Mitzi Eleanor: On How Meeting a Childhood Hero Can Be a GOOD Thing

2012-02-28 23.05.52


This event happened a few years ago and some of the things I will reveal a few things that some people might not wish me to reveal but I think it’s a good story overall so…this is happening.

I have this friend very well connected in the entertainment world and often he would invite me to a very well-known movie studio to watch movie premiers.  I always sat in the VIP section and always had a fabulous time.  Promise, I’m not bragging, just setting up the story here.  But if I were to brag, I will say this friend also made it possible for me to unknowingly confess my undying love for Gerard Butler without realizing was either high or drunk or both. Regardless, he’s still cute.

Anyway, Gerard Butler is not my childhood hero. That would be stupid.  Why would anyone pick an actor as their hero?   It’s pointless; they get paid to pretend to be someone else.  The childhood hero of this story is Buzz Aldrin.  You know, the second human in history to set foot on the moon.  (You wouldn’t believe how many blank stares I get when I say his name.  Public education at its finest!)

It was at one of these movie premiers where he was the guest of honor and honestly, I didn’t even know he was there until my friend, father, brother and I were late meeting Buzz and his entourage for a behind the scenes tour of this movie studio.  Hell, I didn’t even recognize him when I saw him.

What I did notice was a very kind and elderly man explain to me the difference between West-coast and East-coast graffiti.  We had a nice chat and then we began to walk toward the theater on the studio lot to watch the new film being released. It was while we were on this walk back that my friend said Buzz’s name and I realized I was walking right next to a true American hero!

Squeeee!!!  I felt like a complete nincompoop not recognizing him right away.  But I didn’t let that stop me from asking for a photograph with him (on my very old camera phone so the photo is kinda grainy but who cares!  I’m standing next to Buzz Aldrin! And we discussed graffiti!)

After my friend got an angry call from a studio Executive saying we were all late for the movie premier, we walked faster toward the theater.  Buzz’s wife at the time, Lois, walks next to me and randomly lets it slip that Buzz is a recovering alcoholic and hasn’t had a drink in 20 years.  The look on Buzz’s face is complete shock.  I’m sure mine was filled with mortification at hearing this.

I don’t believe it was a secret, but it was a completely off the wall comment that really had no place in the polite conversation we were all having.  So what did I do?  I looked at Lois, who by the way was double fisting two glasses of wine, and awkwardly choked out, “Good for him. It takes a strong will to overcome that addiction.”

And thank God we arrived at the theater or I would have died from mortification of being stuck in the middle of what seemed like an oncoming storm of a fight between man and wife.

As we all sat down, I sat to the left of Buzz.  He was on his blackberry the entire time.  But I wasn’t upset.  He walked on the moon, he can email all he wants through the movie!

My favorite memory from that night was the moment I laughed at a joke Robert Downey Jr., dressed in black face, made about Neil Armstrong as I sat next to Buzz Aldrin.

So thankful for Buzz being such a nice guy.  He truly made that night a highlight of my life.