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  Wednesday January 28th, 2015    

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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Tell us about your brush with the famous (01/17/2007)
By Frances Edstrom

In a local restaurant, we ran into jazz musician and St. Mary's prof John Paulson and his wife, Darlene. John had just come back from a conference in New York City, where an associate took him to hear great jazz in some private clubs. He told us about the music, and the clubs, which were up in Harlem.

That led to a discussion about various musicians we had seen during our lives. John Edstrom saw James Brown at the Apollo Theater in N.Y., and Charlie Mingus in a club near Soho. I told about seeing Bob Dylan play a Cambridge, Mass., coffeehouse when no one knew his name, and of the incredible experience of sitting on folding chairs on stage at a Dave Brubeck concert.

Then the discussion got away from musical experiences and into brushes with celebrities in general. Darlene Paulson sold a mother-of-the-groom dress to Dale Evans at a California J.C. Penney store. John Paulson sold 29 albums to Goldie Hawn at a Tower Records store, also in sunny California.

We were then called to our separate tables, but later on that night I couldn't help but think about the fact that all of us at one time or another have run into famous people, and those stories become part of our own histories.

I once interviewed Ricky Nelson when he played in the old Mississippi Queen in downtown Winona. I saw Al Capp, the creator of the Lil Abner comic strip, as we both rushed through an airport. He might have wondered who the kid was who yelled, "Hi, Al!" My brother got to know Cab Calloway and John Raitt, Bonnie's father, one summer when he worked at a professional summer theater. My sister's story is that a classmate of hers was a scriptwriter for the soap opera "All My Children."

I bet a lot of us have met various politicians who have gone on to become household names, and then there are those neighbors of ours who have famous children or siblings. My neighbor Jenel Briggs' brother writes the "Friday Night Lights" TV program.

So what's your story? What famous performer did you see? Who are your famous relatives? Let us know.

Now, no fair stretching. I am probably, my Irish friends tell me, related very distantly to Bill Clinton on our Cassidy sides, but that's a pretty remote connection, although closer than claiming Adam as an ancestor.

But I'm interested in your stories, so send them to Winona Post, Box 27, Winona, MN 55987 or e-mail to winpost@winonapost.com and label your story "Brushes With the Famous." We'll print your stories in upcoming issues. 


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