Anything Interesting Ever Happen As An Adult?

A Few Anecdotes From Adulthood

 Bob Hope

The Branson C of C invited Bob Hope to turn on the lights for the Festival of Lights on Veteran’s Day 1995. As I was Festival Chairman we rode together in the procession and then had dinner afterward. Bob was every bit of 92 but when lights and camera were on he was very much “Bob Hope!” The ultimate pro: he did it for free for the Vets. 


Went to a Giants-Dodgers game at Candlestick in ’83 and D’s president Al Campanis was there in a private box. Got three hours of great baseball stuff: a Denver NL franchise would kill, catcher Mike Scioscia will be a great mgr someday, etc. Al got in trouble over a dumb racial comment later but I’ll never forget the experience.

People You Meet

True Restaurant Tales: A dessert cutting with Dolly, catering to the Rockettes, dining with Andy Williams, Jim Otto, and Chef Paul Prudhomme, jawboning with Gaylord Perry and Catfish Hunter, tolerating Kenny Rogers. We’d all get along better if we dined together

 Extemporaneus Speaking

On a Monday in Sept of ’94 we get a call from a university in Mexico City. The Disney keynote speaker has cancelled! Our CEO looks at me and points. That Friday I’m speaking in front of 500 engineering students in Mexico. How many even spoke English? No lo se’. I’m pretty sure the Baumer bombardeado. Great trip though.

 Some Rockers

While at a Theme Park convention (A trip!) in Miami went to a food show in the park in South Beach. Chatted with Alice Cooper foodie-to-foodie over a bowl of his Rattlesnake Chili (Another trip!). How popular was Alice? Sammy Hagar had the booth next store and no one was paying any attention.

 More Baseball

Baseball Six Degrees: In 2006 my father-in-law and I got Rockies press passes and interviewed Latino coaches for a Spanish language paper. Had dinner in the Press Box before the game with Vin Scully and Fernando Valenzuela. The Voice Of My Youth and Senor Screwgie. Mucho gusto!

 Meeting The Voice of God

I once ran into Walter Cronkite, literally, while rushing onto an elevator at the Biltmore in L.A. Could have been a disaster…he was not a big guy. We shared the following intimate conversation: “Oops! Jesus! Excuse me!” Very one sided but it was all I could think of at the time.

 Big Speech?

Watching the Giants on TV reminded me of the speech I was supposed to give at Candlestick before 30,000+ while I was with BK for Pitch, Hit, and Run in 1984. Marketing guy spoke w-a-y too long. My speech ended up being “Okay, let’s play ball!” Appreciative applause.

 Late Night Talk

Six Degrees: Watching Leno promos: Anne and I were picked on by Leno in a show at ECU in 1985. My wife Anne had gone back to college. “Ah YOU sir! Are you a college student?” “No, Jay, I’m just sleeping with one.” “Hmmm…maybe not any more you’re not!”

 More 6 Degrees: Leno Part 2. Live show at ECU in ’85. “Okay, sir, so you’re not a student. What do you do?” “Well, Jay, I’m a District Manager for Golden Corral.” “Hmmm…Golden Corral. Golden Corral. That sounds like the three hooker special down on 4th street!”

 Super Bowl

Speaking of football…another Six Degrees: Don Shula was one of my BK franchisees in NorCal and gave me tickets to Super Bowl XVII at the Rose Bowl. Sat next to Oscar Robertson and Ray Nietzsche. Directly behind me: Wonder Woman Lynda Carter. Nice gal, very gracious.

 And More Rock

Summer of ’72 my friend Mongo recruits me to be a bouncer at that night’s concert: Yes, Edgar Winter, and the opening act touring behind its first album: Eagles. I was 17 ,6’3″, and 175 lbs soaking wet positioned in front of the crowd at the old Denver Coliseum. And, folks, I p-r-a-y-e-d there would be no trouble (See previous Jethro Tull post) Result: $20, free concert, no injuries, new underware.

 Nicest Celebrity

In July of 1995 Yakov Smirnoff and I were co-MC’s of the kickoff fundraiser for the Branson Area Festival of Lights where I was chairman. Yakov was the consummate professional and I did nothing to harm my amateur standing. The fundraiser was a success. What a country!

 Rock n Roll

Was tear gassed three times at a Jethro Tull concert. Red Rocks. 1971. Big riot. Aqualung tour. Aqualung…the irony of that has eluded me until now

A Labor Day

Labor Day ’02 we opened a new Alpine Bagels at the MIT student union. We had locations at Vandy, UNC, Duke, and VCU but the MIT students were different. The t-shirts said: “We ARE the Rocket Scientists.” They still ate their bagels one bite at a time, though. 


  1. monicasaysso says:

    Wow. You sure have beat me, and most others I assume, in the “interesting things that happen as an adult” category! Does it count if you were a child? If so, I saw Elvis Presley in concert at MTSU on March 4, 1974. I was only four at the time, wearing footie pajamas and everything. But I sure do remember it – like it was…well. Not yesterday. But I do remember it!

    Also as a child I was allowed to eat a piece of cake from Johnny Cash’s refrigerator. Even sat on John-john’s round, velvet-covered, bed. He had a bathroom made of shells. The sink was a shell…even the toilet was a shell! I was amazed.

    Hmmm….Had dinner with the entire first string of the Titans the year after their super-bowl loss. Greatest line-up. Eddie, Steve, Jevon, Frank, Bruce, Samari, Al, etc. at an event I hosted for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2000.

    And, finally, I can almost swear (although I don’t swear) that Jon Bon Jovi sang “She’s a Little Runaway” to me at his concert in 1984 at the Municipal Auditorium. I was sitting on my boyfriend’s shoulders. He was 6’6″ — and we were right down front. Ahhhh….. it was true love. For 3 minutes and 50 seconds.

    Then I met Steve Baum in 2013 at the Lottery Corporate Offices when he volunteered to help out with Donate Life TN at a Health & Wellness Fair. Things will never be the same!! 🙂

  2. Good post,I will definitely subscribe

  3. Excellent blog post, I look forward to reading more.

  4. Terrific work! This is the kind of information that should be shared close to the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  5. Jane Spielman says:

    I certainly do remember that night. i am finding your book quite interesting and it brings memories I try to forget.

  6. Rick Spielman says:

    Ah yes, Jethro Tull at Red Rocks. I will wait about 18 years to tell Lily about that one. And who could ever forget the opening act – Livingston Taylor. Yes, sweet baby James’ brother. Interesting choice to pair Liv Taylor with Jethro Tull.

    1. It just occurred to me that the fact that Livingston Taylor was so godawful boring may have been a contributing cause to that riot

      1. Rick Spielman says:

        Well, the riot did have one positive outcome, Taylor left the stage never to return! Also remembering my mom’s relief when we got home. She had been watching TV that evening and all she heard every half hour was “Riot at Red Rocks, film at 10!”

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.