“In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.”
Growing up in Los Angeles, you get used to seeing movie stars in daily life, at the grocery store, the eye doctor’s office, or as neighbors, over the years. Usually, well-known actors behave just like anyone else out in public, but sometimes they clearly don’t want to be recognized.
When I was about twenty-two, my cousin John was a contractor working for a large construction company redesigning the shopping section at Universal City. John called me to say they were changing out some wood fencing. The old fencing was clean redwood board about a foot wide and eight feet high. There were hundreds of boards that would be thrown out the next day. John’s boss said I could have them if I came to get them that day.
John knew I’d been looking for some fence material to run down both sides of the length of the property I lived on with my sister Mary Ellen, in a house that my parents owned. The property was over an acre in size and was really a small farm with all the animals my sister kept, including horses and chickens and goats.
So, I hopped in my truck, wearing jeans, t shirt, a bomber jacket and Ray Ban sun glasses and drove over to Universal City. John had left my name at a side gate, and the guard let me in onto the back lot of Universal Studios.
I parked and began walking up a narrow road towards where John and his crew were working. I was the only one on the road, as a packed four-car-long tour bus came over a rise and down the road towards me.
All the Frazees are pranksters, and suddenly I became inspired. I began to pretend that I didn’t want the people on the tour bus to get a good look at me and turned away from them. The tour bus passed with cameras following me and clicking away.
I had been on that tour bus when I was thirteen and really wanted to see someone famous, so in a way I was helping out these fellow tourists. Perhaps, when they looked at the photos later, they might think, “I don’t know who this is, but I know it’s someone.”
And they’d be right! I had my fifteen seconds of fame, though it may have been only ten.
The bonus of course was that I had wanted that fencing for quite a while, and the universe, or rather Universal City, delivered in a big way.
Well I did have to go and pick it up.