Here's a "brushes with greatness story" that i selected from the bunch of stories that were being shared at xmas eve dinner get together ...........

My sister's piano teacher's husband told me that they were on a trip (in their motorhome camping) in Yosemite National Park (It might possibly have been the Grand Canyon, but I'm pretty sure it was Yosemite). They stopped for the night at a camp site and right next to him pulled up this guy pulling a hitch loaded with a huge Harley motorcycle. He looked like a real "tough" guy with tattoos and a ponytail etc. Mr. Larsen thought oh gosh.........

The next morning he went out to clean the bugs off the front of the motorhome (how they get all stuck and squashed on the windshield, headlights etc.) and that guy was out there doing the same thing too. Anyways, to speed things up, they got talking and one thing led to another and the guy says to Mr. Larsen, do you know who Stephen Segal is? And Mr. Larsen says no. So he says well, Stephen Segal is my son! I'm Strickland. (Bob I believe was his first name. I never knew that his son used Segal as a screen name.) He tells him that the Harley is his son's and that he is going to meet him at this Harley show. Strickland's wife is with him. (Actually he told Mr. Larsen he had two, but the other he left in Japan because he said that America frowned on having more than one wife.)

A little later, Mr. Larsen sees the words "Black Sheep Squadron" on the back of the trailer in big bold letters. He asks Strickland what it means. Strickland tells him that he was the youngest member of the Black Sheep Squadron during WW2. It is the squadron they made that movie/tv series about the flight squadron made up of pilots from the brig and the leader was named "Pappy Boyington"- I forget who he said the real actor was that played Pappy).

Then even more unbelievable he says that the reason he's in the USA is the CIA had to question him about some stuff. because he runs a steak house in Japan as a front for the CIA. Mr. Larsen of course didn't believe him until he pulled out the official paperwork stating exactly that! But Mr. Larsen was still a little sceptical since it seemed such a wild story.

When he got home, guess what the first thing was that he saw? Stephen Segal's face pasted all over the sides of the city buses and on the big screen. (I forget which movie was playing at the time)

Then this is what makes this story so weird. A few months later Mr. Larsen and his wife went on another trip. This time it was to a music festival retreat (I think in Aspen, CO) At the festival, he ran into the actor that played Pappy Boyington on the show "Black Sheep" and he told him about Strickland and asked if what the guy had said was true. He said oh yeah, I met all the guys who were on that original (real) squadron when we made the tv series/movie. Yeah, Strickland was the youngest of that squadron!

Mr. Larsen, is a much better story teller, (esp. since I keep forgetting some of the names and details) but I thought this was a fun one.


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