I haven’t told y’all yet about my celebrity sighting this summer. Let me just say that prior to this summer, I have had two other celebrity encounters that proved that when faced with celebrity I choose to either ignore them or make a fool out of myself. Really, there’s no middle ground.
My first celeb encounter was about 15 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska at a Red Carpet Inn. It was 2 a.m. and we had just arrived after a 14 hour drive through literally nothing (they aren’t kidding about the Kansas plains) for the College World Series. Big Roy, who is Gulley’s stepdad, had driven 7 college girls all the way to Nebraska to watch the Aggies play. He and I got in the elevator with the last of our luggage when I looked up and realized that Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was on the elevator with us. He was wearing a dog collar and purple velvet zebra pants. Big Roy had no idea who he was and I completely ignored him. One of my lifelong regrets will be that I didn’t sing at least one line of Love in an Elevator.
My next encounter was walking out of a neighborhood restaurant and seeing Tommy Lee Jones. Because I am so astute, my first thought was that he looked familiar. P. is in youth ministry so we know a lot of parents and I thought he was somebody’s dad. So I say really loud and friendly, “Hey, how’re you doing?” and he…well, he completely ignored me. Two seconds later it dawned on me that he might have looked familiar because well, he’s Tommy Lee Jones. I’ve only seen Lonesome Dove and Coalminer’s Daughter each about 40 times.
So, that brings me to this summer. Gulley and I were at the pool with the kids who were jumping off the diving board. She starts to head back to the baby pool with her boys and then all of a sudden I see her walking quickly back towards me with purpose. She says in a loud whisper, “I think Charlie Robison is here with his little boy. Go look.” Being the good mom that I am, I make Caroline quit jumping off the board so I can go verify that Charlie is indeed at the pool. No doubt about it, it’s Charlie.
Now, some of you are probably thinking who is Charlie Robison? Well, he’s a Texas musician who makes great music but has never gained Nashville type fame, but to us he’s a genuine celebrity. Oh, and by the way, he is also the husband of Emily Robison, the Dixie Chick.
I know that the Dixie Chicks have become controversial, but y’all I love their music. Cowboy Take Me Away will always be one of my favorites and Lullaby off their new C.D. is really one of the sweetest songs ever. Emily has always been my favorite because she seems so down to earth, we were pregnant at the same time, and I like to think that maybe she thought Natalie should have kept her mouth shut. This is my own personal fantasyland that I’m living in so I can make up whatever I want.
Back to my story…I tell Gulley that yes, it is Charlie and we’re all excited wondering if we might see Emily at some point. P. shows up about that time and tells me that if I’m about to make a fool out of myself that maybe I need to leave. I assure him that I will be the picture of calm and cool.
For the next week, Charlie walks into the pool with his little boy everyday wearing a big, straw cowboy hat and carrying a huge Nike gym bag. Then one day, it happened. Gulley and I were in the pool with the kids when I looked up and there she was…Emily. You’d have never known it was her because she looked like every other mom there in her black Gap coverup, visor and hair pulled up in a ponytail. But y’all we knew, because we had been eyeing Charlie all week long waiting to see if Emily was going to show.
True confession, I had even gone on their website to see if she was on tour or at home.
We didn’t say anything to her because I figured she’d be back again another day and we could strike up a conversation that would lead to lifelong friendship then. I imagined being featured with her in People as “here’s Dixie Chick Emily Robison with gal pal Big Mama”.
Sadly, she is now on tour (y’all know I checked) and hasn’t been back, but Charlie is there every day. Gulley even introduced herself to him a few weeks ago. So if you are looking at your People magazine and see “Charlie Robison with gal pal Gulley”, y’all can say y’all know the whole story.