Sometimes a setting can be so parochial, that a celebrity is not recognized, but that type of person is not expected. This was recently the case, and I can attest to it. I do some consulting in the retail industry and I was working on a project for a store, now as an old retailer, I am constantly watching “the floor” as old habits die hard. A gentleman came into the establishment accompanied by a chauffer, which in its self is a red flag of a kind. The gentleman required some quick alterations and he was assured by the chauffer that this was the establishment to go to. I looked at the man closely, as he was answering some questions as a work order was being filled out, and then he went to one of the fitting rooms.
Now the woman behind the counter always jokes and is sometimes amazed at the number of people that I know when I am at the establishment. So I walked over to her and said “that man looks like Robert Picardo.” She replied that his name was Bob Picardo, and did I know him from my past selling days. I responded that he is a television star, now I have to tell you, that I have not watched television for at least the last twenty years, as my free time is too valuable for me to sit on a sofa or recliner and just aimlessly watch a screen. The reason I knew who he was is that my Bride loves to watch certain television shows and old movies. In fact her desk is behind my desk in our office and when we are both working our backs are to each other, but she has a television above her desk, so that she can be on the computer and have the television on at the same time. She is also a Science Fiction geek and that is one of her favorite genres on television. There can be evenings where she will watch multiple versions of Star Trek while she is working and through the years I have learned who most of the main characters on the various shows are, just by osmosis. Robert Picardo played a holographic doctor on Star Trek Voyager. After his fittings were done, I approached him, and relayed the information about my Bride to him. I also tried to call her, to no avail. So I asked him, if it would be alright if I took his picture and he laughed and smiled and agreed. I took his picture and then sent it without any wording to my Bride. He then left, and he would come back later to pick up his alterations. In about a half hour of sending the transmission my phone rang and it was my Bride, and she went on to tell me all of the television shows that he had appeared on, including some that I was not aware of, but she most assuredly knew. She was all agog, and asked if he was still there, and I replied to the negative. She then asked me the question that every husband hates to hear, when he realizes that he should have done it, at the time “did you get me an autograph?” I had to reply “no” to this simple question, and I could tell that she was upset, so I figured that I would be crass later and have to impose on him again, after taking his picture. By this time the store was star-struck after I had informed them who had graced their presence. Then they realized who the actor was, if not from Star Trek, then from some of his other shows.
When Mr. Picardo returned later that day for his alterations, he had a manila envelope and asked if my wife had seen the picture that I had taken. I had to laugh, when I recited the litany of shows and appearances that she remembered him being in and he seemed genuinely appreciative. He pulled out an assortment of glossy photographs and asked if there was one that she would appreciate more than the others and I nodded and chose the one from the Star Trek series and he personalized and dedicated the picture with an autograph to her, without any request from me. I was relieved that I did not have to ask him for an autograph.
While he was autographing a picture for the store, so that they could add to their collection of personalities that have come into the store, I asked him if he would like a drink and gave him a variety of choices. He asked for a white wine and I poured him a glass of Boomtown Chardonnay 2009 from Dusted Valley Vintners in the Columbia Valley of Washington State. I also poured a small tasting for myself to make sure that it was fine, as it was in the refrigerator at the time. It was fine, and tasted that it must have been fermented in stainless steel as it was crisp and fruity as opposed to an oakey, buttery taste. I had to look it up afterwards for this article and found that it made the “top one hundred domestic values” as well as a “best buy” from the Wine Spectator magazine. All in all it was a good day, I tried a wine that I may not have tasted due to working, the store was happy and most of all; my Bride was ecstatic when she came home later that day and saw the autographed picture waiting for her.