Thursday, August 12, 2010

Brush With Fame

My kids love when I tell the story about my brush with fame. They've built it up over the years -- "Didn't you go to prom with Woody Harrelson?"
"No," I'll explain again.
So here's the real story, saved for posterity.
I grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, a small town between Dayton and Cincinnati. And, in spite of the history that Woody grew up in Texas, he went to my high school. He was into theater, but the only show I remember him performing in was Li'l Abner.
Woody is older, my brother's age, and we spoke, but I wouldn't say we were friends.
Now switch focus to a couple at school. Paul and Alice were the kind of couple who dated forever. As a matter of fact, I heard they got married right after high school. Paul was always a guy who flirted with me when Alice wasn't around. One week during my sophomore year, Paul and Alice broke up. The tears from the break up weren't dry when Paul invited me to a party that weekend and I said yes.
He picked me up, I can't remember the kind of car he drove or what I wore, but we went to the party somewhere out in the country.
Everyone was at the party, including Alice.
You can imagine what happened. Paul and Alice got back together at the party, so there I was dumped and rideless. That's where Woody Harrelson stepped in to save me. He offered me a ride home.
I'm not sure why I didn't ask my brother for a ride since he was at the party.
So, I was feeling humiliated about being dumped by my date, and Woody was jovial as he drove me home. We parked in front of my house and talked for awhile.
I don't remember if he was particularly religious, but I do remember his confession that he felt bad, guilty, that he had kissed so many girls in his life. He said he had kissed 71 girls.
I can't remember how I reacted. I was probably awestruck because there weren't that many girls in our small town.
Before I got out of the car, he asked if he could kiss me goodnight.
That's when I laughed and asked if he wanted me to be number 72 on the list of girls he had kissed? He did. So he kissed me goodnight and he gave me his senior picture after he had signed the back: "To number 72."
I wish I knew what I had done with that picture so I could tell you what the rest said. I could even scan it and put it on this blog post, but I don't know where it is.
So here's a picture from his younger days, closer to the Woody that I kissed in his car in front of my house on Ridge Road. The picture is from

As a reporter, I've interviewed Catherine DeNeuve and Al Gore. I even walked behind Ted Kennedy, but I've only been kissed by one person who became a star.
How about you? Do you have a story about a brush with fame?


Lucia said...

I'm sitting in my cubicle reading this and I laughed out loud at what he wrote on the back of his photo. He was in "star" training back then. He's a bit wacky and I think I will always love him as Woody in Cheers!

Linda said...

Was he as crazy back then as he is now? I didn't know anyone now famous in high school. I had my picture taken with Ted Kennedy though. I'm always seeing famous people-Jane Fonda, Paul McCartney-I don't know why. That party you went to reminds me of that old song, "It's My Party".

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Paulita .. might not of felt like it at the time, but I think you were lucky to be dumped by that Paul... Shame you couldn't find your photo though... A lovely story for you to tell ♥

Gina Johnson said...

Hilarious! Number 72!

Food Junkie said...

Hey not quite sure how I landed on your blog.......been blog hopping today......I'm still a little new around here...I'm from India.......I had the chance to interview Mr. Amitabh Bachchan when I was in school. He is India's biggest superstar.......I was a kid back then.........sadly he was not as good a conversationalist as he wad an your blog........and lucky you to have met Woody before he began to bald..........

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