As I said in my previous memo, I didn't want to invade his privacy. But others weren't as accommodating. Jon showed his quick wit and comic side as we were deplaning. A guy from Birmingham with a very distinct southern accent struck up a conversation telling Jon WHY he needed to come to Birmingham. Without hesitation Jon asked "Do you by chance work for the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce?" This of course got everyone around him laughing. After we left the plane I was standing at the baggage carousel when Jon walked up to me and asked "And what is your name sir?" I replied and after that he asked what I did for a living. I again answered and then told him how much I enjoyed his films. I told him it appeared he was having fun making Anaconda. He replied that he really did but critics thought he was out to make a fast buck because it was outside his usual roles. As I told him why else do you work if not to make money. If that's the best criticism they had, he really didn't have anything to worry about.
As we talked 1 little girl came up and asked for his autograph. Jon commented at how amazing it was that something as simple as signing your name could bring pleasure to people. He then talked of an old Indian friend of his who had asked him to speak to the US Senate on a topic which escapes me. He told the story of how when they got to Washington, their luggage didn't arrive. Jon talked about how irritated he became and how calm his friend remained. John said he thought about his suits and other items he had in his suitcase and the cost to replace them etc. But then thought about his friend who he was sure had all of his worldly possessions in the tiny suitcase he carried. When the suitcases didn't arrive, Jon says he was amazed that his friend knew the whole procedure for getting reimbursed for lost luggage! But more importantly he was made aware of how trivial his worry was.
He was worried about how he would look before the Senate and his friend was more concerned with the message that was to be delivered. I guess what amazed me most about Jon was his stature. Most celebrities (unless they're sports figures) are small of stature. Jon stands about 6'4" and weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 to 210 lbs. Which is right up my alley being 6'6" and weighing in at 218! This chance meeting with Jon did a couple of things: It helped me realize that some high profile individuals are real people with a real interest in others. It also gave me the opportunity to meet what I consider to be a true legend. By the way, he has the look you girls would probably be willing to die for!