Just for Fun
Bill draws inspiration from all sorts of people and places. These are his account of some of the people he has been fortunate to meet over the years.
Dan Inosanto is a true Martial Arts Legend. He is one of only three people who was appointed by the late great Bruce Lee (that’s right, I said Bruce Lee) to teach at Jun Fan Gung Fu Institutes (Bruce Lee’s Schools). Dan Inosanto has a storied Martial Arts History which of course includes being one of Bruce Lee’s students and close friends.
Through my study and interest in the Martial Arts, I had heard much about Dan Inosanto and seen him in numerous films and documentaries. Dan Inosanto’s name was mentioned in almost anything I read or saw about Bruce Lee. A longtime mentor and close friend of mine is also a highly acclaimed Martial Artist and has, in more recent years, worked and studied with Mr.Inosanto. In about 2003, my friend invited me on a west coast trip to California to test one of his students for a Black Belt in Bando (another Martial Art.) I was most honored and excited to go.
On this trip, we visited Mr.Inosanto’s Martial Arts School and actually had dinner with Mr.Inosanto. This to me, a longtime Martial Artist and fan of Bruce Lee, was truly over the top. There, of course, was one caveat: my friend asked me to please not ask Mr.Inosanto any questions about Bruce Lee as he has spent a great deal of time doing interviews and sharing his Bruce Lee stories and this was supposed to be a more casual time with friends. I happily respected my friend’s request.
We had a wonderful Chinese dinner, and lo and behold, Mr.Inosanto talked about Bruce Lee on his own, sharing some personal and fond memories. WOW, this was an epic dinner and still brings a smile to my face today when I recall this incredible evening. Thanks so much again to my close friend Jon and to Dan Inosanto.
The late, Great, Richie Havens was so talented with his own signature sounds he could make any song he sang sound different and incredible. He was one of the original Woodstock performers and is legendary in the music industry. I had the extreme pleasure to see him perform in Annapolis, Maryland and I met him after the show. A true gentleman and talented artist who is and will continue to be missed.
I was raised in the 1970s with three older sisters who just loved rock & roll. They were each eight or more years older than me and I learned to love music vicariously through them, which is why today my favorite music is from the 1970s.
Fleetwood Mac was my first real introduction to rock and roll and in 1978, when I was eleven, my sister took me to a Fleetwood Mac Concert. She was a huge Fleetwood Mac fan and even managed to get us backstage. I was in awe, and from that day on Fleetwood Mac became my favorite all time band. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Fleetwood Mac perform quite a few times and in about 2005 I was able to get tickets to another concert in Philadelphia where my wife and I got to go on stage before the show. We met drummer, Mick Fleetwood, one of the legendary founders of Fleetwood Mac. I was wearing a Fleetwood Mac shirt with the cover of their most famous album Rumors printed on it. We were in awe of the stage set, and my wife sang a little into the mic where Stevie Nicks would soon sing!
I got to meet the legendary Kenny Rogers and his band a show here in Maryland through my great friend and WooFPlay Band member and music collaborator, Bucky Harris in about 2014. Bucky was one of Kenny’s former band members and some of his friends are still in the band. They’ve performed on some of my WooFTunes collection, even playing the WooF-AXX (my custom created and crafted WOOF Guitar).
When I met Kenny he told me my WooFDriver shirt was cool. We were treated to an incredible performance from Kenny & his band. One of the band members who had done some WooFTunes stuff for me, actually commented on a Facebook post I made as he was playing keyboard during the show, telling me to enjoy myself! What an AWESOME time & experience!
Dick Van Patten
Dick Van Patten was a true gentleman. I got the great pleasure to meet him when he did a TV Commercial for my dad’s carpet and flooring business. Mr. Patten flew into Baltimore to shoot these advertisements and my family had dinner with him at a local favorite homestyle restaurant called Sabatino’s in Baltimore’s Little Italy.
Mr. Patten was very warm an interesting to talk to, I truly enjoyed spending some time with him and I know he enjoyed Sabatino’s. Many years later, in the early 2000s, I ran into him again a Pet Tradeshow in Chicago, Illinois. I am in the wholesale pet supply business, ad he was there because he was representing a large pet brand. I reminded him about when we met and he said, “Oh yeah–that great Italian restaurant we had dinner at!”
I remember my dad was just a bit concerned about Mr. Patten’s accent because he said ‘carpet’ different from how we say it here in Maryland, and my dad hoped people would understand what he was saying.
Being from Baltimore, my dad loved the Baltimore Colts, so they were my football team to cheer. My dad went to school with one of the Colt’s trainers and remained fairly close to him so I had the opportunity to go to many games and their summer training camp.
Bert Jones who was an excellent NFL Quarterback and was brought to the Colts to be the heir of Johnny Unitas, one of the Greatest Quarterbacks to ever play the game.
I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Ms. Jaclyn Smith when I was eleven years old while on a skiing vacation with my dad and his friends in Vail, Colorado over Christmas of about 1978. She was a filming a Charlie’s Angels Christma special, part of which was shot in our hotel.
It turned out Jaclyn Smith was staying across the hall from us, and we wound up running into her on the elevator. My dad told her what a big fan I was and she invited me to her room to see her Christmas Tree. I remember thinking, “Wow!! She has her very own Christmas Tree in her room!” When we saw her husband, actor Dennis Cole and she told him she was taking me to their hotel room to see the tree he did not look too pleased, but for me, it was a most incredible experience. The tree was beautiful, and she is a wonderful person for taking the time to spend with me.