Launch: Fame

My roommates and I went to rent a movie at Blockbuster. The guy checking us out looked at us like a deer caught in headlights, and with hands trembling, he asked, “Are you Todd Richards, the snowboarder?”

Another time, Todd and I had an hour to kill, so we went to a restaurant with some friends for a drink. At the bar having a drink was Rick Meyer. No one in my group knew what a famous Hoosier he was–even after I broke down his football career, starting with Notre Dame.

The first time I played chess with Terje, my hands were shaking so hard I could barely move my pieces. (I still beat him, though.)

In the Denver International Airport, I noticed Charles Barkley looking at magazines at a newsstand. When he walked away empty- handed, I ran up to him and offered a copy of TransWorld SNOWboarding. He took it, glanced at it, and handed it back. Charles Barkley said thanks, but he wasn't into anything like that. Then he shook my trembling hand, and said it was nice meeting me.

Temple Cummins and I took pictures of each other sitting on one of Jason Jessee's choppers. The pictures hang on my office wall.

Tina Basich and her boyfriend (Dave Grohl) gave Shem and I a ride up to Los Angeles. The traffic was slow, which gave us some time to talk about various things: Tina's interview for this issue, Cape Hatteras, the second coming of Christ, and so forth. After Tina and Dave had dropped us of and driven away, Shem looked at me and simply said, “Dude, Nirvana.”

Todd Richards, Rick Meyer, Terje, Charles Barkley, Temple Cummins, Jason Jessee, Tina Basich, and David Grohl–I think of all these people as being famous, but my mom has no idea who any of them are.–Dave “I'm huge in Korea” Sypniewski