In search of Batman

Time to finish a thread started back in May, when I wrote about an unexpected encounter with Jerry Kramer, the former Packers guard whom I admire more as an author than an athlete.

As I said then, I’ve worked in the media for a long time, enjoying the occasional access that comes with it. Meeting people, famous or not, comes with the territory. It’s not that the thrill is gone, but the list of famous people I’d like to meet is pretty short.

Which brings us to Batman.

“Batman” was must-see TV in the mid-’60s. I was in grade school, and role models didn’t get much better than Batman. Back then, Batman was more like Superman — truth, justice and the American way — than the brooding Dark Knight we’ve come to know in the last 25 years.

So, all these years later, I still would like to meet Adam West.

I’d like to thank him for two things. First, for being that role model for a kid from Wisconsin. Second, for being a role model in the years since “Batman,” for showing how to handle career disappointment with grace, and how to embrace it and turn it into an asset.

I could meet Adam West this weekend. He’s appearing at the Comic Con convention in Chicago. But that wouldn’t be much fun. I’m not into autographs, nor into getting my picture taken with celebrities. Which is why West was booked for the show. I get that. It’s just not my thing, and especially not after reading this Chicago Tribune story, which makes certain aspects of those shows a little sad.

So maybe someday I’ll be waiting for a plane with Adam West — as we once did with Robert Urich. Or maybe someday I’ll ride a hotel elevator with Adam West — as we once did with Sam Kinison.

Those encounters also were completely unexpected, completely informal, as it was with Jerry Kramer this spring. That’s way better than forking over admission and queueing up for hours.

And if not Adam West, then … let’s see … Bart Starr or Ringo Starr or Paul McCartney.

“Pleased To Almost Meet You,” Colin Hay, from “American Sunshine,” 2009.

Oh, I’ve met Colin Hay. He’s as gracious and good-natured as his songs suggest.

Who’s on your list?

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4 Comments

Filed under August 2010, Sounds

4 responses to “In search of Batman

  1. I’ve had the good fortune to meet a fair number of folks, but possibly the most notable was Johnny Cash. Oddly enough, The Man In Black was wearing a floral, Hawaiian shirt when I met him.

  2. Meat

    Nodded at Bruce Springsteen in a Janesville, Wis., restaurant, with the E Street band sans Clarence Clemons. Also present, Springsteen’s ex-wife Julianne Phillips. Later learned they were in town because band mate, the late Danny Federici, was marrying a Wisconsin woman. Didn’t realize until halfway through dinner that the large, jovial crowd was THE band until one member of the party talked about hitching a ride in LA and getting picked up by Neil Young in a hearse (Nils Lofgren). Then another talked about a self-inflicted bloody nose drumming during the start of Thunder Road (Max Weinberg). That’s when the light bulb went off. Ate little after that. Was ready to ask for an autograph, but my wife convinced me that would be uncool and that we should respect their privacy. We did, sorta. After walking out and exchanging my nod with the Boss, we hit two payphone and called our respective newspaper employers about our Springsteen sighting. It was news. A Madison radio station woke me up with a call at 6:30 a.m. the next morning, wanting info on the air. By mid-morning the next day lotsa Springsteen hunters on the street , hoping they’d get a glimpse. Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows was the wedding band, but Bruce and gang reportedly stole the show with a rip roaring set. The Boss, of course, was best man.

  3. Chuck

    Well you should have switched places with me back around 1995 when I was put in first class on an Atlanta-to-Birmingham flight (my ticket was coach) and who is sitting two rows behind me but…Bart Starr

  4. No random rock ‘n’ roll meets for me, but I spent some time in line at the bank one day with Tony Dungy, then defensive coordinator for the Vikings and later head coach for the Buccaneers and the Colts. As you may have read, he’s a super nice guy.

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