Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not a bad few days...

For someone chronically either depressed or ticked off like myself,the last few days have been rather good.
Between a sweep this weekend of wins by the Buckeyes,Browns and Seahawks,life has been good for a change and I was even able to survive a family outing with a reasonably good time,all things considered,but the best part was yet to come.

Ryan casually mentioned that Mike Farrell ,formerly of MASH and currently a liberal activist,was coming to Frederick on Tuesday during the party on Sunday.
This piqued my interest for both the autograph collection and listening to both Farrell's MASH recollection (I am a big fan) and his political thoughts.
Farrell is well to the left of me,but I find things like that interesting and how often do these types of celebrities come to the Western Maryland area?
So,I then promptly forgot about it until late Monday night after everyone was in bed and then it hit me like a shot-Not only is someone like this in the area,but it is a rare off night for me-I could go!
Then the bigger bomb smacked me in the head-Would Shelley Fabares (Mike Farrell's wife) be traveling with them?
Now I was really interested as I am a huge fan of hers from Elvis movies,the original Brian's Song film,One Day at a time and of course her role as Christine Armstrong on Coach,another of my favorite shows.

The interesting part was the turnout,roughly 100 people at the Frederick Arts Council jammed into an old McCrory's department store that has been converted into a art gallery of sorts.
The McCrory's chain was quite prevalent in the area and considering what I know about them,I would guess that the part of the store that we were in was likely the store's pet area where tropical fish and pet supplies were sold.
Farrell spoke for roughly 90 minutes and the talk was entertaining.He didn't give a speech,he seemed to grasp that celebrities didn't appear here often and of course people wanted to hear about MASH.
He opened up to questions for the vast majority of his evening and most of the questions were about MASH with a few exceptions and he answered them all with grace and wit and entertained all the attended.
I was hoping to hear a little bit more about his activist roles,more on his causes and why he thought they were just,but you cannot blame locals for wanting to hear about MASH and I was fine with that as well.
After the talk,Farrell signed books and was quite gracious in signing,snapping pictures with all who asked.
After my book was signed,I maneuvered my way to the back of the room where Shelley Fabares sat quietly with one person talking to the only other people that seemed to recognize her.
I waited my turn and told her what a big fan I was etc and Ryan helpfully chimed in supporting my position.
I told her "As much as I wanted to see Mike,the chance to meet you was the main reason that I came".
She signed a few of the Blank "Rusty" cards for me and Ryan,talked for a few minutes,answering questions that I asked her about Jan Berry of Jan and Dean in which she shared an emotional tale about the late Mr Berry.
Jeff was in the background taking pics the entire time and I asked if they looked OK,Shelley volunteered to stand up and take two with me.
Ryan then jumped in and did the same for himself and she then graciously gave me her home address so after the pictures are turned into 8 x 10's.,we could send them to her home and she would sign them.
As we left,she thanked us for coming,speaking to her and for asking for her autograph.
What a thrill for me and what a fun evening.
Sometimes meeting the people that you are a fan can be a disappointment,after all they are just people as well and people arent always nice.
Last night was the farthest thing from that,being one of those rare occasions where expectations are exceeded and creating memories that wont be forgotten.
Thanks to Ryan for inviting me and allowing me to attend and thanks to Jeff for manning the camera and allowing the memories to be placed on line..

Back later or tomorrow with more Reviewing the tape for either Browns.Seahawks or time permitting both....

Photo Credits
All event photos;Jeff Heimberger

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