Close Encounters
Arnold Mann and Bjorn Borg at Sherwood Country Club in 1995. Courtesy photo
By Signal Contributor
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The car went by, just thirty feet away, carrying John F. Kennedy on his rare visit to Brooklyn in 1960.  I thought that it was a close encounter.  Nothing compared to what occurred later in my life.

We were at the rear entrance to the U.S. Open Tennis Center in 1980 hoping to pick up four tickets from a friend, but not able to gain entry. I spotted Arthur Ashe completing a T.V. interview nearby.  We had met two years earlier at a tennis sporting goods show. Recognizing me, he put his arm around my shoulders, walked me through the gate saying “He’s with me!” I was able to get the tickets. Arthur died in February 1993. I will miss his poise.

I was photographing tennis pros at Sherwood Country Club in 1995 when I met Bjorn Borg. He agreed to take a photo with me, extended his hand, grasped mine firmly and smiled. Bjorn was the only tennis pro to have done this. A true gentleman. He has retired and lives in Monte Carlo. I will miss his classy personality.

Attending a golf tournament in Southern California in 2000, I saw Arnold Palmer coming off the 18th green.  Rushing towards me, he quickly autographed my score card and began complaining about the penalty he had been assessed for using the wrong tee!  Arnold died in August 2016.  I will miss his ferocity.

We were at a dog show in Long Beach around 2010. I heard an announcer introducing the next competitor.  I was taken aback with what I thought I heard and said to my wife “Why would anyone name their dog Greg Louganis?” With that a trim, handsome, middle-aged man sitting directly in front of me replied, “I’m Greg Louganis and that’s my dog!” I laughed and shook his hand. Greg is known as the greatest platform diver of all time!

Flying to Indianapolis earlier this month we heard that a famous race car driver was on the plane and arriving for the Indy 500 event.  The mention of Parnelli Jones was vaguely familiar but since he was in the first class section we did not see him.  Three days later and a day before the big race we were once again at the airport terminal.  There were very few seats open at the gate area and a neatly dressed, older man sat down next to me.  We began a light conversation and I asked him his name.  “Parnelli Jones, “he replied in a quiet, modest way.  What a coincidence I thought.  He admitted that he would rather watch the race at home on T.V. than in the luxury suite!

When I look back at these Close Encounters I wonder what is in store for me in coming years.  I’m ready for those eventualities.

 

About the author

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

Arnold Mann and Bjorn Borg at Sherwood Country Club in 1995. Courtesy photo

Close Encounters

The car went by, just thirty feet away, carrying John F. Kennedy on his rare visit to Brooklyn in 1960.  I thought that it was a close encounter.  Nothing compared to what occurred later in my life.

We were at the rear entrance to the U.S. Open Tennis Center in 1980 hoping to pick up four tickets from a friend, but not able to gain entry. I spotted Arthur Ashe completing a T.V. interview nearby.  We had met two years earlier at a tennis sporting goods show. Recognizing me, he put his arm around my shoulders, walked me through the gate saying “He’s with me!” I was able to get the tickets. Arthur died in February 1993. I will miss his poise.

I was photographing tennis pros at Sherwood Country Club in 1995 when I met Bjorn Borg. He agreed to take a photo with me, extended his hand, grasped mine firmly and smiled. Bjorn was the only tennis pro to have done this. A true gentleman. He has retired and lives in Monte Carlo. I will miss his classy personality.

Attending a golf tournament in Southern California in 2000, I saw Arnold Palmer coming off the 18th green.  Rushing towards me, he quickly autographed my score card and began complaining about the penalty he had been assessed for using the wrong tee!  Arnold died in August 2016.  I will miss his ferocity.

We were at a dog show in Long Beach around 2010. I heard an announcer introducing the next competitor.  I was taken aback with what I thought I heard and said to my wife “Why would anyone name their dog Greg Louganis?” With that a trim, handsome, middle-aged man sitting directly in front of me replied, “I’m Greg Louganis and that’s my dog!” I laughed and shook his hand. Greg is known as the greatest platform diver of all time!

Flying to Indianapolis earlier this month we heard that a famous race car driver was on the plane and arriving for the Indy 500 event.  The mention of Parnelli Jones was vaguely familiar but since he was in the first class section we did not see him.  Three days later and a day before the big race we were once again at the airport terminal.  There were very few seats open at the gate area and a neatly dressed, older man sat down next to me.  We began a light conversation and I asked him his name.  “Parnelli Jones, “he replied in a quiet, modest way.  What a coincidence I thought.  He admitted that he would rather watch the race at home on T.V. than in the luxury suite!

When I look back at these Close Encounters I wonder what is in store for me in coming years.  I’m ready for those eventualities.

 

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 19 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]