Saturday, May 23, 2015

Celebrity Jersey Cards #222 Melissa Etheridge & Steven Tyler

Athletes get trading cards.  Why not celebrities?  At least celebrities wearing athletic jerseys should get cards.  I am doing my best to create cards for jersey-clad celebs.  It is Memorial Day weekend, and that means summer is here and we are celebrating with music and baseball.

Melissa Etheridge was born in Kansas, but moved to Boston for her college years at the Berklee School of Music.  Neither of those facts offers a clue as to any connection with the Tampa Rays.  Also, nothing explains how her Celebrity Jersey Card features the Rays in 1986, years before they were in existence.  Such is life in Johngy land!
Steve Tyler was born and raised in New York.  He threw out the first pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals to earn his Celebrity Jersey Card.  Knowing Tyler's vocal range, I bet it was a perfect pitch.  I just wonder if he scatted a bit on the mound.  Johngy loves a good scat.

Friday, May 22, 2015

C2E2 With Jessica Gousha

At C2E2, you always have to be alert.  You never know who you might see or when you might unexpectedly run into a celebrity.  Such was the case when I visiting Al Snow at his booth.
Also at his booth was an attractive woman who was in awesome shape.  Especially considering the number or wrestlers in attendance, I thought she might be involved in the business, too.  I was close.
She wasn't a wrestler (although I am sure she could do well in the ring).  It was Jessica Gousha, a veteran of many fitness competitions.
I introduced myself and we had a brief conversation.  These conventions are hectic.  A brief chat is often all you can squeeze in.
Jessica is a licensed massage therapist and personal trainer based out of Winchester, KY.  Her credentials are certainly excellent and her prices seem very reasonable.  If I was near Winchester, I would definite make an appointment.
You can find out more about Jessica by going to Jessica Gousha's site, following Jessica Gousha on twitter and liking Jessica Gousha Fit Over Forty on Facebook.  I especially like her Fit Over Forty FB page.  It has tips, exercises, recipes and other helpful stuff and there is plenty of fun, too.
The best part of meeting Jessica was that she was as sweet as can be.  I hope to meet her again and talk more about her career and her profession.
Jessica Gousha and me in Chicago, IL-April 2015.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wizard World Fan Fest with David Faustino

Like most people near my age, I was a fan of tv's Married With Children.  Despite the last original episode airing in June of 1997, the show stands the test of time.  I still find it funny.
Married With Children was like no other show at the time.  The dysfunctional Bundy family was opposite of other tv families.  I also think each Bundy character was well-written and likable, two keys to creating a solid core of a show.  The show withstood the loss of David Garrison as Marcy's husband (replacing him with Ted McGinley, of course).
The only real misstep was bringing in cousin "Seven," but that was forgotten by the next season.  They even made a few inside jokes about Seven after his departure.
David Faustino grew up on the show.  He had made his tv debut as an infant on The Lily Tomlin Special, but his first real role was on Little House on the Prairie.  By the time MWC came along, Faustino had already been building a solid acting resume.
By all accounts Faustino survived childhood stardom quite well.  He has worked steadily ever since.  Last year, there was even some talk of a series about Bud Bundy.
He has also been a bit active on the comic con scene.  I am happy to report he is a great con guest.  He does his best to make each fan encounter special.  He talks as much as time will permit.  He's a real pleasure to meet.  I have even seen him take time for fans who were not even buying any of his pictures or autographs.  That is a real good guy.  He's at a con to make money, but he didn't let even a non-payer walk away unhappy.
David Faustino and me in Rosemont, IL-March 2015.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sean "XPac" Waltman Joins the Jay Leno Club

For a long time, I have had people mention that I look like Jay Leno.  To be honest, I don't really see it, but many people have made the reference.  I started to hear it from celebrities and I started the Johngy's Beat Jay Leno Club for those celebrities.
I don't remember which celebrity was the first.  I think it was the Iron Sheik.  I know it wasn't the Honky Tonk Man, much to his disdain.  In fact, he wasn't even the first at one specific convention, where Terri Runnels beat him to it, much to his real disdain!
For some reason, a large percentage of the celebrities in the Jay Leno Club are wrestlers.  Of course, I meet a lot of wrestlers, but it is still disproportionately heavy on wrestlers.  Maybe wrestlers watch a lot of late night television.  Maybe wrestlers are just a bit out there and they make the connection.
In any case, the latest celeb to join the Jay Leno Club was also a wrestler.  Sean Waltman (aka XPac) achieved that highly respected status at the recent C2E2.
I was at the booth where Scott Hall and Waltman were appearing on behalf of Dream Wave Wrestling.  We were just about to take a photo, when Waltman stated, "I didn't know we would meet Jay Leno today."  I was caught off guard and laughed out loud, messing up the picture.  Then everyone laughed and we redid the picture.
With that, Waltman became the newest member of the Jay Leno Club.  Clearly, he won't be the last member either.  When the next celebrity joins the club, I will report it right here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

On the Beat with Greg "The Hammer" Valentine at Motor City Comic Con 2015

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine is a wrestling legend.  The second generation WWE Hall of Fame wrestler has won many titles over his lengthy career, including the WWF Intercontinental title and the WWF tag team tiles (with Brutus Beefcake).  He also wrestled all over the world, entertaining fans for 40+ years.
I have met Valentine several times and he is always good for some wrestling stories.  Finally, at the Motor City Comic Con 2015, I was able to get one of his stories on video.  He also answered a couple other questions for us.
After the interview, Valentine asked us if we would be interested in helping promote his upcoming appearance at CitiField.  Of course, we are more than happy to work with Valentine and the others involved.  More info will be forthcoming, but for now, please enjoy the Valentine interview.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Friendly Encounters: Jack Odanovich and Danny Green

Friendly Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.

I first came across Jack Odanovich years ago when I was doing some pre-convention research on the Motor City Comic Con.  Jack attended it in his Star Wars garb as part of a group.  I have since learned that group dresses for fun and also for charity, as they take part in many events for kids.
I also learned Jack is a skilled photographer.  If you look at his FB Photography page, you will see some of his expert work.  You will also see him pictured with some very beautiful women.
Today though, I am not featuring Jack with one of the beauties.  Instead, I chose a picture of Jack with Danny Green, guard with the San Antonio Spurs.  While we can never have enough pretty ladies, I rarely have basketball players here for whatever reason.  When given a chance to picture an NBA player, I will take it.
Danny Green and Jack Odanovich in San Antonio, TX-February 2015.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

New and Old Friends at Resistance Pro's "Delirium"

Resistance Pro put on another great show with their "Delirium" show last week.  The night featured a title change and two excellent title defenses, along with a solid undercard.  Colt Cabana returned after a lengthy absence and Tessa Blanchard made her RPro debut.  For all of the details, check out my story for Tru School Sports can be found at Resistance Pro's "Delirium" Recap and Review.
Right here though, I want to concentrate on friends at RPro.  Several of my friends have attended RPro shows.  Every one of them has returned for another RPro show, too!  Such was the case with my old bud Darryl Corter.
Darryl and I met way too many years ago at Lerner Newspapers.  He left, became a policeman and started a family.  Saturday, he brought the youngest member of his family to the RPro show.
Little Pierce was a bit overwhelmed by the action and noise, but he quickly got over it and got into the action.  He even posed for pictures with some of the wrestlers at intermission.
It was great to see Darryl and even better to see his young son.  It warms my heart and I am very happy for Darryl.  Don't tell him, but I admit he is a good dude.
RPro is about family and friends.  It's not just lip service at RPro.  These people don't keep coming back and bringing others just to support me.
It has been a bit of a winding road at RPro, especially of late, but family and friends stick together.  Families and friends grow together.  I love the picture below.  It represents all that is good at RPro.
Pierce and Darryl Corter and me in Summit, IL-May 2015.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Laura!

Today is my eldest niece Laura Fitzpatrick's birthday.  I will never forget riding the train downtown with her mom, when Nancy told me she was pregnant.  Several months later, this beautiful girl was born.
Laura has grown up into a smart, funny, interesting person.  She loves animals and is such a caring person, despite her razor sharp wit.  She's my niece and she's my friend.
Laura is going to do great things in life.  She already has.  I love this young lady.
Happy birthday Laura.  I hope this coming year is your best yet!
Laura Fitzpatrick in Chicago, IL-Early 1990's.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Celebrity Jersey Cards #221 Jim Carrey & Parker Posey

Athletes get trading cards.  Why not celebrities?  At least celebrities wearing athletic jerseys should get cards.  I am doing my best to create cards for jersey-clad celebs.  Today, we represent teams ousted from the NHL playoffs.

Actor Jim Carrey is a native of Ontario, Canada.  Especially in a hockey uniform, he might be confused with former goaltender Jim Carey.  Carrey donned the Penguins uniform for his role in Mr. Popper's Penguins.  I'll give the #8 to Mark Recchi.  Carrey does get extra points for actually being on skates for his Celebrity Jersey Card.
For the movie “The Return of Jezebel James,” Parker Posey wore a Brendan Witt jersey.  A screen cap from that movie landed her on a Celebrity Jersey Card.  I don't know if the Isles are her team.  A native of Baltimore, Posey might have chosen the Islanders over the closer Capitals.  If I ever meet her, I will ask that question.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ohhh Ohhhh Domino (Apologies to Van Morrison)

Cliff Compton started wrestling professionally in 1998.  As "Domino," he enjoyed some success in the WWE, winning the tag team tile once (with "Deuce").  He was also ranked 169 of the best 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2008.  Compton left the WWE in 2008, but has remained active on the wrestling scene, most notably with Ring of Honor.
Compton has also done a few projects with fellow wrestler Colt Cabana.  At Days of the Dead Culture Shock, they had adjacent booths and looked to really be enjoying themselves.   It's always fun to see celebrity guests enjoying themselves with other celebrity guests.  It just adds to the overall fun of the event.
I applaud the Days of the Dead crew for bringing in wrestlers.  The DotD crew knows that wrestlers draw and they are not afraid to feature them as guests.  It's all about the fun.
Cliff Compton and me in Indianapolis, IN-March 2015.