Wednesday, June 4, 2008
A Special Gift For Julia From John Stamos, One of the Good Guys
This is a little off season but I feel the need to write it now and so be it.
Throughout my life I have met some incredible people, some very famous and some just kind of famous, and others who are people that have no desire to leave a mark in the books of life, but could if they chose to. The subjects of this story are my granddaughter, Julia, and a person that most people know as a television actor who is considered by the opposite sex to be handsome and sexy. Well to be fair about it, I suppose there are plenty of those of the same sex that will tell you the same about this gentleman. To me he was just an actor who played the part of an uncle in a household shared with a bunch of family members. Of course I am speaking of the actor John Stamos from Full House fame.
This story begins with a few phone calls in early December of 2005. The first call was from my dear friends, Sandie and David Knox. I had expressed interest in working in the film business in some shape or form during past conversations and the phone call gave me my chance. I had been invited to work with them for a few days in craft services in LA. At the time they were working on a program being filmed at FOX studios by the name of “Kitchen Confidential.” This was a chance to find out if I could handle the 18 hour days. For those who do not know what craft services is all about, just imagine food being prepared in the back of a truck or a warehouse kitchen and providing food and drink for the stars and crews of film productions. Not glamorous at all, but still exciting just the same. If I could handle the job I may be offered a full time position with Dave and Sandie, who were considered the best in the business. I jumped at the chance and was more than willing to give up my job in the cold arctic for the heat of LA. A date was set and preparations made.
The second call to set the wheels of fortune into play, came a day or two after the conversation with Dave. I called my daughter in Rapid City SD and asked her what my granddaughter, Julia, had in mind for Christmas. My daughter Jamie said that Julia had asked for the first season of ‘Full House” which had been released on DVD just weeks prior to this conversation. Jamie said that the motivation for Julia’s selection was love. She wanted to marry uncle Jess, (John Stamos.) My granddaughter was only about 6 at the time. I remember making the comment in jest, that I would be in LA and maybe I would be lucky enough to find Stamos and have him sign it. Ha Ha.
I found the DVD and left it home not really thinking I would run into Mr. Stamos.
A few days later I arrived in LA and Dave picked me up at LAX. As we drove toward his house he made the comment that we would not be working on “Kitchen Confidential” because it had been canceled just the day before. I thought it meant my chance to take part in the actual production of prime time T.V. was a bust. Dave told me that we had been reassigned to a different program and would be going to a location shoot at an exclusive LA country club. I asked the name of the show and he said “Jake in Progress,” “never heard of it,” I said, who is in it? The look of shock was evident to Dave as he said the name, “John Stamos,” I think I said something to the effect of, “you gotta be shitting me!” Dave was surprised at my reaction until I told him about the conversation I had with my daughter just days before. Dave laughed and said he would have to tell John about that. I was truly stunned but then again, this sort of thing happens to me more than the average person. Just like when I met Ben Stein. I had told my then wife, I wanted to shake his hand someday and a short time later I find myself flying from Seattle to Spokane in first class with him.
We were up before the sun rose and stopping at Dave’s favorite bakery, picking up several dozen of the most beautiful pastries I have seen in a while, and remember I was a street cop for almost twenty years. We picked up Dave’s daughter, Wendy, who is also well established in the crafting services industry. The day was exciting for me as I looked around and got into the swing of things. The actors seemed to be pretty friendly especially the ones with the smaller parts in the show. Mr. Stamos was always acknowledging people with a wink and a smile. I was pleased with the way things went and felt that I would do well at this type of job. It didn’t hurt that Dave introduced me as his writer friend from Montana.
The end of the first day of shooting and I was tired but felt excited enough that I could have continued on for another several hours. As I pushed a cart to the rear of the truck, a black SUV pulled up next to me and the window slid down. John’s assistant handed me an autographed head shot of John Stamos. Scrawled across the front it read, “To Julia, Love & peace, John Stamos.” I was ecstatic that this big star had taken the time to sign a photo for my granddaughter. I was even more ecstatic that it was going to be a gift to her from her grandfather. The photo still hangs in her bedroom in SD. I am pretty sure that she will always cherish it.
There is little doubt that there are some real jerks in show business, so full of them selves that they would simply walk away from an opportunity to make a little girl so happy but I got the feeling that Mr. Stamos is genuine in his kindness. John Stamos is one of the good guys!
A footnote to this story: Before I could commit to working in LA full time, Dave and Sandie had been put in the position of being able to return to their home in northwest Montana. They basically were able to semi retire and be in the place they loved the most. We still work on our own projects together.
Randy J. Cole