I’m sitting here. Playing with code and watching “The BodyGuard” after listening to the CNN.com coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral most of the afternoon.
And it just occurred to me, that most of you (my Atlanta / Savannah / Hilton Head Island / StartupChicks Friends) have no clue that I grew up in the town where Whitney lived after she “made it”.
Yup. Mendham, New Jersey. Between the Township & the Borough, population is around 10k. About one hour west of NYC, there is no public transportation. Mendham and the surrounding area is extremely affluent. And Whitney is not the only public figure in the area. Meryl Streep, William Hurt, and Mike Tyson live in the surrounding areas. My friends and I spent some summer evenings (during college) partying on the grounds of Jaclyn Kennedy Onnasis’s horse farm. (sshhh – don’t tell!)
I recall a Sunday brunch with my sisters and a friend at the Pub at Black Horse Inn, where across the room from us, sat Bobby Brown & another artist composing songs on bar napkins. They smiled at us; but, nothing came of it. We would NEVER dream of invading their privacy without an invitation. While they are famous, they were also our neighbors and we were taught to allow them their privacy in our quaint little town.
I recall stories where our famous neighbors were less than courteous and demanded special treatment because of their social status. But, for the most part, the special requests were denied. Who would you rather piss off a famous singer or CEO of a Fortune 100 company?
So, that brings me to my brush with greatness. I don’t recall where I was going or why I went to the grocery store that Saturday morning. The store is STILL my favorite grocery store EVER. King’s. There is one in Mendham and one in Morristown, New Jersey. If I find myself in the area, I go and walk around just to see what’s new. The store in Mendham has these mixed up doors. The path in and path out cross like an X. So, imagine my surprise early (8ish) one Saturday morning when I am (literally) running in and nearly run into none other than Whitney Houston. I managed to stop before I hit her. She was wearing no make-up, workout clothes and sneakers, so we are nearly the same height. And my face is like 3 INCHES from hers. SERIOUSLY. I was dumbstuck; but, eventually managed to apologize for nearly running into her. She gave me a brilliant smile and replied “It’s OK.” and walked away.
I have to say she was the MOST beautiful person I have ever seen in my life. God bless you Whitney Houston. May you find the peace that you deserve.