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The Very Model of Fame

Celebrity SpotlightThis week’s Spin Cycle is all about celebrities.

I’ve already written about my mother’s appearance on the David Letterman show, so I won’t bore my long-time readers with reposting any of it – however, if you’re a new reader, you can read the story of how Mom got on the Letterman show and watch the video if you want.  Both are pretty entertaining.

I have a couple more celebrity tales – one amusing and one personal; I’ll give you the amusing one first.  I’m saving up the personal one for when I’m in the right frame of mind.

Anyhoo, my maternal grandparents owned a small market research business when I was growing up.  You know, back in the days before the internet they were the people that had people call your house during dinner to get an opinion about a politician or television show, or sent someone to your house on a Saturday afternoon with a free bar of soap only to return a week later with a 47-page questionnaire on how you liked it, or were in charge of the people who tried to grab you either entering or leaving the mall so they could “ask you a few questions.”  Companies would sometimes have her pay people money to do things like watch an episode of whatever show was popular at the time so they could ask them questions about the commercials that were shown.  It was a pretty successful business with my grandmother handling the clients and coordinating her staff while my grandfather, who was agoraphobic, stayed at home and took care of the money side of it all.

The most interesting, to me anyway, of the “get paid to do this” jobs was the attendance of the sneak-preview of a movie that was about to be released.  I never actually got paid for those – my grandmother claimed it was unethical because I was related to her – but she roped me into this one by telling me I would get to see someone famous in person.  At 17 or so, I wasn’t going to pass that up, even though my grandmother refused to tell me who the someone famous was.  The film itself was boring – it was all about very young women trying to break into professional modeling and what a hard life it was.  Being a short, chubby teenager, I didn’t have a lot sympathy for staggeringly beautiful, rack-thin girls that got to jet around the world and wear designer clothes for a living.

However, as everyone was filing into the theatre, I took my seat before I realized I was about six rows behind the famous person my grandmother had hinted about – that very famous person was, at the time, dating a supermodel who happened to be a producer and consultant of the film and both were already sitting in a roped-off section near the front of the theatre with a few other people and flanked by security guards.  I grabbed my grandmother’s arm and squealed, “There he is!  LOOK – THERE HE IS!!”

My grandmother leaned forward and peered into the gloom.  “Who?  That man with the leopard skin pants who needs to comb his hair?”

“Yes!  Yes!” I gushed.

“Don’t be silly – that’s not Rod Steiger.”

I just stared at her for a moment before I said:

“Nona, that’s Rod Stewart.”


Beth says:

Ha! I would have been excited to see Rod Stewart, too! This reminds me of the ‘Never mind’ grandmother from Saturday Night Live episodes when I was a kid.

Beths last blog post..Waiting for the other shoe to fall

stoneskin says:


47-page questionnaires are from the devil himself.

Di says:

Loved Loved Loved Rod Stewart…. he of course has gotten older like the rest of us, but I loved him in his crazy looking clothes and that wild hair.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Dis last blog post..Brighten Up Your Day

I keep hearing Rod Stewart’s remakes of the 50’s on our oldie’s station and it reminds me of the days back at Jaws where his old song “Wake Up Maggie” would loop over and over. Great Spin! You’re linked!

Sprite’s Keepers last blog post..Since when did the Easter Bunny take to shopping at Toys R Us?

Lori says:

OMG that is so funny! God I love your stories!

Loris last blog post..Addiction

MamaBadger says:

Gotta love Rod. I spent a summer with some French interns who thought he was GOD (makes you wonder if he’s like David Hasselhoff in Germany?)

I could completely see my Nona saying the same thing.

MamaBadgers last blog post..Spinning head…

Michele says:

Those Nona’s they are just darlings.

That is very funny . . . though Rod Steiger would have been good too.

Elaine at Lipstickdas last blog post..Another Recession Proof Meal

Pseudo says:

Ah, Rod baby. Leopard skin pants too? What a bonus.

Loved teh video of your mom.

Pseudos last blog post..Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Tricia says:

What a great story, all of it. I love to hear about people’s grandparents and memories from childhood.

Tricias last blog post..Wondering on Wednesday: What Questions Would You Ask?

Monica says:

How cool is that!!! Did you get to speak with him?

Monicas last blog post..What More Can A Citizen Do?

I was always a huge Rod Stewart fan. Not the Do you think I’m sexy Rod but all the rest.

When he was married to Rachel Turner they had a home on Palm Beach. A co-worker was talking to a woman she met in the ladies room of a restaurant on PB. The woman remarked how great my co-worker’s arms looked. CW told gave her the name of her personal trainer and said he could do wonders with her problem areas. (pointing to her arms) Later in the restaurant, she saw the same woman sitting with Rod Stewart and realized she had just told a supermodel that she had flabby arms.

Smart Mouth Broads last blog post..PEACE AND QUIET

Sammanthia says:

I get the two confused *all the time*.

Sammanthias last blog post..Spin Cycle: I’m Not A Stalker. I’m *Devoted*.

auntie says:

oooooh hi Jan,
I finally made it to your blog!
It is way too cute!
See you later in Twitter!

aunties last blog post..Avert Your Gaze!

Camille says:

That’s too funny. My mom used to sign me up for surveys like that all the time, and then she’d steal my profits. (Not really. She’d take us to Disneyland and we could buy our own trinkets there. She just wanted us to learn the value of a dollar.) Thanks for the spin!

Camilles last blog post..A New Lease

Maureen says:

This is a cool post. I’m usually pretty picky about whose blogs I read from the spin cycle, but I like your stories and your layout is really pretty!

Maureens last blog post..Just Thursday

Joanie says:

OK, just the THOUGHT of Rod Steiger in leopard pants has me peeing myself laughing! I think RodStewart still dresses like that! Great spin!

Joanies last blog post..Spin Cycle:Celebrity: Namedropping, big time!

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