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My Brush with Greatness

Hey Bartster, I had a few light brushes with greatness.
The earliest was when I was a kid, maybe 11, or 12.

Me and my friends used to go to the somewhat local (for 12) Holiday Inn, to swim in their built in pool,
that even had a diving board!   Wow, huh? Anyway, one day when we didn’t get kicked out instantly,
we met up with Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

He was super nice to us youngsters, did a dance from the movie for us, and, signed an autograph, that I
still have 41 years or so later. Always remembered that day.

Next was around 76, or 77. I was 19 or 20.

Went into a local roadside bar here in NJ called The Hazlet Lunch. Place had a 2 seater airplane up on
the roof, very old place. It was a Sunday afternoon, place was dead, as usual. We sit down at the bar
and low and behold, down at curved end of the bar is Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemmons.

We said hello, bought them a round, which they returned, exchanged some small talk, “you guys are great”
- you know. We didn’t want to act like star-struck groupies or anything...

In the 80s I used to go to anther local place called Twenty Paces in Union Beach.

It was a go-go joint that never heard about nudity laws. Or any laws really, for that matter.
Clarence used to show up there now and then. By chance I found myself sitting next to him, more than once.
Same thing, small talk. He was kind of on the quite side. I don’t think he wanted to be recognized in
Twenty Paces, and who could blame him...

Another time, I went to Laguardia airport to pick up my parents coming in from L.A. and met Lyle Alzedo and
his wife. Super nice. He was wearing a full length fur coat, had the long hair going.. when he was with the Raiders.

We were talking, waiting for luggage, my mom said,  I like your ring, beautiful ring (?) - he took it off
and handed
it to her. I think it was a Super bowl Co-Champs ring from when he was with Denver.
The thing was humungous! 
He called my dad "Sir," just very nice, friendly, and polite guy.

Lastly, I used to go to a club in Sayerville called The Playpen.

I only went there when I was desperate for women. So, I was there pretty often in the early 80s.  There, I used
to run into Chuck Wepner. Always had two babes with him. Always wore a hat, and dressed up nice. He was
real nice, always talkative (if you know what I mean [it was the 80s]). Problem was, he was hard to understand
sometimes, with the loud music, and his pro boxer way of talking. We got to know each other, so to speak,
to the point where he would actually come over and say hello. Really nice guy. And, just recently, he had a movie
made about his life called “The Real Rocky.”

Glad to see he’s doing okay, today. Anyway, that’s it.
I guess living in Jersey has some small upside.
All the best,

Funny, I heard just yesterday that Rocky was modeled after Chuck, affectionately known as "The Beyone Bleeder."
I remember seeing the poor guy getting his ass kicked by The Greatest many years ago
on TV.


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