. *headdesk*

    Although, I did sit in front of James Cameron who had come to LPSC to hear a talk about the Mars rovers. I didn’t get to talk to him though because the person behind him wouldn’t shut up. 🙂

  7. Annette Naish says:

    My Dearest Enemy is one of the greatest, you are absolutely right.

    I was in a 7-11 in Dallas when I was a teenager. Three people in line a woman, a man and me. When the man in front of me put some articles on the counter, I was amazed at his forearms….huge. Then I looked slowly up the arms to the shoulder, big, the neck, big and the face. Really beautiful if you are a sports fan. It was Mickey Mantle. That was a terrific moment for me. I am a sports fan and this was one of the most talented baseball players ever. I should have heard music in the background “Take My Breath Away”. But, alas, all I heard was me hyperventilating.

  8. Well, there was this one time where I met Joe Manganiello and he did put his arm around me ( 🙂 group pic), but I, unlike some in the group behaved myself. I’ve totally fangirled at RWA (you, Nora, Higgins, SEP…). Not too many in the world of “stars”, that’s the hubby’s area (he grew up in the Bronx with J Lo, his music teacher was Steven Tyler’s dad and his cousin worked in a recording studio). I can’t say I’ve ever seen him “fanboy” though. I can’t even imagine Arizona getting tongue-tied.

  9. How cool for Arizona! When I worked on the set of the New Mickey Mouse Club TV show, I met George Burns, Bob Hope, Annette Funicello and the guys from Milli Vanilli. A few years later, I met Tim McGraw and Sting, who were such gentlemen I will be a forever fan. However, in general, I don’t want to meet my celebrity crushes because they’re human and I don’t want to see their clay feet. What if they’re having a bad day? What if they’re nothing like my fantasy? One of my longtime crushes is Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20). Being the great friend she is and knowing how I crush on him, Kathy Garbera (when she lived in town) called me to let me know she’d had a Rob Thomas sighting at one of the Orlando malls. I was in the middle of cleaning house. I dropped everything and fell all over myself trying to get presentable before I rushed to the mall (which was a good half-hour away). During my beautification frenzy, I started thinking of the logistics. He was at the mall (with his wife) shopping. What would I do if I saw him? What would I say — or should I say anything? I had this frightening image of myself laughing like Bevis or Butt Head (whichever has the sinister cackle) saying, “Heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh, I lurve you.” Uh, no. No. No. No. The thought made me feek like a dog chasing a car and catching it. So, I called Kathy back and thanked her for thinking of me, but said I’d keep my Rob fantasy intact and stay home.

  10. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    Years ago I met Cleveland Amory at a booksigning. He was signing The Cat and The Curmudgeon. I had admired him and his work for animals for years, and it was so awe-inspiring to meet him. I think all I said was “thanks” when he signed my book.

  11. Julie-ann Ford says:

    I was a teenager working in an office as a temp to earn credits for college. The boss and secretary were both out to lunch and I had to answer the phones. A call came in and the gentleman asked for Jim (my boss) and I said he is out can I take a message. The caller said to tell him Greg called and I asked for a last name since Greg is so common. He said Peck and I sort of snorted. He said “Really, I am Gregory Peck” and I said ok. I gave the boss his messages and he didn’t bat an eye. The next day I was off and I got a call from my boss saying he was taking me out to lunch. A limo pulled up in front of my house and you guessed it, Gregory Peck got out. I stuttered all through lunch but he was very kind. This was before cell phones, so I didn’t get a picture with him but he did give me an autographed photo.

  12. girlfromwva says:

    i fan-girled when i was able to meet authors Jane Porter & Tonya Kappes in Frankfort, KY almost 10 years ago. this year i met the author Eric Jerome Dickey and was SO smiley! lol

  13. Eileen A-W says:

    When I was a young teen my brother & I followed Leonard Nimroy around the O’Hare airport because we could. We were both too scared to talk to him. I did get to meet Janet Evanovich at a book signing and talked to her. I even have a picture of proof. Only it was more fun talking to her husband as we stood in line. I’m hoping to meet Kristan Higgins this spring at Barbara Vey’s luncheon thing. I’m not at her table but I’ve heard there are is plenty of free time to mingle & meet. BTW, Connie Brockway lives somewhere near me in the Twin Cities area, but I’ve never seen here or met her.

  14. Glenda says:

    It’s funny you mentioned Aerosmith. Joey Kramer, the drummer from Aerosmith, lives in my area. He and his wife shop for dog supplies where I work. We all (eventually – after one girl Google-stalked him) recognized him but never said anything – you know, we wanted to respect his privacy. One day a man was in the store and he went total fangirl crazy over Mr Kramer. I apologized after he left for the other customer – he said it was both a good and a bad thing. After all if it weren’t for fans, the band wouldn’t have been so big. His wife is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met by the way.

  15. Ann says:

    Love the Arizona story! My only story is that when I worked at a school in the Hamptons, Christy Brinkley signed up for one of my evening tech classes, but sadly cancelled at the last minute. Although we did have her and Billy Joel’s daughter at the school.

  16. Kate Sparks says:

    I only know a number of collegiate and professional coaches from when I worked at a Division 1A college football team.

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