People love a local connection.
The smaller and more parochial the the place, the stronger the urge of its inhabitants to claim and proclaim the accomplishments of their fellow citizens.
I was born in Hibbing, MN: onetime home of Bob Dylan and Kevin (pretty fly for a white guy) McHale, as well as the birthplace of Greyhound buses. My dad came from New York City, and therefore grew up deprived of the opportunity to boast about coming from the same town as this folk-rock icon, or that middle-tier professional basketball player.
When you come from someplace like New York, it’s just obnoxious to tout all your famous and accomplished neighbors… not to mention time-consuming. Yes, New York… we get it: you’re the center of the friggin’ universe.
At any rate, his adopted residence on the Iron Range granted him the opportunity to endlessly recount the time he played raquetball with Mr. McHale. Apparently, the focal point of the story was meant to be the semi-famous person involved, since nobody would otherwise want to draw attention to the fact that they were playing raquetball.
The other favorite “Little-Known-Fact” (though it could hardly be called that by anyone who spent any time around my dad and a TV) was that the writer of the Cheers theme song was also from Hibbing. Since Cheers was one of the longest-running sitcoms on television in its day, my father had ample opportunity to point this out. The only problem is, it may not be true.
Firstly, there were two writers of the theme, one of whom (Gary Portnoy) was certainly from — where else — New York. I can find no record of where the other writer, Judy Hart Angelo, was born. And to think that Dad chose this tidbit, while never once mentioning such hometown luminaries as Roger Maris or Chi Chi La Rue.
Anyway, the song, “Where Everybody Knows Yuur Name” which opened the wonderful Boston-bar-based was indeed catchy. I can surely understand why a person would want to claim a tenuous connection to it.
The moral of the preceding story is that fame is elusive. Until you’re famous. Then you’re followed around by hoards of camera-wielding leaches and “fans” who want to consume you like green beer on St. Patrick’s day.
The irony I guess I was trying to suggest with this picture is that, once you become famous … a hero to millions … then everyone will know your name. But does the real person at the center of that fame start to disappear?
I’m not going to reveal who the celebrity is in this scene. But if anyone guesses correctly in the comments section of this blog, I will give them credit. Then everyone (who follows this blog) will know your name!