Always Go For The Fences

The easiest thing in the world is to just say, “Oh, it’ll never happen.” And when you have that attitude, it’s pretty much guaranteed that it won’t.

I like to take swings. To go deep. To push until I hit my comfort zone and then go a little further. With over six decades of living behind me, I guess I always have.

So when we were thinking about things to try and do for my mom’s 90th birthday bash coming up later this month, we came up with the usual, “Oh, we should ask the president to….” and we stopped. Yeah, I suppose, technically, it would be cool to hear from any president. I suppose. I guess.

Then we got to thinking about people my mom has admired and rising to the immediate top–entertainer Carol Burnett. As I have blogged before, we watched a lot of her shows in the home I grew up in. After I was gone, “Mama’s Family” was a big favorite that continued her appearances on mom’s TV.

I started the wheels spinning, fired up Google and put in, “How to get Carol Burnett’s autograph” and several things came up, but one site in particular. It was the address of her agent. On the site, it said that Carol actually grants these requests. All you needed to do was include a stamped envelope and what you wanted her to sign and she would get to it when she could. I read a couple of reviews and all were positive, but there were comments about how long it could have taken. One fan had written in February and didn’t see it until December. That got me to thinking.

What could I do to make my request stand out? As I have told you before, in the freakiest of coincidences, a guy I went to high school with in Torrance, California, grew up and MARRIED Carol. Seriously, he was the drummer for the CBS orchestra, they got to know each other over all those years, clicked and got married. That’s when I dug out my high school year book, the one from my senior year, which included a picture of Carol’s husband when he was just a sophomore in high school.

Thank you, Brian, because that might have greased the skids.

I put in the request several weeks ago and, to be honest, had forgotten all about it. Then, last Saturday night when talking with my mom, she asked if I had gotten Carol’s autograph for her.  Go figure–I was really expecting it to not come in for months and here it arrived weeks before her birthday.

Yet, another example of, you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Now to see if either President Trump or former President Obama can keep up with Carol. I’ll let you know.

Tim Hunter

 

I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together

Close to how I looked when I found out

Close to how I looked when I found out

Probably one of the most unusual intersections in my life has to be the Brian Miller/Carol Burnett connection.

It starts back in the 1970s, when I attended Torrance High School in southern California.  During the first three years of high school, I was a proud member of the Tartar Band, playing trumpet.  I found myself going down that path and by the end of the marching band season of my junior year, I was done.  Besides, I was an OK trumpet player–but Adrian Miller was excellent.  Such control, such perfection.

In my last year with the band, Adrian’s little brother, Brian, entered high school.  He played drums and was quite accomplished, even as a freshman.  He really looked under control when he got behind his drum set, that little early-growth goatee making him look like a beatnik musician out of the 1960s.  As I moved through high school, then headed off to college, I lost track of the Miller brothers.  But I heard they continued with their musical careers after our days at THS.

While most of my teenage memories had to do with basketball, high school and girls (one in particular), I also remember evenings at the Hunter household, watching The Carol Burnett Show.  She’d come out, answer questions from the audience, then do most of an hour’s worth of skits, with some songs thrown in.  But it was the skits, where they’d go into hysterical laughing fits that I remember most.   Carol, Harvey, Lyle, Tim, Vicki and there, in the audience, Ernie Anderson.

Flash forward a few decades and my sister Debbie informs me that she’s working with Adrian and Brian’s little sister.  That’s when I found out how it all connected.  Here’s the short version. After graduation, Brian continued fulfilled his musical destiny by becoming a drummer with the CBS orchestra.  As if that wasn’t good enough, he struck up a friendship with Carol Burnett, that evolved and, once she found herself single, it went even further to the degree that today, Carol Burnett is actually Mrs. Brian Miller!  No sh…kidding!!

Waking the halls of Torrance High 40 years ago, who knew that one day, one of my classmates would be married to Carol Burnett?

To Carol– a Tarzan yell this week on your 80th birthday.  To the unlikely couple, I’m so glad you had this time together.

Tim Hunter

Brian Carol