B A H j o u r n a l i s t

Brian Anthony Hernandez

Brushes with fame

Star magnet. That’s what I nicknamed my friend Tyler Keyser this week after he revealed his best celebrity sightings: Paris Hilton in a hotel lobby and Tiger Woods on a golf course. Cool, eh? I think so.

Ted Allen is one of many celebrities I've met. In 2006, I bought him a cup of coffee at Racoon River in Iowa.

Most recently, Keyser ran into Donald Trump during “The Apprentice” auditions at Trump Tower in New York City. Keyser remembers extending his right hand toward the billionaire, only to be greeted with Trump’s awkward handshake formation. Trump used his thumb, index finger and middle finger. Keyser later learned about Trump’s displeasure with handshaking and germs.

Listening to his brushes with fame made me think, “Who have I encountered?”

The memories re-emerged quickly. I’ve eaten hors d’oeuvres with New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., interviewed former first lady Barbara Bush, bought a drink for Esquire contributing editor and Bravo’s “Queer Eye” food and wine connoisseur Ted Allen (see picture), listened in class to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Samantha Power, danced at a party featuring DJ Funkmaster Flex and sweat in the desert with NBA basketball player Amare Stoudemire outside of a courthouse.

Journalism has allowed me to interact with these journalists, celebrities and politicians, but I’m most impressed with the variety of other people I’ve met such as murderers on the verge of receiving the death penalty, victims’ relatives, governors, centurions, child progenies, felons …

… doctors, police chiefs, casting directors, teachers, athletes with disabilities, senators, protestors, lovers and lawyers. The list goes on, and I’m hopeful it will continue to grow because – celebrity or not – these people enrich my life.

Which cool people have you met or spotted? Don’t be shy.

Outside of journalism and in one week’s time during Summerfest in 2007, I watched these people in concert: Goo Goo Dolls, The Graduate,  Plain White T’s, Arrested Development, Violent Femmes, Dashboard Confessional,  Augustana, Hush Sound, The Academy Is, Gym Class Heroes, Panic! At the Disco. Live, INXS, Brian McKnight and Blue October.


August 5, 2010 - Posted by | Personal, Uncategorized, Work, Writing


  1. Those are some pretty fab sightings.

    Mine include:
    • Ozzie, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne
    • Nev Campbell
    • Gerard Way of “My Chemical Romance”
    • J.C. Chazev
    • George Lucas
    • Samuel L. Jackson
    • Tim Burton
    • Seann William Scott
    • Jaime King
    • Gary Oldman
    • Malin Akerman
    • Milla Jovovich
    • Etc.

    And that was all at one party in the Hollywood Hills.

    Comment by Laura | August 5, 2010 | Reply

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