Maycation Day 8: Brush with Greatness

by pjmcbride

Gates to Francis Field; Danforth Campus of Was...

Gates to Francis Field; Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah, it’s Day 9 right now. But nothing happened yesterday, so in place of nothingness, you get this short anecdote. {What I Learned On My Vacation: I Don’t Really Need To Check In Daily.}

David Letterman used to have a feature on his show called Brush with Greatness, in which audience members told of their brief encounters with celebrities, so here’s mine:

One day in the late 70’s in St Louis, in the suburb of University City (so called because it contains Washington University), I was at a diner I frequented. It was called, I believe, the Maryland Cafe, although what it had to do with Maryland, I don’t know. The food was similar to the Hilltop Inn here, although without as great a variety of fried items. I went up to the cash register to pay my bill, and there was a short guy in line ahead of me with a receding hairline and frizzy hair. I stared. I knew I’d seen that face on the covers of record albums I’d treasured in my teens. He was asking the cashier, “Is there a good Chinese place around here? One that would deliver to a hotel?” It has to be him, I thought. I heard they’re in town now. I think they’re playing tonight. He finally sensed me staring at him (I’m guessing my eyes were burning into the side of his head) and turned to look at me. “Yes, it’s me,” he said. It was Art Garfunkel. My first thought was, He’s shorter than I thought he’d be. My second thought was, I wish I’d run into him when I was younger and cared more. I didn’t ask for his autograph.