A Brush with the Bushes

John Bordeaux
3 min readJun 30, 2019

(Republished from extinct blog) November 2004

Ok, so I’ve always been a bit goofy around famous people. It hasn’t happened often, but when I’ve had a brush with people In The News (“…with Christopher Glenn,” am I the only one who remembers this?), it’s been downright embarrassing. Until last week. When I got to scare a famous person, and this time not be creepy about it.

But first, some context. Driving through Amagansett (“It’s in the Hamptons, and you are so not cool for having to ask”), NY, approximately 25 years ago, I was faced with one of my rare celebrity sightings. I was in my happening 1972 VW Squareback Sedan — the non-dented parts were still identifiably green — just tooling down Rt 28.

When I looked over and saw a friend getting something out of the trunk of his black Mercedes. I say friend, because he looked so damned familiar. And even though I was living in the Hamptons, where people famously ignored the famous, it’s entirely possible I honked my horn, leaned my head out the window and yelled, “Hey! How ya doin!”

Grammy-Award Winner Paul Simon looked up, glanced at my car and then my face, realized he knew neither, and walked away. No doubt grumbling to himself that the Hamptons were becoming just like everywhere else. That’s about the time I realized why his face was so familiar… This, then, was my low point in celebrity interactions.

So fast forward to last Thursday. I’m in the audience of a community theater production. In the second row. In the first row, because this is the coolest town in the world, is Miss Jenna Bush. Directly in front of me. (Mom and sis were nearby, but I only interacted with JB.) Out of context, yes, it’s a bit icky that this 45-year-old man momentarily felt like a giggly schoolgirl in the presence of, well, a giggly schoolgirl — but that’s what famous people do to me. The difference is that this time I was able to play it cool.

And torture her.

Following intermission, I returned to my seat, and began thumbing the Blackberry to see what vital emails had come in since 8 pm. As I was leaning forward, I was almost part of the conversation as her guy friend was teasing her, “Come on, I’m sure they’d all like to hear your intermission joke! Just stand up and talk to them!” She, slightly horrified, tried to shush him.

Sensing an opportunity to torture her, after having practiced on my daughters for years, I calmly addressed the young…