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Brush With Stardom

Liz Harter | Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Last Thursday my career at The Observer officially hit its peak. I’m calling it now. Granted, as soon as I do that I’ll probably be given the opportunity to break a huge story or meet someone else famous. So maybe I should just say that after three long years of hard work, The Observer News Desk received an email containing the opportunity of a lifetime.

I walked into the office for our usual Wednesday editor’s meeting and was met by News Editor, Jenn Metz’s question, “Do I want to meet Dennis Quaid?” I immediately jumped on the chance without having any idea how we could possibly be able to meet the man who starred in such classics as “The Parent Trap,” “Frequency,” and “The Rookie”.

Being Saint Mary’s Editor and a photography staffer qualified me to stand beside Jenn in representing the Observer.

When Jenn and I arrived at the Hall of Fame we were given our media passes and press kits for the movie. Then we were led to The Observer’s spot on the “turf carpet” of the Gridiron Plaza, where the stars would walk. I set up my camera and waited.

Rob Brown, who plays the titular Ernie Davis, a Syracuse University player who, in 1961, became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, arrived first. A quick look at our press package and I realized where I had seen him before even though his name was unfamiliar. He starred in “Coach Carter” and “Finding Forrester.”

I lived up to my status as a member of the paparazzi at a movie premiere as I vied with the other photographers also on the carpet to get the best shot of Brown possible. Seeing Brown was cool. I’ve always admired him because he says acting was always second to his education. But he was overshadowed as Quaid’s car pulled up. Come on, it was Dennis freaking Quaid.

I have to admit that Quaid is an actor I consider one of my “Old Men Crushes.” He joins an illustrious group including George Clooney, Sean Connery and Richard Gere. I promised myself I would get pictures of him smiling with his teeth showing. It seems his go to smile is closed lipped, but when those teeth enter the picture the ruggedness of his face is highlighted and it is absolutely gorgeous.

I managed to get that picture when I was snapping away as he was talking Jenn. I was too far away to hear what she said to him but it must have been something funny because he smiled that beautiful smile which I caught on camera.

After the turf carpet, we were able to stay to watch the screening of the movie, which hits theaters on Oct. 10, and participate in a question and answer session with both Brown and Quaid afterwards.

I have to thank my mom for teaching me how to be a groupie and get pictures with famous people because I grabbed his arm and asked if I could get a picture with him. He agreed and put his arm around me as I did the same to him. As he walked back to Brown, we made our way out of the Hall of Fame, a little bit cooler after our brush with stardom.