Saturday, January 06, 2007

Mom's Brush With Royalty

My mom is on vacation with the mother of the person whose alleged movie rating title is in question in Quiz XII. I won't say where they are, to protect the vacation hot spots of my mom or the person she ran into, except that it's in the southeast quadrant of the mainland U.S.

Last night, after a long search for a restaurant to eat dinner in, my mom and her friend found a nice little place and sat down to eat.

Mom looks over at the next table, and sees a familiar face. A face which an even more familiar voice often emerges from, on summer nights in New England, since 1983.

That's right, dining with his wife a few feet from my mom, hundreds of miles from home, is the voice of the Boston Red Sox, Joe Castiglione.

Mom quickly went into action, asking her waiter to ask the white-haired gentleman if his name is Joe--even though she's 99 percent sure it's him. The waiter asks, and Castig responds, "Who wants to know." The waiter points at my mom. "That lady."

Joe acknowledges, and my mom and friend settle in for a 15-minute fireside chat with the Castigliones.

She said they were really nice. Joe even flashed "the ring," which he apparently usually where upside down to avoid drawing a crowd. Mom said it was incredible to see the ring on someone's hand. They also talked about their Connecticut backgrounds, and 1960s CT high school basketball.

The best part? My mom had Joe do a personalized autograph--for me! It says "Can you believe it?" How cool is that? I'll have to scan that one when it gets back to the northeast.

So great...your Mom is one AMAZING lady! Coming to a town near me in March.
Have a great Sunday...hi to Chan.
& to meet Joe:

Shouldn't Joe have been asking your Mom for her autograph?
She did tell him about her books and the Red Sox players' various cameos in them. I think. She will surely tell us more when she gets home.
Joe was so terrific, his wife lovely and gracious. Act-chally, AJM, he asked me what I was doing in Charleston and I told him I was researching a new novel and his wife immediately grabbed a napkin and asked me the name of my most recent book so they could read/listen to it. Then I told him I would go to Amazon and get his book avoiding the temptation to lie and tell him I loved it, and he was quite appreciative. Then he said, "Publishers aren't nice people, are they?" Must have had a bad experience. But then, publishers live in New York, know nothing about baseball so are therefore Yankee fans. Everyone but my editor, that is, the most wonderful Liz Stein.
Joe said when he eats in restaurants he turns the ring so the Big B faces in, otherwise he won't get through a meal, and when he turned it around to show me (unasked) he was like a new dad showing off his baby. I read in an interview that every morning he wakes up, looks at the ring and says to himself, "We really did it."
I love Joe Castiglione. I can still hear his voice when I'd go in my little boy's bedroom and hear for the zillionth time: "One more inning... please, Mom."
It was just such a great moment.
There goes the anonymity! Charleston, everybody, Charleston. Charleston......Louisiana, that is!

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Location: Rhode Island, United States