Monday, September 06, 2010
Been There, Done That – Bill Cosby
My friend Mary LeBeuf and I had seen Mr. Cosby at a concert at Brigham Young University and really enjoyed his show. He was funny and personable toward the crowd, and from what we’d seen of him on television, that’s exactly how we expected him to be in person.
“Hey, let’s go see him at the airport tomorrow morning,” Mary suggested.
I was game, after all, going to the airport to see celebrities was part of our everyday life, why should this time be any different? We found out where he was headed and what time his plane would be leaving, and hit the sack because we’d be out the door very early the next morning.
We were on the road by six a.m. Although Mr. Cosby’s plane was not scheduled to leave until around nine, we wanted to be there early so we could catch him for an autograph before he boarded the plane. It took us nearly an hour to get to the airport, park our car, and find the correct gate on the call board, and once we arrived at the gate we found we were the only people there, so we sat down to wait.
This was the first plane scheduled to depart from the gate this particular morning, so it was already parked where we could see it from the window. Mary and I each had our autograph books ready, and it was a good thing because almost immediately we recognized the man walking toward us as Bill Cosby.
Mr. Cosby wore a pair of grey sweats and carried no luggage. He held his head down, so I’m sure he didn’t see us at first. Mary and I were already experienced at approaching celebrities so we knew how to act as we walked toward him. We caught sight of a woman—an airline employees—as she came from the hall that attached to the gate and moved toward the check-in podium, but she didn’t see to pay any attention to any of us. Absolutely no one else was in the terminal except for us and Mr. Cosby.
He had just arrived in the seating area when we approached him, autograph books and pens held ready. “Excuse us, Mr. Cosby,” I said. “May we have your autograph?”
He looked up at us sharply, and growled out,” I don’t give autographs.” Then he moved quickly to the woman at the podium. “I’d like to be taken aboard the plane now.”
She looked up at him, recognized his face and was quick to comply. “Come with me, Mr. Cosby.”
We heard he remind him that the plane didn’t leave for another two hours and that he might be more comfortable in the waiting area, but he didn’t seem to care as he walked into the tunnel that led to the plane. Mary and I just stood there, our mouths hanging open in shock at how rude he had sounded when he refused to sign our autograph books.
Before we could leave the airline employee was back. “Girls,” she said. At first we thought we were in trouble, but she continued quickly. “I saw what happened. Mr. Cosby is on the plane, signing autographs right now for the crew. Give me your books, and I ‘ll see what I can do.”
At this point I wasn’t sure I really wanted his autograph anymore, but like Mary, I handed the book over to her.
Less than five minutes later she was back, a huge smile on her face. She handed over the books, still open to the correct page, and sure enough, there was his autograph. There was no personalization, but that was okay. Many celebrities only write their own name.
We thanked the woman for helping us out—after all, an autograph was what we came for—but every since that day, I’m just not too sure how much I really like Mr. Bill Cosby.
Oh, by the way, here's the autograph: