Dec 21, 2015

Brush With Greatness

This witty and urbane discussion is from our political discussion Yahoo page for 60 something MPHS Alums. We would love to have you join us.

The closest I have been to a current or former President or Vice President was the great President of Vice Spiro Agnew. Beth and I were in a hotel in Hong Kong walking down a narrow and low corridor. There was Spiro.

We smiled and nodded. This was a few years after he left office in disgrace.

My brush with greatness.

Craig Hullinger 


A few years back I​ peed in the urinal Bill Gates had just left at the Vintage Club in Palm Desert​. Unlike Craig though, I did not brush his greatness. After seeing Gate's handicap listed at the first hole, I realized he isn't all *that* great, anyway.

Will Hepburn MPHS 66


I've got nothing to match Will's urinal story. That one should go down in the historical archive of this Forum for uniqueness.

Don Martensen MPHS 66


I guess that beats a Dinner Party with the Governor of Guam...

Ken Zalga MPHS Alum


Mmmm, I like yours, a real deal.

Ron Veenstra MPHS Alum 66

Nah, having dinner with the governor of Guam is really impressive, since you were presumably invited to be there. If you crashed the governor's dinner party, that would be super impressive.

Don Martensen MPH Jan 66


No, I didn't crash the Dinner Party... In fact our Company hosted the party and I had to be there... So I met the Governor of Guam.... Big Whip... My only claim to fame.... and we might have shared the same urinal



Will, your great urinal escapade beats my interaction with Spiro. 

I acknowledge your greatness.

Craig Hullinger


I lived in Aspen after college for several years. John Denver lived there, and I used to see him about. Rode a small airplane from Denver to Aspen with him once, and we spoke again when he came in a store I worked in then. Very pleasant, as was his image.

Condelesa Rice gave the college commencement address at one of my children's graduations. We met her. Very calm, down to earth, and modest. Looked directly at who she spoke to - with her full attention. Liked her a lot.

And one of my daughters, who lives in AK, ran into one of those gnarly dudes in town from the TV program. She said he was just pleasant and normal (well, as normal as he gets).

MC Hunt


Case Closed...

MC has had a few good experiences... Condi Rice, who I would like to meet, John Denver not so much and don't know the gnarly dudes..

So I met the Governor of Guam... Don't think I ever shook his hand... I remember he came late and left early with an entourage.. Same thing with Harold Washington and Jayne Byrne.. But, I do have picture of Mike Ditka with his arms around both my wife and my secretary at the time... He was the guest speaker at the World Trade Association of Chicago...

Ken Zalga

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I have had a few brushes with greatness. One was when I worked for the Cook County Treasurer in the county bldg in Chicago. I was on the 5th floor with a group of people including Dick Ogilvie waiting for our elevator when across the building Mayor Daley and his entourage approached their elevator. I envisioned barbed wire and fox holes between the two. They were not friendly with each other at the time.

I also was at Republican dinner at the Martinique in Evergreen Park as an aide for State Representative Mary Meany. I had a sash on that said "MEANY" across it and was standing to the side waiting to escort her to the dinner. She was talking to the owner and to King Donavan and Imogene Coca who were starring in a play at the time. In walked George Hamilton, who was young and gorgeous at the time (and dating Lynda Byrd Johnson) to talk to the owner about his appearance the next week in Barefoot in the Park. He took one look at my sash and asked my if I were really a Meany. I wanted to say "why don't you find out for yourself?" but being that Mrs Meany could hear me, I just explained why I was wearing the sash. Darn!!!

Also met Sammy Davis Jr at the Croydon Hotel on Rush St in Chicago. It was after 12 am and he had been playing in Golden Boy at one of the theaters and stopped by to have a drink with some of his friends. I was sitting at the piano bar singing a song (don't remember what it was) when he walked in and suddenly nothing would come out of my mouth. He came over and told me to continue and was just like the guy you saw on TV (cucukachoo and all). Then he sang Birth of the Blues with me. I will never forget that night to my dying day. What a wonderful man.......very short. but wonderful.

Gaye Marcus in PA


​What great stories, Gaye. Pary on, girl!

Your mention of George Hamilton reminded me that I was never aware of anything he did, other than hang with the Johnson girl. Maybe he was the original Kardashian.​

Will Hepburn MPHS 66


Ok, at about the age of twelve, a friend and I were walking along the beach near Indiana Dunes State Park. We were skipping stones when Mayor Richard Daley barked at us for throwing stones because we could hurt somebody. He was surrounded by body guards and his huge bare belly burned an image in my brain that remains to this day.

Tony Visser... Sutherland 1/63


Great memories. I, too, have had a few moments. While a rodeo cowboy, I regularly met James Caan, Willy Nelson, and a few pro football players who used to calf rope. Met Bill Clinton once at a press tour and town hall meeting with the Cook County Board. Met Paul Newman often while placing admin assistants at his racing team, Newman Hass Racing, and always a nice guy. Attended Ramsey Lewis' parties with an old girl friend who lived a block from him. Used to see Christie Hefner at Karen's office all the time.

The secret to meeting famous people is to treat them like you would everyone else.

Tom Schildhouse


In other words don't brush their greatness.

That is impressive, sharing urinals with the Governor of Guam and Bill Gates.

I thought i had shot my wad with the great brush with greatness with Spiro.

But now that I think about it I saw the great Vice President Dan Quale at one of the inaugural balls in DC.

Try to top that one!!

But I did not get to brush his greatness package in the urinal.



I once played Mr POTATO Head, is that about the same?

Ron Veenstra


You, win, Ron!



LOL, thanks...

Ron Veenstra

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