Thursday, October 18, 2007

Valley Girl Astronomy Lesson

This post was inspired by Hollywood Flakes, who spotted a B-list celeb in her Costco snack bar today. She got me thinking...

I'm a Valley Girl. (That's why I talk this way. Like, you know, like I'm an idiot.) I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, which is not far from Hollywood, geographically, but no celebrity with any pride has been seen there since Lucy and Desi bought their Chatsworth ranch in the 50s. Still, I've seen a few stars here and there, mostly when I was allowed out of the Valley. Which wasn't often. Even when I got my driver's license, I wasn't allowed on freeways (good call, Mom and Dad). Even then, I wasn't very observant. I think in every case listed below, the famous person had to be pointed out to me, usually with a lot of embarrassing "Look, Kelly! Over there!" I have missed many ogling opportunities, I'm sure.

July, 1984: My first celebrity sighting was at the 1984 Olympics. I was 9. I was at the Women's Gymnastics Team Finals. We were so close to the front, little drops of Mary Lou Retton's sweat landed on me as she vaulted her way to a perfect 10 and a gold medal. Jimmy Connors sat behind me. I got his autograph for the twittering, giggling ladies next to me that were too embarrassed to ask. I wasn't embarrassed, since I had no idea who Jimmy Connors was (and still don't).

1992:Gladys Knight almost bought our house in Granada Hills. I never actually met her, but I thought it was fairly exciting. I could picture her moving in a couple of Pips to help pay the bills, and hanging her fancy, sequined clothes in my closet.

July, 1994: I already told you about how we stalked Princess Diana in Kensington, but did you know that one day we saw Diana in the morning, and Charles later that night at a movie premier in Leicester Square?

August, 1994: See if you can figure this one out yourselves:
(Hi Shawna and Isaac!) That's me on the left. I remember Isaac had to pick one of his tall friends to be a groomsman so I wouldn't wouldn't ruin all the pictures looking like an Amazon.

1995: When Melanie was a reporter for KBYU, she was assigned to interview Peter Brienholt before one of his concerts. I went along, pretending to be her photographer. Peter was so nice, but alas, already married.

1995: In a bagel shop in Provo, a fairly handsome man started chatting me up. He looked familiar. I thought he was being a little forward, and I thought he was too old for me. He asked me if I had plans for the weekend. I mumbled something and left. He soon followed me out, waved at me, and got into his super-fancy Lexus and sped off. A walking by asked, "Was that Steve Young?"

Oh. Yes it was. Darnit.

1996: Jake and I with Matthew Sweet:

1997: Jake and I go to visit Melanie Smith, the most famous anchorwoman in Southern Idaho. She's so famous, people in the temple whisper, "Hey, that's our newslady!"

1998: Made small talk with the Gin Blossoms at a concert (during the time they were split up and called the Gas Giants).

October, 2007: Saw my cousin-in-law Hailey Smith. She sings like an angel and is in an improv troupe in Provo. She also raises 4 kids, so I think that makes her a triple threat. I spotted her at Disneyland last week in front of Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters. I was so star-struck, I gave her all my space mountain fast passes.

Also spotted, at various times: Sinbad, shopping on Melrose. Blond from Law and Order, in Long Beach Airport. Jamie Lee Curtis at JFK. Finally, Pierce Brosnan, with his family in the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel. Melanie swooned.

That's it. Now, it is your turn. Who have you spotted, stalked, befriended, or otherwise annoyed? Tell me your stories! Leave me a comment, or blog about it and leave me a link to your post in my comments.


Hollywood said...

Wow! You're a veritable magnet of the famous! I love the one about you shooting down Steve Young then realizing too late that you'd blown it. He made his way around Provo - he held the door for me once at the Hogi Yogi (is that place still there?)

Mary Lou Retton's sweat...gross. Yet beautiful. Who knew?

Jolene said...

Kelly - is that Blossom? How in the world did you end up in a wedding party with Blossom?

You are famous with all of your celebrity sightings. I am going to have to really think about some that I have seen before I can blog about it.

bionictrout said...

Here is a link to two of mine in one day!

My blog

Lizzie said...

that purple dress looked good on you...I think it is hanging in a closet at my mom's...just waiting to be used...maybe molly will pick bright purple for her wedding and I can wear that. Do you think you could get a hold of blossom so that ally could borrow hers?? I can't believe you have so many sightings! I will blog about mine when I think of them :)

Brett & Shireen said...

Well, I too am a valley girl, and I've met several famous people over the years, but will only list a couple. My brother and I went to elementary school with Leonardo DiCaprio. So I guess that's one. And I will jump all the way to a party a couple of weeks ago where we saw Bob Barker, Mary Hart, and several others that we didn't recognize or are too young to have heard of. Brett has celebrity sightings on the freeway in LA all the time, so he claims. One time he claimed to see Eddie Murphy driving an early 80's beater VW Bug on the 405, but I suspect it was just a mere look alike. Sometime, Kelly, I will try to list mine out and I will let you know, but I'm afraid I lack the brain power for such an activity this late in the week.

Kelly said...

Liz, I can put in some calls, but if Molly wants 90s dresses for her wedding, it should be your job to talk her out of them. Shireen, can you get Leo's number for Liz? I think they's be perfect for each other!

I will leave this post here over the weekend. I know some of you have good tales to tell. Andrew, didn't you pee with a certain boy band member? Mom, what about the guy from MASH and the G.A.?

Jake Beeson said...

When I was on my mission, Kelly send me a casette tape of her talking about BYU and her endless eternal love for me, etc. The Filipino missionaries asked if she was speaking english, and the American missionaries thought she was kidding with the valley girl talk. Our daugter Jane can barely get a sentence out with out a 'like' in it. I guess speech patterns are a dominant trait. . .

Pokejane said...

dad that is totally like not true and I like mean it.

Hailey said...

What the? Well, I am flattered, to say the least... Ben should have mentioned that he slept with someone on your list--is that too scandalous to say?

As for me, I saw Courtney Cox at the WB Studios Commissary. She had the BLUEST eyes ever and was really THAT thin. I sat in a Dr.'s office in West LA next to George Costanza's mother. I saw that tall kid who played Shaggy in the LA airport. I saw Robert Redford, Al Pacino, Edward James Olmos, and Reese Witherspoon in Park City (not together) and I was in a film with Jon Heder. That's all I can think of right now...

Hailey said...

Oh yeah, and James Valentine of Maroon 5 is my friend's brother--he came to see my play! It was before he was a full-on rock star...

Sam said...

I saw "wayne" from the wonder years at the state fair. i left before he could punch me in the arm.

Brig said...

Saw Jack Johnson at Disneyland back in 05, yes he had shoes on.

Joe said...

Well, Kelly, I was with you for some of those later sightings, such as The Gin Blossoms, Matthew Sweet, and Pierce Brosnan. I could not for the life of me get Melanie to go up and talk to Pierce, her ultimate dream-guy. Really, if Pierce were to pull a number on Melanie like Steve Young did to you at the bagel shop, I'd be history! I guess she knew the risk and thought better of it. Also, my picture with Matthew Sweet has some wacked-out roadie in the background making crude hand gestures - not appropriate for blogging.
So, who have I run into over the years? Kevin Carter, a Pro-Bowl defensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was the catcher on my Little League baseball team. Zach Pillar, a Pro-Bowl offensive lineman for the NY Giants, was a freshman phenom center on my high school varsity basketball team. He played a lot more than I did, and I was a senior!
I, too, posed as a photographer for Melanie for one of her KBYU stories and got to meet James Christensen, the acclaimed artist and author, at his home up Provo Canyon. He caught on right away that I had no idea how to work the camera, but he was cool about it anyway.
Ran into Danny White, former Dallas Cowboys star QB, sitting in Andrew's office a couple of years ago. Bumped into Danny Ainge at In-N-Out Burger in Mesa last Christmas.
I used to harrass Jeb Bush's (George's brother - Gov. of Florida) dog every summer when I was a kid. He lived next door to my Aunt & Uncle in Coral Gables.
Slapped high-5's with most of the Phoenix Suns when my "band", MC6, sang the National Anthem at a Suns game this past season.
Got to meet a whoppin' amount of GA's at the Tabernacle when Jon Haight (David B.'s grandson) would get us special seats for general conference up on the stand.
I also ran into Steve Young, but he didn't hit on me. It was at the AZ Temple a couple of Christmases ago, and we had taken the YM/YW there to see the lights. As we were leaving, he walked right past me with one of his kids on his shoulders. I mentioned it to a couple of the YM walking with me, then all pandemonium broke out. I felt bad for him b/c he was anonymous one minute, then suddenly hounded by a ton of stinky teens begging for his autograph, and it was all my fault. Then, when we finally got all the kids rounded up and back to the cars to ride home, I see him again, walking right for me, and he doesn't look happy. Ends up, he was parked right next to me, and that was his mistake, as the kids went nuts again and he had to drive off in a huff.
I saw Peyton Manning on a Southwest Airlines flight about 2 days after he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts. Bet he doesn't fly Southwest anymore!
Seems like a lot of mine are sports figures, but I guess that's what I identify with.

Grandpa Ross said...

I have gone to Kelly's and jakes bog always hoping for something new.
No pressure.
But you need to give me the books that you have listed and then list some more.
And by the way.
I worked in the same building with Mohamed ali in LA. Saw him nearly every day.
I talked to him some too.
I noticed that most of his brains were gone long before research and the news told us that boxing kills brain cells I Think most people would conclude that having a very strong/very big man pound on your head every week would not be good you.
I think he made a lot of money, but I think he would have enjoyed it more if he had saved some brain function.

jt said...

I'll post about it at

Gini said...

OK... when I was at Girls' State in Nebraska, Lady Byrd Johnson was there with Charlton Heston.. shook hands with both of them. When I was about 14 I was in Lincoln ice skating at the indoor ice rink downtown. I was taking off my skates and a girl came and sat down beside me.. just the 2 of us.. and it was Peggy Fleming! Met her again in Denver on our honeymoon.. she was in the Ice Follies then and Uncle Jim was working the ice that night. Before Dad and I were married, I was at a small concert on east campus listening to a band.. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition... who knew he would get so famous?? And the kids might remember hearing Lee Greenwood sing in Grand Island before he made it big. I also met the fellow who rode the horse on the Ajax commercials.. he was dressed up like a knight.. his brother was someone famous but I can't for the life of me remember who.. Peter someone.. oh well....