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Would you like to be famous?

My own opinion of fame changed after a visit to Shanghai.Today, China has many western visitors, but that was not the case in 1995. I didn’t see another American woman during my week-long stay. I was unique, and the Chinese were enthralled.Getting special attention, usually afforded to the truly famous, was a unique experience for me and one that became daunting and sometimes down-right embarrassing. Large crowds of people followed me everywhere. The first time I boarded a double-decker bus the ticket taker took me to the upper level and kicked an old couple out of their seat so I could sit down, even as I was vehemently protesting.I went to a restaurant where I was asked if I was a movie star. It seemed that PBS had recently been in town to make a documentary. When I visited a museum, the curator took ancient vases out of the case so I could hold them, something he didn’t do for other visitors. During a visit to a Taoist temple, my guide explained I was supposed to light a bundle of incense sticks and throw each stick into a stand filled with sand. I watched as others threw one stick at a time into the sand. But when it was my turn, I became extremely nervous because a huge crowd gathered to watch me, so I tossed the entire bundle into the stand at once. Incredibly, all the incense sticks were standing. But I’m sure I made a cultural faux pas because a gasp went up from the crowd, and they all backed away from me.A subway ride took away any remaining desire I had for fame when a group of people began circling me. Some just wanted to touch me, but others attempted to pull out a strand of my hair. I could have been bald before I reached my destination.But not everyone agreed with me about being famous. Hereís what other Falcon residents had to say when asked the question of the month: Would you like to be famous and why?

Yes, I would like to be famous in the world of entertainment. I’d like to be a movie producer or do something in radio, television or country music. I’ve also met a few famous people, including Robert Redford and Mohammad Ali, so I wouldn’t mind being famous.”Alan Jahnke“No, I do not want any part of fame because too many people would constantly be bothering me.”Matthew Brown
“I’ve already reached the pinnacle of my success in the corporate ranks, so now I enjoy retirement and community work.”Bill Chin“No, I wouldn’t want to be famous! You hear so much about celebrities today, and they always have to deal with people invading their privacy.”Connie Manning

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