Not Even CloseCap'n Dyke and Janice from Cow Hampshire tagged me to do the four true (plus one untrue) things about me meme. I've seen all the responses and I have to say that I'm either a fantastic liar or you are an extremely gullible lot. No one found the fib, so here are the answers to inform and suitably impress:
I once sat next to Clarence Clemmons on an airplane.
In fact, this is true. I was already in my seat when a huge black man carrying a saxophone plunked down beside me. While he struggled to wedge his large frame in, I opened the conversation with something banal about crappy airplane seats. I eventually got around to confirming my suspicion that he was the Clarence and we struck up a quite pleasant conversation about music and current events.
And no, I did not ask for an autograph, but since I'm the Omnipotent Poobah, I offered him mine. Inexplicably, he declined.
I've been inside Ft. Knox.
This is also true. In the early 70s, a rumor alleged that all the gold in Ft. Knox was gone and our paper money was worthless as a result. In a display of transparency that I'm sure the current Bushkibibles would never dream of, they allowed 100 reporters and assorted governmental observers in to see the shiny stuff. The reporter slots were assigned by state and I snagged my pass by working my contacts and being very lucky. The Associated Press was not happy to be scooped.
As for the gold, it looks pretty much like you'd expect. There were huge stacks of gold bars in a series of small storage rooms behind no-nonsense vault doors. They bars we were allowed to heft were as weighty as you've heard. Though it sounds all exciting and shit, it was anti-climactic. I would have written a much more positive article if they'd let me take home a brick or two. There was no James Bond or Auric Goldfinger slouching around either. Damn the luck. I really wanted to meet Odd Job.
For obvious reasons, they didn't reveal security details, but I can speak from personal experience that someone always watches the seemingly unattended main gate.
Several years after going in, I took my mother-in-law to see the place. Despite my warnings, she ran up to the iron gates to take a picture and was immediately addressed by a disembodied and menacing voice, "STEP AWAY FROM THE GATE AND STATE YOUR BUSINESS! NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED!" She was not arrested, but I'm of the mind that maybe that was a bad thing. After that I always told her she owed me big for saving her life.
I once hosted my own FM-radio show about politics.
This is the fib. While I auditioned for a spot on WKQQ (Lexington, KY), I lost out to another candidate who I agreed was much better. Rush Limbaugh heaved a sigh of relief at my aborted radio career, I'm sure.
This clear pronouncement on my abilities as a pundit obviously foretold the day when I would become a blog-borne political pundit. If I had auditioned for this blog gig, I would have lost out on that too. Life's like that sometimes.
Linda Ronstadt once blew me a kiss.
Also true. Linda was at the zenith of her 70s popularity when she arrived in Lexington for a concert. I weaseled an assignment as the newspaper's photographer so I didn't have to buy tickets. My press pass allowed me to approach the edge of the stage, much to the chagrin of the people who'd bought front row seats.
Most of my photos of Linda were mediocre at best, but somewhere, lost in the mists of time, there is a perfect photo of her in all her 70s sexy glory. She wore hot pants and a very tight Cub Scout uniform shirt. Her brown hair shined brightly in the stage lights and curled down around her shoulders. Lit from behind, she fairly glowed. Her signature deep brown eyes focused directly on me, so it was easy to believe the kiss was aimed at me. I caught her hand in mid-flight leaving those beautiful pursed lips of a kiss behind.
It was a beautiful moment. I wish I'd kept the negative. Sigh.
Interestingly, the photos I took of her opening act - The Flying Burrito Brothers - were better "concert" pictures so the editor went with them instead of smoochable Linda. Our readership's loss I think.
Jimmy Buffett's band once attended a party at my house.
True. Jimmy and his band, then led by the legendary Marvin Gardens, appeared at a smallish concert at the University of Kentucky. After performing for about 500, my roommate, who was a member of the university's concert board, invited the boys over to the house for a wrap party. We never expected them to show, but they did.
Unfortunately, I left on a beer run and I'm told Jimmy himself showed up, but left before I returned. Margaritaville wasn't yet a gleam in his eye and parrotheads were still just the tops of brightly colored birds back then.
I would have offered him my autograph too. There's no telling what it would have been worth by now.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, January 30, 2007