The Day I Met… Telly Savalas

(Drum roll.) I’m proud to present the first entry in the The Day I Met… competition.

This story comes from Speaking From The Heart– aka holessence – that’s her bloggie identity. She’s also known as Laurie Buchanan and she’s a holistic health practitioner – healer, writer, and motivational speaker – in Illinois, USA.

But what about Telly? Here’s Laurie’s story: The Day I Met Telly Savalas.

My sister and I grew up in southern California. When we were 11 and 10 respectively, my mother thought it would be great fun to take us to Hollywood to drive around to see if we could spot any movie stars. We had a little Corvair (yes, the car that was voted one of the “50 worst cars of all time,” and later pulled off the market), and drove around with high hopes, peering into faces of the passersby.

Out of the blue comes a Rolls Royce with you’ll never guess who driving! Telly Savalas—television’s “Kojak!” And yes, he had the stick-part of a lollipop protruding from his mouth.

We screamed in delight as mom maneuvered our vehicle behind his and we followed in hot pursuit. When we reached his mansion and he drove through the wrought-iron gates that had magically opened for his car, mom continued driving past but was now whispering, “We’ll drive around the block and find a spot to park.”

“But mom, he’s got a solid, six-foot brick wall around his house!”

“Oh, that’ll be no problem,” she assured us.

After parking, we slunk (there’s no other word for it), over to the wall. Julie locked her hands for me to step up into. With the camera that mom had shoved into my hands slung bandito-style over my shoulder I hoisted myself up. My nose was barely over the wall when two sleek Doberman Pinschers came barreling across the huge expanse of yard, lips drawn back from the g-force of their velocity, teeth bared, and spit flying as they barked their heads off announcing the arrival of intruders.

I can’t begin to explain the speed at which we departed – hell on greased wheels! That close encounter only served to fuel my mother’s resolve to meet a celebrity. I won’t even begin to tell you about our “almost meetings” with Victor Mature, Willie Shoemaker (the famous jockey), and Desi Arnez, Jr. 

Suffice it to say that while we never spent time behind bars, dad always kept bail money on hand.

Phew! First of all I should retitle this post – The Day I Stalked Telly Savalas and tried to break into his home.

Secondly. Your mother! What a woman.

Laurie Buchanan - Speaking from the Heart

Thanks very much to Laurie for getting things off to such a calamitous start. Worse even than my encounter with Frederick Forsyth. I’ve heard Laurie works weekends with US Navy SEALS, teaching them how to assault compounds.   

Laurie’s glittering prize is on its way to her. Namely – a copy of Derry writer Brian McGilloway’s Irish crime thriller, Bleed A River Deep. The next entry in the The Day I Met… competition is same place, same day next week – i.e. Wednesday 14th September.  Though of course you can come back here before. Meanwhile, if you want to enter – and who wouldn’t having read Laurie’s story – the details of how to are here. Ah go on.



Filed under Guest Posts, The Day I Met... Competition

31 responses to “The Day I Met… Telly Savalas

  1. Wow, a mom who is teaching her girls how to be adventurous. That’s great.

  2. Not an entry but might be of interest in the spirit of the posts

    • blackwatertown

      Ballyslabberdashamuckery? I think I drove through there one evening. The only light was from the ultraviolet fly killer left on inside the Chinese takeaway.

  3. Boy, do I wish I had had either a mom or a dad like that!

  4. Paul – Thank you so much for letting me share my story here. I’ve just put a link to this post on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. By the way, my husband is cracking up at the part you added about my working with US Navy Seals!

  5. 29

    I like it. Conformity…yes but not total conformity. Three cheers for a parent rebelling against the ‘what will people think?’ mentality; this gives children a better sense of their own spirit of independence which is obvious in the case of holessence.

  6. I met Nixon at a small luncheon I attended in one of three Miami Beach hotels for a week long off election season convention in 1965. I shook hands with him and the rope line at Tampa airport in 1968 and again at rope line at Miami airport in 1972. Later I wrote him to appoint me secretary of the treasury and he never answered.
    So much for being old friends, eh?

  7. Way to go Laurie! A great story that is a keeper forever in my collection of “did you know that one time Laurie….” And excellent blog Paul.

  8. Loved that and Telly was the man. I’ll still watch Kojak if it’s on and he was so good in the “talking Tina” episode of the Twilight Zone 😉

  9. Pingback: Laurie Navy

  10. Now that is like something my granny would do, if only she could drive a car!

  11. The only celebrity I’ve ever met was Keith Chegwin. This was when I was in upper school and he was on the Big Breakfast. One morning my mum poked her neck out the window and said, “There’s a load of vans in the street!” I went to look, and there was Cheggers. Knowing his penchant for doorstepping, we hid inside the house and closed the curtains until I had to leave for school, whereupon I and my friends mugged furiously for the camera. None of this is worth a blog post (or a comment, really), but at the time me and my mates bragged about it for days. Now all I can think is, “Why couldn’t it have been Denise Van Outen?”

    Several years later, I recounted this story to a workmate, who then insisted on nicknaming me “Keith Chegwin”, and even had the gall to claim I resembled him (I do not, in any way). Needless to say, we no longer speak.

    • blackwatertown

      I think I’d have the same regret.
      But just thinking about the nicknaming business. Cheggers did that naked TV show didn’t he – a high point in televisual entertainment. You don’t by any chance have a similar predeliction… Could that be the reason rather than resemblance? Or even… No, I’d better stop there.

  12. Corvair — my husband-to-be had one which he regretted purchasing.
    This story sounds like it could also be titled “Close Encounter of the Near Disaster Kind.” 😉

  13. Years ago, I was friends with the local leading estate agent- they were arranging a special opening ceremony for the show house in a luxury new housing development, featuring the star Rula Lenska.
    Late the night before, they said they were having troubles, so, bearing in mind my professional experience, would I mind hosting the event? They would give me all the speeches details! I agreed!
    Arriving early, while walking around the building site, I espied a smart lady looking around and cheerfully hailed greetings- she asked for details about the planned houses, so I related I was merely the host for the opening. I then enquired if she knew anything about this famous lady Rula Lenska? (Regrettably I didn’t) She replied ‘no’ (rather coldly, thought I)!
    The organisers duly arrived and gave me a good briefing, with good background notes to introduce the guest celebrity. I was told that she had arrived, and was backstage- my intro would be given, then a fanfare and drumroll- then out she would come.
    I did my bit. The music struck. She came out, to loud applause! It was, of course, she I had espied earlier!
    She found me later, despite my efforts to hide. It wasn’t the word ‘amateur’ that I recall- it was the power of the ‘whole body venom’ applied for that one split moment, which still burns. I am sorry Rula, truly.

    • blackwatertown

      Could have been worse.
      You could have said: “Oh aren’t you that bloke off Minder’s wife.” Especially after the divorce.
      Funny story. Thanks.

  14. Barbara Rodgers

    Love the story! What a mischievous and adventurous mom!

  15. My prize — Bleed a River Deep by Brian McGilloway — arrived in the mail today. THANK YOU so much!

  16. Al

    Reading is my passion. Thank you for writing and sharing your story.
    Looking forward to more.
    Keep it up.

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