By Wayne Harada
Surely you’ve seen media coverage about first lady Michelle Obama, in casual gear and behind dark glasses, shopping quite anonymously at the Target store in Alexandria, VA.
Amazingly, the reports indicated that other shoppers didn’t recognize her; they must be blind or simply disinterested. It was a checkout clerk that placed Mrs. Obama's face and her White House identity.
It’s fun when you encounter a Somebody on an outing, whether you’re at home or on a vacation.
It was always a trip for me, when I used to spot the late Jack Lord at the height of his reign as Steve McGarrett on CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” shopping at the old Star Market (now Whole Foods) at Kahala Mall. He’d pick up an apple, give it such scrutiny as if it was a crime-scene item, yet he’d smile and be engaging if someone noticed him. (I suspect he was fishing for attention, but so what?)
On my last summer trip to New York, it was kinda a kick to recognize Alton Brown, the Food Network celeb, trekking down the stairway en route to catch a subway. On another Broadway visit earlier, I noticed Dianne Wiest with dark glasses and a light wrap-around, sitting in a train, en route to shopping or work (she was playing the district attorney on “Law and Order”).
At a performance of “Spamalot” a few years ago, Liza Minnelli was in a row behind me; at “How to Succeed in Business Without Trying” this past June, I ran into magician David Copperfield, a friend from his Pagoda Hotel show days, outside the theater and talked story afterward.
It’s all a matter of being at the right place at the right time.
When you’re a celeb, you’re entitled to do what we all do: day; about your daily life without being bothered.
I recall, years ago, when Michael Jackson left the Kahala Hilton to go on a quick shopping trip at Kahala Mall, an excited observer called me at the office to inquire if he was visiting. Surely, MJ must’ve been noticed, but there was no discomfort or intrusion of his private time.
Have you encountered a chance meeting, or sighting, of a celebrity? Who? Where? Anything interesting happened?
Share your recollection here...