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The Slice

Brushes with obscure fame

OK, I'll start.

1) When I was about 12, I sent a letter to a guy who wrote columns for a physical fitness magazine published in York, Pennsylvania. I had a couple of questions about weight training. And even though I was just some dumb kid, John Grimek wrote back. I might still have his letter.

It wasn't until some time later that I realized Grimek had been a member of the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team at the historic 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

2) When I was in high school, I was in an informal springtime ball-hockey league with Dave Reece, who played goalie for the University of Vermont. We held our games on the grass at Ethan Allen Park in Burlington.

On Feb. 7, 1976, Reece would acquire a bit of unwanted fame when he was in the net for the Boston Bruins when Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs broke the NHL single-game scoring record by registering  six goals and four assists against him.

3) When I was in my late 20s, I once dined at a restaurant in Memphis where the waiter knew my date because they had mutual friends or something. I think he might have had a thing for her. Anyway, this guy, Chris Ellis, clearly hated being a waiter. And his presence there holding the menus sort of answered any questions one might have had about how his acting career was going.

I left a big tip. Not in a nice way.

But he stuck with it. And if you Google him, you would be mildly impressed by all the movies and TV shows he has been in. You don't know his name, but you might recognize him as Deke Slayton in “Apollo 13,” et cetera. He's really pretty good, I have to say.

OK, your turn. Remember, this isn't the place to tell about the time you parked Frank Sinatra's car. But if you were in an alegbra class in Butte with a guy who would one day be a member of the pop group Spanky and Our Gang, let's hear about it.

www.theconnectedthread.com

www.goaliesarchive.com

www.moviepostershut.com


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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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