This past weekend the record label I'm a part of, Standard Recording Company, had the distinct pleasure of hosting a private party for opening night of The Heartland Film Festival here in Indianapolis. Days prior to the event we heard rumors of Gary Sinise being in town for a film about his band, and countless other noteworthy directors and actors that could potentially show up to our musical mixer. We were, without a doubt, extremely hopeful to rub elbows with at least one or two.
Mid-way through our party there was a buzz amongst the crowd that "Ralph Malph" from the hit TV Series Happy Days was inside enjoying the party. Busy with organizing the band performances, meeting directors, and keeping my beer glass full, I couldn't quite lock eyes on the red-haired celebrity.
I soon found myself outside of the event to bask in the cool Fall air and relax for a few seconds, but before I could even mutter the words "Sit on it, Malph!", I was face to face with actor Don Most - a proverbial American icon in most regards, a star of countless television shows throughout the 70's, and now an attendee to the Standard Recording Company / Heartland Film Festival After Party. In quite a shock I stared directly into his eyes with a smile that completely encompassed my bearded face and said, "Woah! Thanks for coming Don! It's great having you here at our party!" to which he replied through an equally vibrant smile, "Yeah, great! Thanks!" And that was it.
Looking back on the encounter I wish that I had asked him to pose for a photo, or asked him any number of oddball trivial questions about being on Happy Days or about the film The Yankels which he was in Indianapolis to promote. Alas, all I could do was smile and mutter a fragmented sentence towards him. All in all I'm really excited to have met him in person, and since the event I've told nearly every person I've come in contact with. Though an appearance by Gary Sinise would have really sent me over the top this week, having met "Ralph Malph" was just as exciting.
Even more interesting for this bearded gent is that within just a few short days after meeting a cast memeber from Happy Days another American icon from that show, "Mr. Cunningham" actor Tom Bosely passed away. During the media coverage on the day following Mr. Bosely's passing, the CBS Morning Show interviewed Don Most from a Los Angeles affiliate station. [watch the video by clicking here.]