General Hershey Bar

April 17, 2008

General Hershey Bar was a Hollywood local, he frequented the 180 and 181 RTD bus lines in the Los Angeles area during the time I was in Hollywood from 1976 to 1983.  The General greeted everyone he saw with a hearty, “Good Morning, General!”  Having searched the Internet for quite a while for as much info as I could find, this is the only known color photograph of the good General.

An Anti-Vietnam War Protester who was often seen with his partner in the Selective Service System, General Wastemoreland, General Hershey Bar was seen frequently at anti war rallies all along the West Coast from San Diego to San Francisco and Haight Ashbury.   The limited info on him says that his “real” name is “Calypso Joe” and General Wastemoreland was identified as Tom Dunphy.

I can’t count the number of times I spoke with General Hershey Bar, or just how long our conversations were.  But I can tell you, it was always enlightening and (if you don’t mind me saying so) GENERALLY speaking, lots of fun! It was during one of those conversations that I told him the story of how my mom was depressed hearing the news that her Uncle was passing away and she would now be the older generation in the family.  The idea for the collection of celebrity pictures came to me as a means of cheering her up.  The General was happy to participate.

Gail Fisher

April 15, 2008

Always a fan of detective shows, I noticed Gail Fisher, the secretary from Mannix without any trouble at all.  She was a very pleasant woman.  But here, I’m really not sure who, in the long run, was the bigger celebrity.  You see, the skycap that standing to Gail’s left is Owen Ellis.  Whenever there was anyone special or important around, so was Owen.  Even more so, many frequent fliers, famous or not always asked about him or talked with him.  No disrespect to Gail Fisher, who was really thrilled to have her picture taken, she was the one who insisted that it be taken with her favorite skycap, Owen.  In the long run, how you treat the people that you come across in life is what makes everyone’s life more special.  It’s what customer service is all about.  People remember that.  A lesson I’ve kept with me.

Frankie Avalon

April 15, 2008

Talk about “just not getting it”!  When I met Frankie Avalon on his way to his United Airline flight one night my idea for the picture was to catch him as he walked by.   Instead, as he got closer, he just struck a pose, looking like he was in motion.  For the camera I had, it was just far enough away to make for a really grainy picture.  That being said, otherwise, it was great to speak with this hearthrob to many American teenaged girls, and Annette Funicello’s favorite guy.  What was really cool was even though he was rushed for his flight, he took a couple of minutes to pose for the picture, and speak with me and a few of the other people before heading off for his flight.  A class act.

Mr. T.

April 5, 2008

The tale of how I met Mr. T. is one of my most favorite to tell.  You see, before his flight came into United at LAX, Mr. T.’s limo driver pulled up in front of the terminal, parking in between the ticketing and baggage area (very smart position to cover all his bases, but dumb because he should have parked in the parking lot across the street.

The limo stuck out like a sore thumb…because it was solid gold in color!  I saw the driver as he came into the building from the car and asked him to move it, but he breezed right by me saying he was there to get Mr. T. and the flight’s already late, he knows “T’s gonna be upset”.  The driver was tall and pretty strong in his own right, almost as menacing as you would think Mr. T. would be.

The passengers from the flight were already coming down the long corridor from the 70’s gates area, and the driver stood right next to me without his sign up.  I mean, after all, T was one of the most recognizable people in the world, and this was his private driver, so T knew who to look for.  As the passengers started dwindling down, the driver got concerned that he may have missed Mr. T., upsetting him even more.  He said, I’m going to go back to the car, and he went off toward ticketing to the closest exit.  A few seconds later, Mr. T. comes down the corridor from the gates, visibly upset, with his carry-on luggage with him.  In a most angry tone, he said to no one in particular, “Where the hell is my driver!  He shoulda been here!”  I told Mr. T. that his driver just left to check the limo, the driver thinking that he missed him.  Without waiting for me to finish and tell him which way to go find him, Mr. T. went to his left, bumping me with his bag, heading for the same ticketing exit that the driver took not a minute earlier.

What happened next was right out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.  There I was, standing at the junction of three corridors, one leading to the gates in front of me, the one to my left leading to baggage, the one to my right very close to ticketing.  A couple of seconds later, the driver comes from baggage in a frenzy asking if I’d seen Mr. T., I told him he just went to the car, and off he went.  Then a few seconds later, Mr. T. comes from baggage, even more upset, asking if I saw the driver.  I said, “He just passed, looking for you at the lim..”, and before I could finish, Mr. T. goes towards ticketing.

And so it went for three or four times past me, one chasing the other in a cat and mouse game.  Eventually, I caught Mr. T. and stood right in front of him, and before he could knock me over (or out!) I said, “I know you may want to run right over me or knock me out for this, but DON’T MOVE”.  He looked at me real funny and real angry, as if saying to himself, “You gotta be some kinda fool, boy!”.  I continued, “You and your limo driver have been running past me for several minutes now, and I promise you, if you just stay right here, he’ll come by in a second.”  He looked at me real hard and said, “You better be right.”  I said, if I am, I’d like you to pose for a picture, so I can tell my mom I met you.”  He told me it was a deal.  And about 45 seconds later, his driver shows up.  T was so thrilled, he said, “You did real good, kid.  From now on you can call me Larry, like my friends do.”  (Mr. T.’s real name is Lawrence ‘Larry’ Tureaud .)  That’s how I got the picture. 

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

April 5, 2008

It was right around Halloween when a young woman came to United Airline’s LAX terminal to meet her party dressed as E.T.  Obviously not the real one, as I saw E.T. walking toward me, I just had to get my picture with “him”.  Just as the picture was being taken, I went to put my arm around E.T., and SHE said through her mask, “Give us a big kiss for the camera!”.  I guess I’ll never know who SHE was, but as celebrity kisses go, this one was “out of this world”!!

Earl Holliman

April 5, 2008

On an flight back to Los Angeles International Airport from Hawaii, I met Earl Holliman from Police Woman fame on his way through some of the outside construction then going on at LAX’s United Airlines terminal.    While the picture itself is a little washed out, you can still see the same look of relaxation and happiness that I found on just about everyone’s face when they return from our 50th state.  Earl was very friendly, and very open about just how wonderful his trip to Hawaii was.  He clearly had a great time!