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New York Book Festival   |   Beverly Garland's Hollywood Collectors and Celebrities Show   |   Marilyn Monroe's 40th Anniversary Memorial Service   |   Las Vegas Comedy Festival   |   Hollywood Collector's Show, Jan. 2003
Hollywood Collector's Show, Jan. 2003

The highlight of my weekend was an encounter with Rip Taylor. As we were waiting on line to eat breakfast at the Beverly Garland Restaurant, a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked if we had to wait to be seated. The man was Rip Taylor. My kids who had watched the movie, "Jackass" the night before immediately recognized him as the man in the boat at the end of the movie. All they could do was to give him the "Lucy" stare with their mouths agape.

We were seated and Rip was also seated soon after us. I waited until we were all finished eating and I dared my youngest Meaghan to walk up to him and say, "Loved you in Jackass!" She bargained a buck out of me for the prank and proceeded to Mr. Taylor's table. The kid not only had the guts to walk over to him, but engaged him in conversation as well. Finally I had to go over there to see what was going on and to prevent her from bothering him. He told me that she was delightful and to bring her to his exhibit table because he wanted to give her an autograph picture of himself. She was thrilled!

We went over to him and he signed the above photo and two more for all three of my daughters. In exchange for his generosity, I gave him a Morbid Curiosity Calendar. He was also giving out Mardi Gras necklaces from the Rio Casino in Vegas and gave us all, including me, two a piece. Johnny Whitaker aka Jody from "Family Affair" commented on how nice my little girls were because they made sure that each had a necklace.  He said that you don't see too many kids these days that share.
Here's a bit of interesting trivia about Johnny Whitaker. After attending Brigham Young University, he decided to join his sister's Los Angeles talent agency. One of his clients was "Different Strokes," Dana Plato. Unfortunately their business relationship was cut short by her suicide.
On the darker side, I met Bobby Fuller's (Bobby Fuller Four) girlfriend. She told me many interesting things about his very mysterious death. I exchanged  phone numbers with her and will be talking to her soon. So look for a very interesting story complete with photos. By the way, he's featured in Volume 2 of Morbid Curiosity: Celebrity Tombstones Across America.