“Hey Snowman! Where’s Fred?”
Generally speaking, I would expect that celebrities don’t like to be relentlessly identified with the roles they’ve played before. At least Jerry Reed didn’t.
As you may recall from yesterday’s blog, I’ve had three bona fide encounters with various celebrities who earned their status as singers. I started off by telling you about one of the purveyors of southern rock and his choice to give me a dirty look once. Tomorrow, I’ll cap it off with another encounter that some of you may have heard in team briefings at Cubeville where each member of the team was challenged to tell two truths and a lie as an icebreaker exercise.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, will be the creamy center of this little Oreo.
Now I should probably offer up a bit of a mea culpa right here and now. Last night, I indicated that the three encounters I have had with singers have all been of the rock ‘n’ roll flavor. Encounter number two was a rock star, but not in the sense that he was a rock singer. I’m talking about Jerry Reed.
Just like my encounter with the Georgia Satellites, my occasion to meet Jerry Reed came by way of my employment as a blue coverall wearing lug nut charged with cleaning up at an events center where they held concerts, basketball games, and Ice Capades.
On the night in question, Jerry Reed had found himself a little further west than he ever intended and ended up playing the Casper Events Center. I can only assume the good people of Casper, Wyoming were just as excited.
Understandably so, my role as a grunt required me to show up to work around 10:30 pm as the concert was starting to wrap up. As I arrived, I parked in the back lot where staff was supposed to be and made my way to the back entrance. Anytime we had a concert, there was always a tour bus or a limo parked out back. These vehicles were kept ready to go at a moment’s notice once the entertainment realized that Casper was no place to be after dark, let alone before.
That particular night was no different. Reed’s bus was ready to go. The door was open and waiting to receive it’s cargo. Just as I passed the bus, a group of three men approached. The one in the middle was staggering a little, and was walking with the aid of the two men on either side of him. A coat or something had been draped over his head.
“Hey”, I thought, “that’s Jerry Reed.” Without thinking (I did that a lot), I called out to them. “Hey Snowman! Where’s Fred?”
You don’t approach a celebrity who’s surrounded by beefy minions in a poorly lit parking lot and make some stupid, smart ass remark about his movie career. I had that epiphany as I was taken down as a potential threat to the evening’s entertainment. I spent the next few minutes trying to convince Jerry’s boys that I actually worked there, and I was going to be cleaning up the beer Mr. Reed’s fans inadvertently (or advertently) spilled on the seats while he performed.
Reed, while leaning against the bus door, barked out orders to his dogs. “Come on boys, he’s good. Let him go. We got a long way to go and a short time to get there.”
With that, I was cut loose so that I could proceed with sweeping and mopping.
It’s been over twenty five years since that fateful night. Up until now, I’ve never told anyone about what happened.
I’ve been saving it all along, because I knew that one day I would have the opportunity to broadcast my story to an as of yet uninvented network of servers and computers designed to grant mouthy souls like yours truly a vehicle to publish vast collections of psychotic ramblings as desperate pleas for attention.
So that’s encounter number two.
Encounter number one gave me a dirty look.
Encounter number two put me on the ground.
Encounter number three will serve to baffle.
To be continued, y’all.