Back when I was a cab driver, I had numerous “brushes” with celebrity.
I was the driver for a few different performers when they visited Madtown.
My favorite encounter was the night I had the band, Garbage, in my cab. They were celebrating the start of their first tour (staring the next day) and were pretty hyped up. They ended up singing their old high school fight songs in the cab.
That was fun.

But those brushes were very brief and fleeting. Good stories, but not very meaninful. About as much as I expected in my life, really.

This weekend, I’ve upped my expectations… a little.

A couple of weekends ago, while shopping with C, I picked up a couple of CDs by a semi-local artist named Celia Farran. She’s from Wisconsin, but she’s toured all over the country. She plays guitar, sings, writes her own stuff, and tells stories. I haven’t even had a chance to listen to the two CDs yet.

This Saturday, while attending a conference, I thought I recgonized one of the other attendees. (Hard not to, really. Celia has very long, striking red hair.) I approached her and did the typical “fan” piece of telling her I had a couple of her CDs. We ended up talking a little over lunch. During our conversation, it came up that Celia wasn’t staying at the conference center and needed a place to sleep that night. I was staying with M1M2 (their new home was only a half hour away) and after a quick call to see if it was all right, I invited Celia to join me at M1M2’s place. After a moment of thought, she accepted. (She later said it was a deliberation of bliss. She tries to follow her bliss– which option is most likely to be the most enjoyable.)

We arrived at M1M2 later that night after a drive through the dark country roads. The guest room was made up for her, a towel laid out for the morning, a nightlight on– all the hospitality you would expect from M1M2. In the morning, I got up really early and sat on the deck listening to the birds and watching the deer play. (They really did play. First time I’d seen them do that.) M1 and M2 got up and then Celia awoke. We had a wonderful morning. M1 made breakfast for us all. (She threatened to make brunch, but neither Celia nor I were up for that much food.) Then Celia found out that M1 is not only a carpenter and cook, but a seamstress as well. She had some clothes in need of tailoring/mending and M1 gladly offered to do them. While M1M2 worked on the clothes, Ceila was invited to use the hot tub. I decided against joining her and instead sat with M1M2. Both Celia and I kept saying we had to go but couldn’t seem to pull ourselves away from M1M2’s company. It was relaxing, funny, engaging– and just plain fun.

Before she left, Celia offered to pay for the tailoring– which M1 flatly refused to accept. (She’s helpin’ folk, you know.) Celia instead gifted M1M2 with a few of her CDs and even put on a small performance of one of her stories for them.

We parted ways with Celia thanking me for inviting her into my familie’s house and with M1M2 thanking me for inviting such a “delightful person” into their home.

I hope the opportunity presents itself again sometime.
More importantly, I hope this develops into a new friendship.
New friends have been in short supply as of late– and that needs to change.