I’ve had random celebrity sightings over the years, but none as significant as John F. Kennedy. It happened on a beach on Martha’s Vineyard where I was vacationing. I was young and single and with a friend who was born and raised on the island. So when my friend pointed out and asked, “You know who that is, don’t you?” I turned to look and thought the person looked vaguely familiar. My friend said it was Kennedy. Between the brilliant sun and white beach, I squinted for a better look as the lone man walked along the beach. I figured my friend would recognize Kennedy when he saw him since the Kennedys spent a lot of time on the island. I wanted to follow him, but thought better of it. Those shadows behind him were probably FBI.
Cliff and I have been tennis enthusiasts for years. Chris Evert was a favorite of mine. She won 18 Grand Slam singles championships. I met her at a tournament on Marco Island, Florida. A friend who was living in Fort Myers, Florida, at the time surprised me with tickets to see Chris play when I visited her. I was still living in Ohio at the time. Stan Smith is a true tennis legend. Cliff and I saw him play in Ohio and what a thrill that was. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. It was a thrill to watch these pros play in person rather than on TV. Then there’s German tennis great Boris Becker, ranked #1 in the world for twelve weeks in 1991. We met him, bought a little of his stock, and even bought a couple sports outfits from his line of clothing.
Someone I’d liked to have met is Ansel Adams, a great photographer who fully expressed what he felt about what was being photographed. To be in the company of so much talent would be awesome. What a privilege it would have been to meet someone who ventured into the American wilderness and photographed detailed black and white landscape pictures. His images of Yosemite National Park are favorites of mine, along with some of his everyday objects. He almost wasn’t a photographer at all, and originally planned on being a classical pianist in San Francisco and photography a hobby. Until he met a master photographer who inspired him to commit to full-time photography. Adams began to photograph in color soon after Kodochrome was invented in the mid-1930s. We have a book of his beautiful color photographs, but I still prefer black and white.