It’s time for a non-political thread for those who want to talk about something different. Mind you, there are a couple of political threads still running so feel free to continue the debate.
For this thread I ask: “Have you met any famous people?”
I’ve met a few.
In 1988 I was invited to the Adelaide Lord Mayor’s cocktail party in honour of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. I was an acquaintance of the Lord Mayor, Steve Condous, hence the invite.
The invitation came via a letter from the then Premier, John Bannon. The letter contained strict instructions on how guests were to address the royal couple if placed in the ‘awkward’ situation of a personal introduction. My wife at the time spent the afternoon practicing her greeting in front of the mirror; repeatedly curtseying to the accompanying “yes your Royal Highness”, which she practiced a dozen times at least.
She had it down pat.
At the party Charles himself thrust his hand forward to the ex and said “Hello, pleased to meet you”. Here practice was to no avail for her was response was “G’day. Pleased to meet you too”. 😳
She turned to me later and said he had the most sloppy of handshakes. I wondered if he was just being a gentleman and shaking the hand of a lady gracefully, or whether he was a wimp. A few years later I sat next to a Texan on a flight to Alice Springs who started bragging to me in his deep Texan accent that he’d met Prince Charles when he toured the USA and that he shook his hand. “What was the handshake like?”, I asked. “Nice and firm, like they should be” he responded. Well that answered my old question.
Anyway, back to the party . . .
Another guest took a liking to me, probably because I was the only other person there demonstrably interested in nothing much else but the free drinks. His name was David Hookes (Hookesy). Hookesy was later dragged away to meet the royal couple, no doubt to be introduced to them as he was the South Australian cricket captain. The royal tour, after all, had created some interest in the cricket circles as the little Ashes urn accompanied them to Australia for public viewing.
After the brief meeting Hookesy came back to me and said: “Wow, is she stupid” (referring to Lady Di). “She thought the ashes in the urn were the remains of the English cricket team that lost the first ever Test Match to Australia. The stupid b**** thought they were put to death for losing and their ashes were put in the urn!” Hookesy certainly spoke and drank as adventurous as he played his cricket.
Australian cricket will always miss Hookesy. Not so Lady Di, I’d imagine.
About 16 months ago, incidentally, I drove over the exact spot in Paris where she was killed in 1997.
Another famous person I met was Imran Khan, also a cricketer, now a politician. I spent an evening with both he and another Pakistani cricketer, Zaheer Abbas. Zaheer was the consummate gentleman. Imran, only 21 at the time, was a big-headed upstart who loved nothing better than to tell everyone how much he loved himself.
Around that time of my life I looked a bit like Imran and I was often mistaken for him. A few months ago I was telling a young Pakistani check-out operator how I used to be mistaken for Imran when I was in my early twenties, but it would happen these days as I’ve grown old an ugly.
“NO”, she loudly objected.
I was starting to like the girl.
“He’s grown old and ugly too”.