I had some interesting encounters over the past few days. At the Joy for the Kids concert, I met an entertainment legend, Ronnie Spector. Spector was the lead singer for the Ronettes, which was a huge group in the early 1960s, due mostly to their gigantic hit “Be My Baby.” Spector, now 68, lives in the western part of the state and had met Kara and Scot during a taping of “Better Connecticut” a while back and agreed to come to the Hartford Stage perform in the concert. When she posed for a picture with Kara, Denise and me, she told Kara her husband was a “fox!’ Thank you, Ronnie!
I grew up a fan of Aerosmith, Springsteen, and Alice Cooper. The Ronettes were before my time, but like most people, I’d heard “Be My Baby” over the years. How could you not? It’s in commercials and still played on the radio daily. I developed a newly found appreciation for Spector after a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The hall was running a clip of Spector in which she was asked if she ever got tired of people asking her to play “Be My Baby.” Spector, now 68, said “no;” that performing a song that made people happy, made her happy. Don’t you wish more performers had that attitude?
Just a few days before, Denise and I were in the studio talking about Ed Asner. Yes, the man who played Lou Grant and Axel Jordache. Axel who? Asner’s name came up because in the studio we have two cameras that can shoot the same background with different results. Through camera two, you look decent. camera one, horrible. It’s a lighting thing. I told Denise we need names for the two shots, and she said “how about Rich Man, Poor Man? ” That was name of a miniseries in the 1970s or 80s, and Denise started rattling off the stars of it, and one of them was Ed Asner, who played Axel Jordache.
Anyway, on Sunday, Kara and I were walking off a plane and the first person sitting in the first row in the airport was Ed Asner! How random! He was really a great guy and thrilled that we recognized him, and more excited, almost incredulous, that he was being talked about in a news studio about a somewhat forgettable role he played more than 30 years ago. Asner told us he spent plenty of time in Connecticut over the years because his wife was from Hartford.
Our celebrity encounters ran in threes this weekend. While walking back to our hotel from the World War II memorial in Washington, we spotted CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley getting out of a car near the White House. We introduced ourselves, and he introduced his wife Jane, and they mentioned they live in Darien. We gave Scott some good news: his ratings in the Hartford/New Haven market are higher than Katie Couric’s.