2006/02/10

Celebrity Alert!

I grew up in area near Los Angeles where many television actors and some movie stars lived. Some childhood actors went to the same schools I did. While living on Maui, it was not uncommon to see people like George Harrison, Oprah, Clint Eastwood, or Alice Cooper. So it isn't surprising that I pay almost no attention to movie stars or any other celebrities. Not that I don't respect the talents of many of them, but rather that for the most part they are just regular people like you and me. The rest of my family feels much the same.

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My nephew teaching a new student to fly.


So it was very funny recently to hear that my nephew, Lewis, has found himself in the tabloid newspapers and on some internet celebrity fan sites recently. Lewis is a flight instructor for American Flyers at Santa Monica Airport near Los Angeles. Due to the location, it is a popular school for Hollywood stars and other celebs. Lewis was Harrison Ford's instructor when Ford earned his instrument pilot rating. He also taught Cleo Shelby, the wife of Caroll Shelby (a name you may not recognize, but famous to car buffs for creating the Shelby Mustang and Cobra sports cars). There was never any public attention drawn to the airport over his students in the past.

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But now, things have changed. Lewis is teaching Brad Pitt to fly. Paparazzi are coming down to the airport to snap photos of Pitt and sometimes Angelina Jolie as well. Lewis is taking a lot of ribbing from the family now over his second hand fame, but is is unfazed by it all. He has a serious job to do making sure every landing is one that they can walk away from, and stays in focus.

I've only seen two movies with Brad Pitt: Oliver Stone's "Troy", and Terry Gilliam's sci-fi film called "Twelve Monkeys". I thought he did a good job in both. I've also seen two movies with Jolie, but they were really lousy movies in my opinion so I couldn't judge her acting ability. I don't know anyting else about the two except they have child together and that Jolie already has a pilot's license. I also don't know how Pitt is shaping up as a pilot. 'Don't really care. He's got a great flight instructor though.

Oh, in the photos above, in case you aren't sure, Lewis is on the left. ;^)

5 comments:

FH2O said...

My late father was a politician and as kids we used to think that it was quite 'normal' to see our dad and his (minister) friends's faces in the local newspaper; as they hang around our house all the time! So I'm equally unfazed by celebrities! Not that I get a chance to meet any as an adult! I'd probably be star-struck?!

FH2O said...

BTW I love the 'make-over' of your site! Nice!

@ロウ 。LOW@ said...

Sounds like most of your family members have the similar flying-gene? :) I hope Mr. Pitt would give more tips for a really good flying instructor :)))

Pandabonium said...

FH2O - That's interesting. Though I don't get all crazy, I do notice celebrities. When I once sat down in a resaurant and glanced over to the next table and saw Clint Eastwood, I thought, oh, wow that's Eastwood. But I didn't disturb him. I've also had the priviledge to meet and make music with many famous musicians (not because of talent on my part, but mostly because I lived in a desireable destination). I did feel happy and excited about it, but when you talk to people like that, as you know, you find out they are not so different from other people, except in what they do.

Thank you very much for the compliment on the site. I'm glad you like it. I wanted to give it a "softer" look and one more oriented to the South Pacific. I'll do a short post about where the prints are from later.

@LOW@ - aviation does run in the family. My dad designed airplanes during WWII and afterward, and was a private pilot as well. My brother-in-law (Lewis's dad) flew in the airforce for 6 years and is retired United Airlines captain. I had an uncle who flew fighter planes and transports in WWII and retired as a full colonel in the 1960's. My brother learned to fly also.

More than anyone cares to read I'm sure, but flying is very a infectious activity and once in your blood stays with you for life.

Happysurfer said...

Pandabonium, I think it's only natural that people get excited when they see famous personalities if the latter are not part of the everyday folks you see. I remember two girlfriends of mine were so stunned when they shared the same hotel lift with Jackie Chan that they forgot to press their floor number and ended up seeing Jackie off at his floor.

Brat and Jennifer - another couple bites the dust. **Sigh**

Interesting post. Thank you for sharing.