Cherished Memories #29 and #30
#29 - Meeting Ross Valory of Journey
We were at Oakland Oracle Arena to see Bob Seger. I had gotten us pretty good seats that enabled us to use the Club level access so we were in the Club having a pre-concert drink when Bill said, "Ross Valory is here." Journey is one of my all time favorite bands so of course I was excited. Bill told me to go ask him for his autograph but I was too shy so he went up to stand near where Mr. Valory was talking with some friends. When there was a break in the conversation Bill said, "Mr. Valory, my wife would like your autograph but she is too shy to ask." He said, "Where is she?" and Bill pointed me out to him. He came right over to where I was sitting and stayed and talked with us for a good five or ten minutes! He was the nicest guy.
He very kindly took pictures with each of us and signed the back of one of my business cards, the only paper I had with me.
I told him that we had just seen Journey at Shoreline a few months before and that it was a great show. He asked us where we were sitting for the Seger concert and we told him. He was sitting in a section just to the left of us. He said Bob Seger was one of his favorites. I asked him why he was in the Club and not backstage and why he didn't have a special badge or something and he laughed and said that he had even needed to produce ID to prove he was "somebody." Then he shook our hands, told us to enjoy the show and went back to his friends.
I know that some celebrities can be real jerks when you ask for autographs, especially in situations like that where they are just out to have some fun themselves, but he seemed genuinely pleased that we knew who he was and was more than gracious in spending time with us.
My dad worked in the flower market all of his life. At one time he was part owner in Geneva and Sunnydale Nursery, which was eventually sold and torn down to make "The Projects" in San Francisco.
We had flowers and bushes all over our yard but his most prized possession I think was the poinsettia plant (tree) that grew in the front yard. It took up a whole corner and when it bloomed around Christmas time it was so pretty.
One of the things he used to do every Christmas was donate some poinsettia plants in pots to the local church for their altar decorations. I can remember going with him to load up the truck with pots and pots of these plants and then taking them to the rectory at church so the priests could put them around the altar. That was kind of interesting because I was in a special place "behind the scenes." Not many people got to go there. I remember it being a very cold room. Then, when we were at mass for the holidays I could see all the plants around the altar and felt kind of proud that those had come from our family.
I did it! I may not have posted every day but I did manage to get my 30 Cherished Memories in. I have so many more that I may do this again next November. Perhaps by then I'll be smart enough to plan the posts in advance so if something happens and I get busy, all I'll have to do is hit "publish." Hope you have enjoyed these glimpses into my memory bank as much as I have enjoyed putting them out there. Get ready for December Reflections!