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I have a special container just for little bits and leftovers from projects, so I opened it and started rummaging through and adding this and that. The materials include blue netting, miniature dried rose petals, bits of printing, a remnant of a dyed baby wipe, ribbon, brass clip and a bird. Distress ink was also used.
Today's story (second in a Tuesday series) is about meeting a celebrity. It's been said that all of us will probably meet somebody famous at least once in our lifetime and I've met several well known people, but the following experience is one of my favorites.
I was managing an antiques mall in Charleston SC in 2003 and on this particular day, it was almost closing time and there were few people in the mall. Darkness was falling outside and it was winter time. As I was standing behind the counter near the front door, I noticed a car pull up to the sidewalk in front of the mall and a small slender man get out of the back, dressed in jeans, a denim jacket, and a blue ball cap pulled down over his forehead. As he came through the front door, he did not glance towards me but immediately turned down an aisle and began to look into each booth. But I recognized him right away - it was Ed Harris.
RADIO was being filmed in the nearby small town of Walterboro SC. The actual story of Coach Harold Jones and his relationship with James Robert "Radio" Kennedy took place in the upstate of SC in the town of Anderson, but they were making the movie in Walterboro because it still had the look and feel of the era the film depicted. Charleston has had movies made in the city itself and in the surrounding areas over the years and it was always great fun, especially as an antiques dealer, because they would usually send a crew to scour antique stores for anything they could use in the film they were making. This held true with this particular film, and we had already sold several things to the props crew who had visited our mall several times.
Anyway, as it hit me who just walked in, I realized that the mall owner and another dealer, who were standing behind me a little ways talking, did not notice what I had. I didn't say anything, but watched as Mr. Harris wandered up and down the aisles in the almost empty store. Finally he came up to the counter, and keeping his head somewhat lowered, he put a small item down. I asked him the usual "Will this be all?" question and he nodded. As I began noting the dealer information on my sheet, I said casually "You know, you sure do look like Ed Harris." and he finally looked up at me and said "Well....guilty." I was struck by the instant look of resignation on his face and I realized he was preparing himself for the onslaught of a fan. So, as I made the transaction, I just made small talk - how did he like Walterboro, had he visited any of the well known restaurants in Charleston, how did he like South Carolina, etc, and as he answered me I could see him visibly relax and we had a nice little chat. When I finished and handed him his small parcel, he smiled and left. The other ladies behind me were still engrossed in their conversation.
RADIO is still a favorite movie, and it's fun to watch and pause it to pick out the things in the background which were purchased from my booth and from fellow dealers in the antiques mall, and I love the story of true friendship. But the ladies who were behind me that day really were not happy that I didn't tell them about the visit until after Ed Harris left!