E D     S T E P H A N     --     Brushes with Celebrity

The premise of the 1993 movie "Six Degrees of Separation" is that we are all separated by fewer than six intervening acquaintances. So at the most there's
      me - a - b - c - d - e - you.
In rec.arts.movies they made a challenge game of linking movie stars, or themselves, to Kevin Bacon. For example, since I was an extra in "Days of Wine and Roses" with Jack Lemmon who was in "JFK" with Kevin Bacon, my "Bacon number" is 2. The challenge is gone now, due to the automated Oracle of Bacon.

While contemplating this I made a list of celebrities with whom I've had contact, the first such list I know of to appear on the internet. Here they are, grouped under Music, Literature, Movies, Politics, and Potpourri.


    Sam Andrew (also here> -- Lead guitar for Big Brother and the Holding Company and Janis Joplin. When
    I edited USF's newspaper he edited the literary magazine, the Gaviota.. After I was thrown out of USF I roomed with Sam. I'm told that our place on Page Street was the first commune in the Haight-Ashbury. When Big Brother re-formed in the early '90s, Sam introduced me to the remaining members (Dave Getz, Peter Albin, Jim Gurley - who pulled me onto his lap and stuffed me with food from the greenroom table at Seattle's Backstage). About this time, after dinner at his home, Sam handed me a small reddish acoustic guitar which I played the rest of the evening, not knowing till the evening was over that it had been Janis' own guitar. I still have some of Sam's old Roy Acuff records and some annotated bluegrass songs we used to sing. The picture at the left shows Sam about 1961 at USF; that on the right shows him next to Janis with the rest of Big Brother, from their KQED performance, 26 Apr 1967. Here is a BBHC poster from the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

    Eric Andersen -- The Highgraders played a gig down the peninsula, at the home of the owner of San Francisco's Red Garter, a mostly-banjo folksong joint in North Beach (that's another "brush" - at the request of its leader, Billy Rutan, I once played the big double bass with that band all night long; I had never played bass before, and my blue and bloody fingers hurt like mad the next day). The other performer down the peninsula that night was Eric Andersen, fresh out of New York, with whom I played three or four songs. Of the several hundred people I've played guitar with in public, Eric was one of the very nicest I've met.

    Arthur Fiedler -- conductor of the Boston Pops and summertime conductor of Pops concerts in San Francisco. I sold him a pair of toenail clippers when I worked (as a flunky) at the Exclusive Cutlery shop (used to be on Geary, just off Union Square). He was much shorter than I had imagined.

    Vince Gill (also here) -- His cousin was a student and is a friend of mine. Through Mark I got my When I Call Your Name, Pocket Full of Gold, and I Still Believe in You  albums autographed.

    Vince Guaraldi -- If you've seen even a minute of a Charlie Brown movie then you've probably heard Vince play the piano. You can hear him on: Vince Guaraldi Trio, Boy Named Charlie Brown, Greatest Hits, Oh Good Grief, Impressions of Black Orpheus. I often heard the Trio play in Sausalito, just north of Golden Gate. The place was The Trident (then owned by the pop/folk Kingston Trio; it's now called "Horizons") and it was beautiful: Vince's "Cast Your Fate to the Winds", a view of the Bridge and San Francisco from the outdoor table area right down on the water.

    Highgraders -- When USF threw me out (1961) I joined The Highgraders, a folk music group; I played guitar, Dan O'Neill
    burlingame.sml.jpg (5k)
    mostly played banjo, Dave Ayala played guitar and Joanie Logan sang beautifully. The name came from the goldrush country (as did the other three members). "Highgrade" is gold which miners have pocketed that doesn't belong to them. We were pretty good doing popular groups' stuff. We performed all over northern California, but mostly at San Francisco's Drinking Gourd (Union & Laguna, club where the Jefferson Airplane formed in 1965) and Copy Cat (2242 Fillmore; now the Via Veneto). The photo shows O'Neill (jacket) and me with Rich Harcourt (guitar, later head of the SF Chamber of Commerce) about 1961 at USF.

    The Kingston Trio -- Other than seeing them perform at USF, I ran into two of them (Nick Reynolds, left; Dave Guard, right) several times at a guitar shop (Saterlee and Chapin, a little west of Union Square, San Francisco) where we took Dave Ayala's Martin to be repaired after he crunched it walking into a cadillac tail fin. They were very nice.

    No Name Bar (Sausalito CA) -- That was its "name" in the early '60s. It was a tiny little place in which many of us smoked Alhambra cigars (sort of like long black cigarettes). It was so small that it was impossible not to sit fairly close to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan when they were there. I sat very close (front row, on the gym floor) when she performed at Western Washington University.

    Peter, Paul and Mary -- I saw them perform at San Francisco's Masonic Auditorium using fantastic third-row comp tickets which I think I got from the San Francisco Foghorn. This must have been in 1963. I later watched the annual bicycle race in Nevada City CA from the second floor law office of Dick Stookey, Paul's brother.


    Herb Caen -- I made it
    into his column (SF Chronicle) three times. Once involving Dick Nixon. Twice for late-night doctoring of a huge billboard on Geary Blvd. (1) We altered "You Can Sleep Well Tonight - Your National Guard Is Awake" by painting out the last word. (2) We altered "Cadillac - The Grandest Way To Get There" by painting out the first and last letters on the last word. I have several letters from him, typed on his Royal. One thanks me for sending him a bunch of anagrams of his name; it says "Thanks, Ed! 'Bench era' sums up my baseball career [underlined] perfectly." Here are some photos of this wonderful man. After winning the Pulitzer Prize and being honored by The City, Herb died 1 Feb 97 (I guess he couldn't face another Groundhog Day).

    City Lights -- This wonderful bookstore, in San Francisco's North Beach (on this map follow Grant down to Columbus & Broadway) was/is a wonderful place to sit and read books (paid for or not). Among others I frequently ran into there were Allen Ginsberg, of HOWL fame, and owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti, San Francisco's poet laureate, who had to withstand trial on obscenity charges for publishing HOWL.

    Douglas Coupland -- gave a reading at Village Books in Bellingham WA, May 22, 1993. While there he autographed my copies of "Generation X" and "Shampoo Planet". His autograph is different: in an outline of his right hand he marks an X and writes a note (in the first it was 'To Karen & Edward / Hi Kids'; in the second it was 'To Edward & Karen / Hi again kids').

    Annie Dillard -- Author of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" (Pulitzer Prize, 1975) and many other books. Annie was a writer in residence at Western. She was also a neighbor, friend, a frequent participant in our faculty lunch bunch.

    Bill Griffith -- creator of Zippy the Pinhead comic strips, one of my favorite comics all time. Griffith gave me a "tip o' th' pin" 01 Nov 17 for suggesting another reference to Ernie Bushmiller's "three rocks." Note: the strip says "10-30" but that had to be bumped to accomodate Griffith's strips regarding the 9-11 attack. Factoid: Three Rocks CA is supposedly where they captured the bandit Joaquin Murieta. I got another "tip" for the 01 Mar 21 strip incorporating the oldest newspaper comics stripcharacter, Professor Tigwissel.

    William Randolph Hearst, Jr. -- Son of Citizen Kane? When I was editor of the USF Foghorn we won the American Newspaper Publishers' Association "Pacemaker Award" for the best college newspaper in the country (we had no journalism department, not even a course). I received congratulatory telegrams from many people, including former Foghorn editor (then JFK's press secretary) Pierre Salinger. The award itself was presented to me during a luncheon of the Commonwealth Club by Pulitzer Prize winner Hearst, whose Castle lies just an hour northwest of my hometown.

    Warren Hinckle -- Was editor of the USF newspaper before me. Later founded "Ramparts" magazine. Still later ran for Mayor of San Francisco. You can search recent SF Chronicle/Examiner citations with this and the search word "Hinckle". There is also an excellent Robert Altman photograph of Warren with his Bassett Bentley (RIP 30 Jan 96).

    Aldous Huxley -- When I was at St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara, 1952-56, I used to go for walks in and around the Botanical Garden behind the Old Mission. On one of these walks I saw a man in his rose garden and said hello (we were not supposed to communicate with others outside the seminary). I later realized (from his mailbox and our conversation) that he was the author of Brave New World, Eyeless in Gaza, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, etc. His eyesight was as bad as mine. He died the same day as John F. Kennedy (see below).

    Ed Linn -- Author and magazine writer who wrote seventeen books, mostly on baseball, collaborating with such luminaries are Bill Veeck, Sandy Koufax, Bob Cousy and Leo Durocher. He also helped gangster Willie Sutton with his autobiography. Linn wrote the definitive book on my baseball hero, Ted Williams, "Hitter: The Life and Turmoils of Ted Williams" (1993). I mailed him the dust jacket with a request for autograph. While I was on a stopover at the Denver airport, I checked my voice mail and learned that I had a request from Ed to phone him at his home. All he wanted to know was where I wanted him to put the autograph (said he'd never had a request quite like mine). He was very nice over the phone, and I got the autograph, just under his picture on the back flap.

    John Steven McGroarty -- First Poet Laureate of California, author of Just California and Other Poems  and The Mission Play.  For forty years author of a Los Angeles Times column "From the Green Verdugo Hills." The only Democrat elected to Congress from Pasadena CA (1934-38). My father was his legislative assistant. He actually wrote the letter attributed to McGroarty by John F. Kennedy in his Profiles in Courage. My mother typed McGroarty's California of the South  and many of his other works. He was my godfather.

    -- I recruited Hugh Daniel O'Neill III as cartoonist when I edited The Foghorn,  USF's newspaper. He was the primary impetus behind the Highgraders. For several years he had a cartoon strip, Odd Bodkins, syndicated through the SF Chronicle. It lampooned the phone company, Smokey the Bear, everything. He published three books I know of: Buy This Book of Odd Bodkins, The Collective Unconscience of Odd Bodkins, and Hear the Sound of My Feet Walking... Drown the Sound of My Voice Talking. Later on he got in trouble with Disney Corp when he did some pornographic comics - Mickey Mouse Meets the Air Pirates.  That case went to the U.S. Supreme Court and is still referred to as Mickey Mouse libel law. I was best man at Danny's first wedding (to Becky) the day after President Kennedy was assassinated. Odd Bodkins is still being produced once a week.

    Anne Rice and Stan Rice -- Anne is a well-known and widely published author whose works include: Interview with the Vampire (1976), Feast
    of all Saints (1979)
    , Cry to Heaven (1982), The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (1983), Beauty's Punishment (1984), Beauty's Release (1985), Exit to Eden (1985), The Vampire Lestat (1985), Belinda (1986), Queen of the Damned (1988), The Mummy or Ramses the Damned (1989), The Witching Hour (1990), Tale of the Body Thief (1992), Lasher (1993), Taltos (1994), Memnoch the Devil (1995). Her husband Stan is a published poet Singing Yet (1992), Body of Work (1983), Whiteboy (1976), Some Lamb (1975) and a successful painter. I knew them in the Haight-Ashbury days. My relation to Anne (who was then Anne O'Brien) is described in Katherine Ramsland's "Prism of the Night", page 69-70). The picture shows Anne with her Haight-Ashbury roommate, Ginny Mathis, in 1961. Stan died December 9, 2002.

    Kevin Starr -- Kevin is the author of several major works on California history Americans and the California Dream, Material Dreams, Inventing the Dream, Lands End. In Material Dreams he (accurately) referred to my godfather as "a dreamy poet of the lo! hark! school." He is now State Librarian of California and a professor at USC. I knew him at USF. He became editor of the USF newspaper when the Jesuits threw me out.

    John Steinbeck -- His parents, John and Olive, lived in my hometown, Paso Robles CA around 1899, and there are still lots of Steinbecks all over the Salinas Valley.
    My brush is a little closer than that, though. In J.J. Benson's monumental biography, Ch. XLIV, is the story of how Steinbeck, in England in the late '50s to research the Arthur legend, was entertaining the captain of H.M.S. Puma which had no mounted head of the animal for its wardroom. Steinbeck, who said the Salinas Valley was knee-deep in pumas, wrote to the Peninsula Herald to ask if anyone could find such a trophy in their attic. None emerged, but a state game hunter living near Paso Robles had a live mountain lion named Flora to offer. When he wired for shipping instructions, the captain suggested releasing it as a living memorial to international friendship, which was done. I regularly used that hunter's photographic darkroom and sat several times in the large cage with Flora -- loud purring usually meant time to leave.


    Don Ameche -- His son Larry was a sophomore at Villanova Prep when I was a senior there. We didn't do much together except smoke enormous quantities of cigarettes with now-forgotten brand name Hit Parade.

    Ashland Oregon Shakespeare Festival -- We went there nearly every summer for about ten years (roughly '65 - '75) and have often been back since. Pat and JoAnn Patton, both with the festival since the mid-sixties (they both act; he directs), are friends from our days at the University of Oregon together. JoAnn was a bridesmaid in our wedding. With the arrival of Libby Appel as artistic director, our friends left Ashland.

    "Days of Wine and Roses" -- As a paid extra I sat in a box next to Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick at Bay Meadows Racetrack during filming of this movie. All I had to do was pretend to be watching a horse race (it was really the movement of Director Blake Edwards' finger). The scene was later chopped and re-shot (without me!) at Candlestick Park. My Internet Movie Database biography of Jack Lemmon was used in the tribute paid him by the 1996 Berlin International Film Festival.

    James Dean - The 24-year-old star of "Rebel Without a Cause," "East of Eden," and "Giant," was killed just east of my hometown, Paso Robles, when his Porsche Spyder collided with another car at 5:45pm, September 30, 1955. The hospital in which James Dean was prounced dead, the "Paso Robles War Memorial District Hospital" which my father helped to found, was just up the hill about fifty feet from the home my parents built at 89 15th Street. At the time of Dean's death we lived at 1908 Spring St., two blocks from Kuehl mortuary, where the body remained for three days before being shipped home to Indiana. There's a nice panorama of his monument at Cholame.

    Jack DeGovia -- Production designer. His feature credits include Multiplicity, Die Hard: With a Vengeance,
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    Speed, Sister Act, Dad, In Country, Punchline, Roxanne, and My Bodyguard, among others. Television credits include Gypsy, The Winds of War and The People. Jack and I roomed together for several years in the Haight-Ashbury. We lived first in rooms on the top floor of 28 Hemway, an extension of Ashbury above Fulton. Jack lived in what had been the master bedroom; I lived in what had been the bar. Next we shared what had been the music room at 737 Buena Vista West, of one of the Spreckels mansions, above Buena Vista Park. The room had once been lived in by both Ambrose Bierce and Jack London, and it's described (more or less) on page 66 of Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil. Later we shared an apartment at 1849 Page Street. Finally, we lived at 7th & Irving, just west of the Haight and South of Golden Gate Park. Irving is suddenly a center for fashionable restaurants, boutiques, etc. The picture show Jack about 1961 at USF.

    Dan Dugan -- roomed with Jack DeGovia and me at 1849 Page. He was theatre lighting/sound technician for the USF College Players then. After that Dan lit productions for the San Francisco Actors' Workshop, the Old Globe Theatre, and the San Diego Opera, and was "sound designer" for many Bay Area productions over many years, including the Mondavi Jazz Festival. There are thousands of his patented automatic mike mixers in government chambers, churches, and courtrooms throughout the world, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and he services the special Swiss tape recorders used on movie sets. He is active in many skeptical (anti-fraud) movements.

    John Farrow-- Was a freshman at Villanova Prep when I was a senior there. His father was movie director John Farrow. His mother was the actress Maureen O'Sullivan, Jane in Johnny Weissmuller's "Tarzan" movies. And his sister is actress Mia Farrow.

    Hedda Hopper -- I met her in the waiting room of my childhood ophthalmologist in Beverley Hills. I may have been ten. She told me at length of all her vision problems. She also pointed out another patient to me, Yul Brynner.

    "I Spy" -- I was at Fleischacker Zoo in San Francisco when an episode of this television series was being filmed. I met Bill Cosby and shared a urinal with Robert Culp. Well, actually we were standing side by side.

    On August 15, 2004, Johnny Sheffield came to Bellingham to give a talk and show some parts of his films. Because of a prior commitment I was unable to attend that, but I phoned and got to spend about a half hour with him before his talk. He was charming. People my age will remember him as in the role of Boy in the "Tarzan" movies and in his own string of "Bomba" movies during the 1940s.

    close kin -- Two of my Jesuit professors at USF had actor brothers. William Egan (theology) was the look-alike brother of Richard Egan ("A Summer Place"). Gene Schallert, my mentor in Sociology and much more, was the brother of William Schallert (many movie/tv roles: Prof. Pomfret in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis", Patty's father in "The Patty Duke Show", Carson Drews in "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries", Roger Wainwright in "Santa Barbara"; my fave was the Admiral in the "Get Smart" tv series).

    roles -- I played the German Commandant in a Villanova production of Stalag 17 and Mr. Spettigue in a USF College Players presentation of Charley's Aunt.


    Alben Barkley -- Vice President of the United States under Harry Truman; I shook hands with him at the U.S. Capitol building, just outside the Senate Chamber, October, 1952

    Josiah Beeman -- Joe asked me to manage his campaign for the state legislature in 1962. Our campaign headquarters was 3324 Steiner Street,
    phone JO 7-7166, [I know these details because I still have a bunch of songs written down on some of our old news release letterheads]. Our opponent was the unstoppable incumbent, Milton Marks. But the campaign was fun. Mostly. One day I walked out of Phil Burton's office (he paid my salary) with a binder full of contributors relevant to our 21st district. I later learned that the Burton clan sent out a city-wide dragnet for me and that binder. Joe was Ambassador to New Zealand. He also played a major part in lessening tensions in Northern Ireland. The photo shows Joe presenting President Clinton with a photo of a New Zealand road sign, pointing to the small towns of Clinton and Gore at the very southern end of New Zealand; Clinton later hung the sign outside the Oval Office, pointing to his and Gore's office doors. Joe's obituary

    Willie Brown -- While I was in the employ of Phil Burton, and working out of the Joe Beeman campaign headquarters, I co-managed Willie's first campaign for the California Assembly, in which he very nearly defeated Eddie Gaffney (18 year incumbent). He won the next time out and has for over thirty years been Speaker of the Assembly. His autobiography is fascinating. In honor of his inauguration as Mayor of San Francisco (8 Jan 96), here are some election pix.

    Phil Burton -- When he was still in the California Assembly he paid me to work other Assembly campaigns (Joe Beeman, Willie Brown). He later became the US Congressman from San Francisco, just missing the speakership by one vote to Jim Wright. I also knew his brothers Bob and John, sister Shirley and wife Sala - all heavily involved in San Francisco Democratic Party politics. Nancy Pelosi, who replace Sala in Congress, came out of the Burton machine.

    George Christopher -- Mayor of San Francisco. Brought the New York Giants there in 1958. When Christopher ran for the
    second time, in 1959 (I was 19) I managed his downtown campaign headquarters. Our opponent was Assessor Russ Wolden. At the last minute he introduced phony letters from the Mattachine Society in Texas thanking Christopher for opening the town to gays. We beat him anyway. I had my picture taken with Christopher several times. In his office in 1959 I met visiting officials of the Soviet Union: Nikita Khrushchev, Frol Kozlov, Anastas Mikoyan. Later on, in the bloodbath arranged to remove all Nixon challengers in California, Christopher ran for Senator and got creamed (bad joke - he went back to his dairy business); He lost the 1966 Republican primary for Governor of California to Ronald Reagan. The picture shows me with the Mayor about 1961.

    Mark O. Hatfield -- U.S. Senator from Oregon. He addressed a meeting of the California State Central Committee, of which I was an appointed member, in 1959. I was 19. He was 37 and Governor of Oregon. I cheered and cheered his very liberal speech; most of the 700 stupid old fogies sat on their hands, booed, or walked out. After the speech he spent some time giving two friends and me encouragement to work in politics.

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    Henry M Jackson -- U.S. Senator from Washington State. My wife and I went to shake hands with him at his D.C. office in 1981. We wound up spending an hour chatting with him about everything from funding for social science research to the joys of lutefisk.

    John F. Kennedy -- President of the United States. I shook hands with him in 1960 in the alley behind the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco during his campaign for the presidency. He was just leaving to give the Cow Palace speech in which he announced his plans for a Peace Corps. He was assassinated 22 Nov 63.

    Robert F. Kennedy -- U.S. Senator and Attorney General of the United States. I shook hands with him in 1968 at the Lane County fairgrounds in Eugene OR during his campaign for the presidency. One week later he was assassinated in California.

    Richard Lamm -- former Governor of Colorado. He gave a talk at Western Washington University, 8 Feb 89, on "The Decline of America". I sat next to him on the panel discussion which followed. The data I provided mostly supported his "get off the planet" message (aimed at the oldsters, many of whom were pissed enough to boo).

    Richard Nixon -- While he was running for President in 1960. I happened by San Francisco's Union Square just as his limo pulled up in front of the St. Francis Hotel. He, Pat and their daughters walked between two lines of Secret Service into the lobby. I

    bye, creep
    walked between two SS men and followed the Nixons through the lobby and into their waiting elevator and up to the sixth floor and into the Presidential Suite. After about ten minutes of nibbling on their hors d'oeuvres one of the SS asked me who I was and what I was doing there. I said I was from the USF newspaper and wanted an interview. They told me to leave.

    That same visit to SF my friend Lee Vandendale and I got in a ban-the-bomb line so we could work our way through the 40,000 crowd in Union Square, leaving the line right in front of the speaker's platform. When Nixon was introduced and was just about to speak we jointly shouted "Hey, Dick, tell us another dog story!" (If that means nothing to you, learn about his 1952 Checkers speech). This made Herb Caen.

    Leon Panetta -- Was the Congressman from the Central Coastal California district where I grew up (Paso Robles). He was later Chief of Bill Clinton's White House Staff. I shook hands with him in his House office in 1981.

    Casper Weinberger -- Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Nixon (73-4) and Ford (74-5) and Secretary of Defense under Reagan (81-7). I went to a small cocktail party at his home in 1959, when I was in the Young Republicans (the San Francisco ones used to be Earl Warren liberals, i.e., liberal). In 1992 "Cap" was indicted in the Iran-Contra scandal and then pardoned by George Bush (who would have been implicated if Weinberger's diary had surfaced in court).


    Harry Bridges -- President of the San Francisco-based International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) from 1937 to 1977, hounded by every fascist anti-communist our nation's capital could spew forth. I interviewed him at his office on Golden Gate Avenue for a term-paper I was working on, early in 1964. The union paper I was browsing through while waiting for the interview was the first place I ever heard of Vietnam. The front page featured two maps showing the territory loyal to the US in 1963 and the vastly reduced territory a year later (Johnson's war wouldn't start till next August).

    Gordon Bowker -- Gordie co-founded Starbuck's Coffee thus establishing the espresso craze in Seattle and elsewhere. After selling his interest in that he founded Red Hook ale, establishing the trend toward microbreweries. I knew him as a fellow student at USF. The Seattle P-I recently did an interview and retrospective.

    FBI -- In 1961 got a call from a friend who was an attorney at the SF City Attorney's office. When I got there he showed me two 8x10 FBI photos out of a huge stack. One showed me in a ban-the-bomb line in 1960 (see Nixon) with my head circled in ink and my then-current address written on the back. The other showed the attorney and me looking over a balcony as they used firehoses to wash university students down the City Hall stairs during the House Un-American Activities hearings on May 13, 1960. Much of this recalled here. My newspaper, the USF Foghorn, published he UC Berkeley Daily Californian which had been thrown off campus. Again my head was circled with my current address written on the back. I was impressed with (1) how they did this and (2) why they bothered.

    Bob Feller -- the only man to ever pitch a no-hitter on opening day. My hero Ted Williams said "he had more stuff" than any other pitcher (My Turn at Bat, p 176). I met him during a Bellingham (short season A-league) Mariners' game in 1994. He autographed a photo and my copy of his book Now Pitching (which he mentioned didn't contain any dirty language, unlike modern baseball books).

    Frugal Gourmet -- His name is really Jeff Smith, but we usually refer to him as "Frugal". He's the author of a bunch of cookbooks, beginning with The Frugal Gourmet in 1984. He had a long-running cooking series on public television. I met him when two of my students, Mike Finch and Joan Gentili, got married. The wedding took place at University of Puget Sound (Tacoma WA) where Jeff had been chaplain, then opened the Chaplain's Pantry, and was at the time catering the wedding. He later autographed his books for us in Bellingham. I wish I could have gotten Pierre Franey to autograph my Franey cookbooks for me (slurp!).

    Haight-Ashbury -- This is a map of the San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. I adapted it from one in the center of ROLLING STONE for 26 February 1976, a ten-year retrospective on the Haight. I've added a number of locations, including places where I lived between 1957 and 1965. In my lynx-only days I did an ASCII map of the same region.

    Randy Johnson -- The M's ace hurler and 1995 Cy Young award winner played at Livermore High (east of San Francisco), and his last high school baseball game was played against Foothill High School (Pleasanton CA). His opposing pitcher was a young hot-shot named Tom Twisselmann. The first three innings were no-hitters on both sides, then Randy blew everyone away, much to the delight of all the scouts who were in attendance, and the disgust of Tom's mother, my twin sister Sally.

    Guy Laroche -- Paris designer. I met him at the Nordstrom store in Bellevue, WA, sometime in 1985 I think. He gave me an autographed 8x10 photograph and used a silver-ink pen to floridly autograph the back of my 100ml vaporisateur bottle of his Drakkar Noir. Incidentally, I agree with its recent rating

    Douglas Massey -- Elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 28 April 1998. President of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, April 1996. President of the American Sociological Association, 2000/1. Doug was a student of mine (mcl, WWU, 1974). We published three papers together and once presented a thoroughly joyous rendition of "Margaritaville" to a select crowd. Doug received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1978, was Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago (1987/94) and is now Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University. He is co-author of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass  and Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States, among many other books and hundreds of articles.

    Gaylord Perry -- I was in attendance for Gaylord Perry's 300th career victory. It was at the Kingdome, against the Yankees, May 6, 1982. I had seat 102, row 25, section 101. It's hard to describe how exciting that night was - every pitch a potential disaster. The video captures a bit of it, including announcer Dave Niehaus' classic "My, oh my!" to finish it off. I also kept my ticket from that night. I've loved the Mariners from the early days (1977); isn't it time they at least made into the World Series?

    O.J. Simpson? -- This is just a hunch. I worked for the San Francisco Housing Authority during 1958 and 1959, when he would have been 11 or 12 years old. Part of that time I worked at the office of the Potrero Hill project where he grew up (rest of the time was at Hunter's Point and the main office). One of the things I did was give out stuff, such as cans of roach powder, to tenants and their kids who came to the office for it. I also checked out the police reports we received on our tenants. Wouldn't be surprised if I met him in one or both of these ways.

    Gene Rambo was a nationally famous rodeo cowboy from Shandon CA who I knew as a kid. My Dad started the county fair (now the Mid-State Fair and Gene was the featured rider in the rodeo. When the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assocation opened its Hall of Fame in 1988, Gene was first All-Around Cowboy inductee. Their website states, "Many consider Gene Rambo the most versatile cowboy ever."

    Margo St. James -- founder of the international association of prostitutes COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) and founder of San Francisco's outlandish Hooker's Ball. Her parents built their house across the street from mine here in her hometown of Bellingham WA. Their house replaced one which burned down. The former one was occupied for a number of years by the Bou-saada Dance Troupe (belly dancers).

    Jack Sikma -- It was 1979, which would become the Seattle Sonics' championship year,
    when I was at Sea/Tac heading out for San Francisco. My wife saw the basketball team across the concourse aisle from us (I could see very little in the pre-cornea-transplant days then); they were on their way to Phoenix for a playoff series game. I asked her to aim me toward my then-hero Jack Sikma. When I got there - he was sitting on a bench, apart from the team, reading a book - he rose, blazer buttons flashing past my eyes. I told him I wanted his autograph (for myself - I had no son). He was very gracious. I was in heaven. I handed out xeroxes of the autograph to appreciative graduate students back at WWU.

    Glenn T. Seaborg -- discoverer of 10 elements and dozens of isotopes. A hero of mine from grammar school days (I liked chemistry and majored in it in college). He headed the Atomic Energy Commission 1961-71 and, unlike his colleague Dr. Teller, leans Democratic and toward peace, test-bans, etc. My sister Sally worked at Lawrence Labs and got him to send me a copy of his book "National Service with Ten Presidents of the United States" with a personalized inscription/autograph.


    Edward Teller -- father of the hydrogen bomb. I obtained two autographs from Dr. Teller, both on First Day Covers -- one a stamp honoring Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" program, the other honoring Senator Brien McMahon, the author of the Atomic Energy Act. The latter features a cachet showing a mushroom cloud half an inch from Teller's autograph.

    Jim Whittaker -- On May 1, 1963, James W. Whittaker, with Nawang Gombu, became the first American to attain Mt. Everest's summit, planting the American flag on Earth's highest point. Twenty years later, I sat near him during Graduation at Western, 10 June 1983, and shared a table with with him at the luncheon following (honoring the installation of Western's new president, G. Robert Ross). He was the guiding force behind the growth of REI outdoor outfitters in Seattle. His book was described by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: "My father's greatest living heroes were John Glenn and Jim Whittaker-a physical giant with a huge heart, a decent soul, and inspirational courage. We can all be grateful that Whittaker has finally put his extraordinary life on paper. Whittaker's story is a riveting saga of high adventure by one of history's greatest climbers."

    Ted Williams -- This is not a direct brush; it's more like a reliquary. I collect baseball cards, autographs, photos, magazines, TW root beer and Moxie ads, Jimmy Fund membership cards, books, anything. I have managed to put together the entire 80-card set issued by Fleer in 1959, even the impossible to find #68. Here's a pretty nifty letter written by him. And here's an animation of Ted at bat in 1941. See also Ed Linn.