I have been so fortunate to have exchanged words with some of the most famous Chicagoans. Some have even been world famous. I was once in the Peninsula Hotel’s elevator with Mayor Richard Daley a few years back. He was cordial, and afterwards I felt a little star struck, if you will. Then, although hard to believe, I was luckily stuck in the same elevator with none other than Michael Jordan. He was with a buddy of his and when we entered the elevator going down, I asked Mr. Jordan, “So, what do you these days?” He paused, looked at his friend and said, “Hang out with guys like him.” His friend was just an average Joe (as far as I knew). What stuck out most in my mind about Mr. Jordan was how nice and smooth his skin looked. Wow, I thought. He was really handsome…much more so than he looked on T.V.
Then, I have exchanged greetings with Oprah Winfrey at the East Bank Club. I’m not sure why I need to print her last name as there is only one Oprah. As I’ve seen her a few times at the club, the strange and funny thing that stands out in my mind is the time she came into the club, ready to work out, in her dark sunglasses. Everyone knows she is Oprah, sunglasses or no sunglasses, and how strange, I thought, that she actually thinks that she would blend in, so to speak, when EVERYONE knows she’s Oprah!
But the most rewarding star sighting/exchange was with Derrick Rose. I say this after watching tonight’s news where they played back his Adidas shoe promotional event. I was moved to tears as Mr. Rose was crying because he is SO grateful and supremely humble for having “real fans” as he put it, especially after going through his surgery and rehab. And if you saw the news clip or video, you can’t help but to love and respect him as he talks about his humble background where the odds of coming out of there a hero, let alone a multi-million dollar athlete, is so very slim. So although I was bold enough to start a conversation with Mr. Rose as I entered the lobby of the Trump Tower, I regret not asking him for an autograph. I hope to be bold enough to ask for an autograph the next time I happen to run into him…if it ever happens again. Who wouldn’t love Chicago with heroes like Derrick Rose? I look forward to the next Bulls game with the whole world watching when he returns.