Daily Archives: October 13, 2011

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Looking For Harry

October 13, 2011 by in category Archives tagged as ,

by Bobbie Cimo

Last week while I was on my lunch hour taking my daily siesta in my lounge chair that’s comfortably situated on the helicopter pad at CBS, I got a text from one of my co-workers that read “Harry Connick will be at the Grove at 4 today.” My response was simple, “So will I.”

When I got back from lunch, all my other co-workers excitedly asked me if I got the text about Harry. It was easy to tell by the smile on my face, I had. When 3:45 PM rolled around and I was about to leave for my clandestine meeting, my working cronies cheered me on, like I was the lead-off batter at a baseball game.

As I walked through the turnstile that connects CBS to the Grove, I wondered how many people were going to be there. On a normal day, when Mario Lopez of “Extra” does these interviews, it’s to a fairly small crowd. I was hoping that today, it would be even smaller. I wanted to get as close to Harry as possible. It isn’t that I haven’t been close to him before, because I have. But to me he’s like a drug that you can’t get enough of. Like the song said, “The more I see you, the more I want you.”
I cast my eyes on the spot in front of the three story Barnes and Noble, where these little interviews are customarily shot. No cameras, no crew, no Harry.

I took out my cell phone and called my office. My office posse assured me they saw the sign, announcing Harry’s scheduled appearance. They even told me where the sign was. Not that I didn’t trust them, but I had to see it for myself. They were right. When an unsuspecting security guard passed in front of me, I pointed to the sign and asked, “Where’s Harry?”

He looked just as confused as I felt when he looked towards Barnes and Noble and saw there was no action in front of the bookstore. And then, as if a light bulb went on over his head, he said, “They probably moved it to the front of the fountain”. Not that I needed it, but he offered to escort me over. But again, there was no Harry nor any evidence of any sort of production going on.
So what does a security guard do when he can’t find an answer? He gets back-up by calling over another security guard. This other guard was more creative in his thinking, he was sure that “Extra” was doing Harry’s spot in the park next door.

I looked at him incredulously and asked, “Are you sure?” I think I scared him because he responded with, “Let me take you to the concierge.” Yes, the Grove does have a concierge who dresses in a suit and stands behind an outside desk. As a matter of fact they have several. As helpful as he tried to be, the concierge did’t have an answer for me, so like the guard, he called over back-up, another concierge, who knew even less than he did. I should have walked away then, but it was too late. They had now called over a PR person for the Grove. And in a matter of moments, I had several guards, a couple of concierges, and a PR person, all looking for Harry Connick, Jr. It’s when they pulled out the walkie talkies that I knew that this had gone way too far. But it was too late to walk away, they had me surrounded. Finally, with three security guards, two concierges, a PR person and a partridge in a pear tree, they had an answer for me. Harry had canceled his visit.

My office gal pals all shared in my disappointment when I told them of my defeat. The ironic thing about all of this was, that very night Harry Connick was less than a football field away from me, appearing on “Dancing With The Stars”. Since DWTS is an ABC show, not a CBS one, and because of the threats made against some of the celebrities on the show, it’s practically impossible to get onto the set. To put it bluntly, a terrorist has a better chance of getting passed customs, than a CBS employee has of getting on the set of “Dancing With the Stars”. That is unless you have a special badge, that’s only given to people at certain levels. And I’m definitely not one of them.

As I sat down at my desk, I mumbled out loud of my discontent and how unfair I thought it was to be so close to Harry, and yet not be allowed to see him. Then I heard someone in my office say, “You’re right”, and the next thing I knew, a manager who owns one of those special badges handed his over to me. He then got on the phone and called the head stagehand of “Dancing With The Stars” and asked if he could find a space for me in the audience.

In less than thirty seconds, I was out the door, without my purse, no lipstick on, but a special badge around my neck.

Not only did I get to see Harry Connick, but I also got to hear him sing in person, as well. So I’m happy to report I went looking for Harry, and finally found him, too.
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