Meeting famous people, waiting for Robert

Published 8:53 am Monday, June 29, 2009

I dream of meeting famous people. My big dream as you all know is to meet Robert Redford. Of course if I met Robert I would probably stammer and shake and not be able to speak. I dream of meeting famous people and my children and grandchildren realize my dream. They meet the famous people. Does that seem fair?

A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from my No. 2 son. No 2 son meaning order of birth, not order of heart. He was in Atlanta for a conference. The conversation went something like this: “I just spent the last half hour talking with Mrs. C.” I was deep into taking apart a computer so my mind was a little slow. “Mrs. C. Who is Mrs. C.?” He replies “Mrs. Cunningham.” Again I was thinking computers and I replied “Who?” “Mom, Marion Ross. I spent the last half hour talking to Marion Ross.”

How could I have missed who Mrs. C. was? Soon I received a picture on my cell phone of my son and Marion Ross. Marion was beautiful and according to my son she is a wonderful warm person. She made his day.

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The next week I received another picture from number one son. Again, number one son in order of birth not in order of heart. It was a picture of Bill Murray the actor from Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day and Saturday Night Live to name of few of his famous endeavors. Along with Bill in the picture was my five year old granddaughter. She is only five years old and she has touched someone famous! According to number one son, Bill is a really nice guy.

Robert Redford where are you. I must admit earlier in my years I did have small brushes with fame. When I was five years old I shook hands with Hopalong Cassidy. If you don’t know who that is, Google him. He is of cowboy fame. You remember cowboys? In eighth grade I shook hands with Hubert Humphrey. I also met his son Skip Humphrey when he was Attorney General for the state of Minnesota. My SADD chapter won the MVP Party that he and the Vikings sponsored.

Number one son according to birth order used to also manage Borders on Block E. He met many famous people there also. So because of his job I received my next brush with fame. I have an autographed copy of Tab Hunters book, again, if you don’t know who he is, Google him. I also had a brush with Oprah. Her producers called me years ago and interviewed me for a show. It stormed and so I didn’t get picked to be on the show.

Why are we so in awe of famous people? I have been trying to figure out why I absolutely love Robert Redford. First he is cute and handsome. Second I am probably in love with the persona that he portrays in his movies. If I actually knew him would I be in awe and as impressed?

Are we impressed with their glamour or their money? The magazines airbrush and tuck and we want to look and be just like these famous people. I would suspect that they would tell us that if you take off the makeup and take away the glamour they are regular people like you and I. They just happen to work in a career that puts them in the public eye. We admire and are obsessed by what we see and who we perceive them to be.

Right now America is obsessed with Jon and Kate plus eight. In reality what has made them famous? They are famous because they had eight children and they know how to spin that. Look around you, there are many families with eight children that are raising these children in our communities. Perhaps we should admire them and be obsessed with helping these families that are just interested in getting their children through life rather than putting them in the public eye.

What has Jon and Kate’s fame brought them? Probably a lot of money and if you gage your life by money than they are successful. But it has also brought them the media watching the breakup of their family. Twenty years from now what will the children say about this media frenzy? Will they think their parents made the right decision choosing a public life and wealth over the privacy and comfort of growing up without America watching their every move?

What do the reality shows and the obsession with the famous say about us? We love being voyeurs in other people’s lives? Reality has overtaken fiction for our viewing pleasure. I think sometimes we take pleasure in watching the pain some of the people in the reality shows have in their lives. We possibly could all have reality shows. Surely some of our lives are just as interesting as those we watch on TV. Is money worth the compromise of our privacy?

Yes, Robert if you are out there, I would like to meet you. I know you would be as nice and kind as Marion Ross and Bill Murray. I will keep dreaming of meeting famous people. However I do know I have already met famous people. They just haven’t been discovered yet. They are people that raise their children with little money. They are people that go to work every day to support their family for low wages. Famous people are those that have touched lives in small ways to make lives better. Can I have your autograph too?

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at or visit her blog at