I’ve tried to live my life in such a way that I am respectful to all people, regardless of if the world sees them a significant or insignificant. My job affords me the opportunity to work with celebrities like Kevin James, Kevin Costner, Trisha Yearwood, and James Caan during our race events as a “celebrity escort.” It sounds more glamorous than it really is; as my primary focus is to see that they (and their entourage) get many to places at the speedway on time, while negotiating crowds of over 250,000 people. It is a logistical nightmare to say the least, but I enjoy being in the mix of putting on the worlds greatest racing show!

 

Several years ago, Nicholas Cage came to the 500 as the Grand Marshal to promote his movie “Ghost Rider.” His agency flew in a private security person from New York to accompany us. I hit it off with the security guy and we talked often throughout the day. (He was a NASCAR novice, but very interested.) After Cage was gone, he told me he was impressed with the job we did with the schedule, transport, planning, logistics and the Daytona 500.  We parted ways, exchanged info and that was it!

 

Fast forward 3 years…..December 2009 – Amanda and I are in NYC, shopping at the Time Warner Center. I walk out of a store to see this very familiar person, but I can not place a name, context or anything….I just know that I know this guy! So after minutes of “pretend shopping,” I figure out who it is and walk up to him. (My wife thinks I am completely nuts at this point.)  Sure enough, it’s the security guy – nameless on purpose. CRAZY!!! I run into him in NYC of all places. After talking for a few minutes, Amanda runs up to me and within earshot of my newly reconnected friend utters “Hey Matt, there is Suri Cruise.” He replies “Well, I’m doing work for Katie lately.” I had kinda figured that out…..but next thing I know, we are walking along the mall with this crew! Amanda proceeds to fall in line right next to Katie Holmes and strike up a conversation – mostly about kids. It was a crazy encounter, but one predicated on the fact I was fortunate to meet, know and remember the guy who is suppose to be seen and not heard.

 

My friend gave us a dinner recommendation and we texted back a forth during the week, always getting good advice on places to see in NYC. The encounter just reminded me that it is important to value everyone. Not that the celebrity meeting was so incredible (although my friends think it was neat), but this world is a very small place! You never know when you will see someone again and it is always nice to reconnect with great people.

 

Striving for The Best! -mwr

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I don’t post specific personal stories much (though maybe I should more often), but I just finished a very cool trip and wanted to share! Amanda and I went on a mini jaunt, sans the kids. We had the chance to see Carrie Underwood the other night and the concert was fantastic. We have seen her several times now and she is an incredible performer! What a journey that woman has taken from the Checotah, Oklahoma (I’ve been through there) to the 2005 American Idol stage to worldwide entertainer in 2008. Her star seems brighter than ever and from my perspective she is truly remarkable. The journey she has taken should inspire all of us that anything is possible!

From the 34th Floor of the Marquis

From the 34th Floor of the Marquis

 

The next morning we headed for NYC.  One of our favorite places to visit, it’s amazing. People watching is off the charts and the sheer size is almost overwhelming. We did all kinds of great things – saw GREASE on Broadway, shopped till we dropped, ate great food (Bagels, Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity3, Pizza, Italian cuisine), played in the snow, and really just enjoyed being together. One day it was 70 and the next it was snowing in the City! We are so blessed to have celebrated 6 years of marriage in this fashion.

Me and my girl!

Me and my girl!

In a society where marriages are constantly under attack, it is critical to strengthen your marital bond by spending quality time with your spouse. Date nights with just you two on a regular basis and get away trips are the perfect way to do that! NYC was great – I can’t wait until next year!

 

 

My next post will reflect on a chance NYC encounter with a very famous celeb and my interesting connection to Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise.

 

Striving for The Best! -mwr