- Kurt Vonnegut -- Don't ask me why, but he was in the Roanoke, Virginia airport one day in the mid-1980s. Some friends and I were there seeing off some exchange students and spotted the literary great and spoke with him briefly.
- John Grisham -- He lives around here and buys food at some of the same places I do. I haven't actually met him; however, I have seen him with my very own eyes and I have spoken with his wife a couple of times and she is an absolutely lovely, gorgeous, gracious woman.
- Jan Karon -- Another famous author who lives in my town. I heard her speak several years ago and she was so very entertaining. At the reception afterward, she made a point to shake hands with each person and look us in the eye while asking questions about us.
- Sissy Spacek -- This lovely actress lives here in my town. Technically, I haven't officially met her, but I have bumped into her a couple of times. The first was about 15-16 years ago, when she was shopping at the same grocery store. At the time, she had a small child on her hip. More recently, I saw her downtown with her family, including her daughter Schuyler Fisk (another actress).
- Brooke Shields -- When I was in junior high, my language class went to Washington, DC for a long weekend. To us, this was the epitome of sophistication and culture. I think that tells you what a provincial group of kids we were. While in the Big City, we visited the Kennedy Center, where they were taping one of Bob Hope's all-star shows. Brooke Shields came out of the building and we swarmed her like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat. Poor girl never stood a chance. Not long after, Christie Brinkley came out, saw the crowd, and escaped through another door.
- Fawn Hall -- A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was a guide at Monticello. During the first summer I worked there, Fawn Hall of Iran Contra fame came through on a tour. We guides debated whether or not we should offer her a special tour of the house, but decided against it, as her so-called fame was based on some rather non-Jeffersonian principals. Also that summer, Robin Williams visited, but I didn't get to meet him. Nor did I get to meet the Crown Prince (now king) of Jordan.
- Denny Hamlin -- For those of you not familiar with NASCAR, Denny is apparently a huge star and one of the best drivers out there. I, however, am not in the know about these things, but I did meet him at OUR grandfather's funeral last fall. Yes, you read that correctly. I don't feel like repeating the whole story, so the relevant links are here and here.
Pete told me to add Billy Wagner, who is apparently a Major League Baseball player, but I wouldn't know if him I tripped over him. Well hell, if we're going to add athletes, let's not forget the famous ones who attended the not-too-shabby university down the road: Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber (who grew up in the same part of Virginia as me), Herman Moore (football), John Harkes (soccer; we were in some history classes together), James Farrior (football) ... the list goes on. And while we're on the subject of the university, other alumni include Katie Couric, Tina Fey, various Kennedys, and more. The village idiot who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, has a daughter getting married this summer and the bridegroom is a student at the graduate business school, but he doesn't really count as someone famous, so I'm not putting his name in boldface. Also, I can't remember his name. And, he's most likely of the same political persuasion as his mentally deficient future FIL, so now he really doesn't count in my book.
Then there are the former presidents: Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe. Oh, and Lafayette once visited and stayed a number of nights; not that he was ever president but I think he counts as famous. I guess that's going back a bit far.
Yeah, this list could go on and on for while. It's a surprisingly high number, given that there are only 40,000 residents in town and another 85,000 in the surrounding county.
If anyone feels like doing this meme, consider yourself tagged.