Wright Words: What Steve Young taught me about famous people

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  • Spikey Layton, UT
    Jan. 11, 2012 6:20 p.m.

    You know, this is why the leaders of the LDS church can't go anywhere---they're mobbed by members.

    I look at "famous" people this way: They are just like anybody else. Yes, they have a story, but I still think it's sad that they can't just go to the store by themselves to get a carton of milk. Because we idolize them or just think they're "neato" or whatever.

    I would say "Hi" and move on. Just my opinion.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Jan. 11, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    I confess I would not probably even recognize a "famous" person. In fact I have had several occasions where the people I was interacting with were in fact famous and I didn't know it. I think the vibe I got from those experiences was that our interaction was just fine. I suspect that treating everyone the same, whether famous or not, is probably the best choice. That means don't approach strangers just because they are "famous" but just interact as naturally comes. That first instinct displayed while following Mr. Young around but not stopping him, was probably the right thing; don't foist yourself onto others just because you can. So, if you see me in the bookstore while you are signing books, do not automatically assume I know who you are, or that I don't appreciate your writing just because I do not approach you.

    Jan. 11, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    And just how does it improve one's life by bugging someone who is famous and invading his or her "space"? Sure, it's part of the price one pays for fame, but I think it best to apply the golden rule. If I were famous I wouldn't want to be bugged all the time.

  • michaelm Waukesha, WI
    Jan. 10, 2012 11:21 p.m.

    It's always a hit or miss when reaching out to shake a famous person's hand. I grew up with access to interesting and sometimes famous people. Most of the time I do not try to make contact, If by chance I need to interact I'm respectful, but I don't put them on a pedestal either, meaning I treat them like everyone else.

    Most people appreciate the normalcy, except the self involved ego's and sometimes the newly famous still thinking they are the greatest thing ever.

    I once worked for the Aaron Spelling's Company in the 70s and attended his annual Christmas party. I was a nobody and had asked a certain starlet to dance (now a nobody) who asked me what show I was on, upon learning I was not an actor she spun around while declaring her distain for mere peasants! A friend of mine, a successful artist tried to give Sinatra a picture he had done of him, seeking nothing else, Sinatra had him beaten for touching his coat. The point, its best to leave most famous alone.

    I've worked for and with other very nice famous people I treat with respect and expect it returned.

    Jan. 10, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    Living in L.A. I stumble across actors pretty frequently. I let the more famous ones go, but the ones who are not so famous generally love to be approached and asked for their autographs or for photos to be taken. I've had some wonderful run-ins with people like Mitch Pileggi (X-Files), Michael Emerson and Nestor Carbonell (Lost). A friend of mine met Zeljko Ivanek and said he was the most gracious person she had ever met. Some of them actually like to meet their fans and to know that their work is enjoyed and appreciated.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 10, 2012 6:01 p.m.

    Great article!

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    Jan. 10, 2012 3:49 p.m.

    I have a very big pet peeve. It has to do with putting people like Steve young who openly said No to serving a Mission to peruse his own agenda. If you don't believe me read May sports illustrated 1988 issue. Quit promoting people like him and focus on whats really important. I am sure Dessert New will denie my comment.

  • earnest reader MENAN, ID
    Jan. 10, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    I think its interesting to see people of prominence in the church, however, I don't feel the need to go up and meet them personally. I have no desire to actually introduce myself to them. It's not that I don't feel they are important I just feel that everyone is important. As for famous people from entertainment or sports I have no desire to introduce myself to them. I do not feel them superior in any way.

    What I have come to realize as I have grown older is that it is special to be one of the crowd. No one bothers you. You can move about freely and enjoy the wonders of the world. I think it is a gift of freedom to those who are able to go about their business just knowing they are the ones who are being blessed. You can then look at every person as being unique and important in their own way. I'm so grateful to be one of the crowd.

  • Cougzz St. George, UT
    Jan. 10, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    Once, on a trip to New York to see my cousin (Doug Jolley) play a game for the NFL's Jets, we boarded the same plane as Steve Young. We got to talking to him at the JFK airport, and he found out that we were going to a NY Mets game that morning. He offered us a ride! He even rented a station wagon (compliments of ESPN by the way) so he could fit me and my three brothers comfortably. It was about 5 in the morning when we reached our destination (a McDonald's, because the game was at 11:00 AM), Steve got out and made sure that the area was safe for us (even though we are all bigger than him!) What a stud!

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Jan. 10, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    When I was going to BYU i made a point to talk to Pres. Tanner about something. I told him he had ordained me a Deacon but he replied that since Alberta had insstitutes students from there should stay. I lost that one.

    A few years and a marriage later, the Tabernacle Choir was in Edmonton (with President Tanner) and I get good seats for us. I notice that we were sitting right behind the former Premier of Alberta. Tanner had been in that Alberta government.

    During an intermission I hear some movement and Pres. Tanner is coming to talk to Premier Manning. He then looked back and recgnized me and introductions were made. I was stunned and my wife was impressed.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Jan. 10, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    I used to work in Hotel and Restaurant management. The last restaurant I managed was connected to a hotel that catered to many movie stars and, by contract, all the Nike atheletes visiting Portland, OR.

    We trained our very professional staff to treat all our guests with importance and not to impose or ask for autographs or photos, under penalty of disciplinary action. I never saw anyone cross that line, though our other customers did all the time. Sometimes we as staff had to intervene and make up an excuse for them to be able to escape unwanted advances. ("Mr. Bird, you have a phone call", "Mr. Dreyfus, your table is ready").

    I was a huge Magic Johnson fan, and luckily he and most celebrities are regular folks, and I have great memories of our many conversations. In a professional capacity, I would never impose. However, as a guy on the street, I have never passed on an impulse to chat with a celebrity I thought was interesting.

    Most gracious? Magic, Larry, Heather Locklear, Dorothy Hammill, Stockton. Malone, Ewing. (Richard Dreyfus, after you pass the non-leach test)

    Celebrities I would not waste a breath on? Jordan, Pippen, Faye Dunaway.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Jan. 10, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Sitting in a LA recording studio back in the early 70's, Diana Ross came in and sat down on the sofa immediately beside me and was very congenial. I thought I was a kid all over again. Oh, wait - I was a kid.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 10, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    I saw Steve Young in The Good Earth store in Orem. It looked like he was examining some whole wheat pasta but I can't be certain. I felt like I should rise and shout! Holy cow, calm down. These guys are just like anybody else ... just with a lot more money. They have holes in their socks just like everybody else.

  • Beowulf Portland, OR
    Jan. 10, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Goofy column, but I liked it.
    My wife has never been shy. Years ago, we saw the famous Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich standing in the lobby of a major hotel in Tokyo. She marched right up to him, shook his hand, made us all (kids and relatives) pose for photos with him. Mr. Rostropovich was not only gracious, he was so in the Russian style, giving her a big Russian hug.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Steve Young certainly has a lot of patience.

    I sat through a temple session with a member of the 12 once. And I saw how he got pestered after the meeting--I felt bad for him. He couldn't even attend the temple in peace. I figure famous people would rather have privacy than sign autographs or shake hands, especially when they're not at a public event, and the best policy is to give them a break and keep my distance.