Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Not all celebrities act like celebrities

I was sitting outside the clubhouse at the King and Bear course at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., this weekend, watching celebrities file in and out of the entrance. They were getting ready for the 10th Annual Murray Brothers Caddyshack Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Bill Murray was there. His brothers, Brian Doyle Murray, Joel Murray and others I didn't recognize also were there. Sports figures David Garrard, Jack Del Rio, Kenny Lofton and others walked past me.

Then a guy walked up to me, stopped and started talking to me. I recognized him. I'd seen him on TV, but his name escaped me. To him, I was some random guy sitting on a bench outside the clubhouse.

We started talking about the weather, specifically about the sunny skies after a night of rain. Then the conversation turned to the crazy storms during the winter in New York, where he said he'd been working fairly often over the past few months.

He talked about his home in Minnesota, where he would caddy as a youngster at Town and Country Club in St. Paul. And he mentioned how he would drive regularly in Minnesota's snowstorms.

"I'd get in my two-wheel drive Impala and just go," he said.

"Yeah, people in the South don't know how to drive in the snow," I said.

It was a brief conversation, and it didn't have to happen. He could have walked right past me just like the rest of the well-known figures who had gathered in St. Augustine this past weekend to help the Murray brothers raise money for the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.

But he didn't. And that's why I'm a fan of Chris Mulkey.

You might not recognize the name, but I'm sure you'll remember the face. He's been in at least 60 feature films and countless TV show, including Magnum, P.I., NCIS, Friday Night Lights, Law & Order and a show in 1990s with Brian Doyle Murray called Bakersfield, P.D.

As a journalist, I've met and interviewed a bunch of celebrities over the years. Many of them talk to you only because they want or need the publicity for some show, movie, book or whatever they're promoting. Few will stop and chat with you.

It was refreshing when Chris stopped to talk about something as mundane as the weather. Granted, he's not a household name - no offense. But he's still recognizable and a well-known actor, even if it is by face only to many people.

"It's about the kids," Mulkey said when asked why he took time out of his work schedule to fly to Florida for a day of golf.

Paula Trickey, whose TV credits include One Tee Hill, The O.C. and Baywatch, said she also was impressed with the students at the blind and deaf school who performed the night before the tournament.

OuttaSight played for the golfers, which brought Bill Murray out on the dance floor at one point.

"Did you see the kid playing Johnny Cash?" Trickey said. "It blew my mind."

Trickey said she plays in about a half dozen charity golf events each year, and the Murray brothers event is one of her favorites.

"It's all about the children," she said.

True, but it's also all about being down to earth. Some celebrities get it, and some don't.

video video

David Mobley, long drive champion from Charlotte - Bill Murray dancing to OuttaSight

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