BY DAN MILLER
August 8, 2006
I first noticed him as we carried our trays to our booth at the cafeteria.
Whether my wife noticed, I wasn't sure.
I was certain my 7-year old daughter hadn't noticed.... after all, Little Richard burst on the scene a half century before her time!
I nodded to my wife, in that unspoken communication between spouses, wondering if she knew who that man was....
Yes, she silently nodded.... she knew.
He was seated at a table with several other people, including two adorable kids, no more than 2 or 3 years old.
I could hear bits of his conversation.
He was on the cellphone at one point.
I heard him say, "Hey, this is Little Richard...." to whoever was on the other end.
His identity was now confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I told my wife, "Wouldn't you know it, I left the digital camera in the car."
"I would love to get a picture of McKensie with Little Richard."
"What a keepsake that would be... this man was right up there with Elvis, starting it all... he was in the first group of people elected to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame", I said.
"Should I go get the camera?"
"Sure", she said, "just run out to the car and get it."
"But I don't want to bother him", I mumbled.
"He won't mind", my wife assured me.
About then, the two children with his group ambled over toward our booth, laughing and saying something to my daughter.
Here was a potential opportunity to make contact.
"I should really go get the camera", I said again.
Now my mind was conjuring up ideas beyond just a photo.
I thought to myself, "If we approach Little Richard, I could ask him if he really momentarily forgot the lyrics during the recording of 'Jenny, Jenny', or was that on purpose?"
I've always wondered about that.
Suddenly, his group was standing up, gathering their stuff and heading toward the cashier.
They moved very slowly.
I was surprised when I noticed Little Richard was walking with a cane.
"I could probably hurry to the car and get the camera before they're even out the door", I told my wife.
"Do it", she said slightly emphatically.
"Oh, I don't know... I hate to bother him."
I sat there.
They were out the door.
I could see people in the cafeteria taking photos through the windows with their digital video phones.
As we walked to our car, I said to my wife, "I should have gotten the camera."
She said, "Please stop... I don't want to hear about this every hour for the next two years!"
McKensie looked up and said, "Those were such cute kids.... who IS that guy you're talking about......?"