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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Celebrity Sightings

Normally, I don't make a conscious effort to see the well known, but I tend to people watch while in airports and spot one now and then. Years ago when I first started making business trips, I'd often see well known politicians on the shuttle from DC to NY. In the last few years of business travel not as many celebrity sightings for whatever reason, I now realize looking back.

The topic is on my mind because I had a couple during my recent trip. In Dulles as we were waiting to leave, I pointed out Al Gore walking through talking on a cell phone. None of us had any interest in approaching him, however.

The second was a much less famous person but a more interesting encounter. In the airport in Paris, I saw someone who I was fairly sure I recognized from TV, and when I saw he was carrying what looked like a trombone in a case I was about 99% certain. When he sat down, I walked over and asked, "Excuse me, but are you in the Saturday Night Live Orchestra?" He smiled and responded that yes, he had been in it for 25 years.

My wife who was sitting nearby was amazed that I would recognize him, but she agreed that he is somewhat distinctive looking. The three of us had a very pleasant ten minute conversation about music and the show, and I think he was pleased to be recognized. Maybe people of his level of celebrity, as opposed to the big time people like John Travolta and Oprah Winfrey, are less likely to view being approached by strangers who recognized them as an intrusion.

His name is Steve Turre, and he's cut a number of jazz albums under his name as well as appearing on recordings by big names like Ray Charles and Dizzy Gillespie. This morning I bought his latest album.

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