Living with ALS 

Celeb's I've met...
By
Mike Rayl

Since a very young age I have felt a strong connection tocelebrity, so much so that I treat them just like anyone else!!!

The first celebrity I ever met was the guy who played Dennis the menese on tv at an opening of a shopping center!!! He was very late and everyone was hot and upset including him... He didn't seem like he wanted to be there!!! He was rather rude and obnoxious!!! He was a teenager now and his show was over years ago... It seems like he had a hard time getting any other acting jobs!!!

The first film production I saw was for a Laura Scudders potato chip commercial which was fun to watch being filmed in a house by my school, when I was in six grade.in Highland park Los Angeles California!!! 

The first TV show I went to was The Art Linkletter show with mama my paternal grandmother, I was five or six... It was exciting!!!

When I was in high school the singer Sonny Bono came to our school to preach his anti drug message... A couple years later a got to attend a taping of the Sonny and Cher show!!! During the show I struck up a conversation with the senior cameraman.. He invited me to stick around after the audience left to watch them tape a sexy Cleopatra scene and introduce me to Sonny and Cher after the scene!!! I was tickled pink:O ... I was in college at the time studying radio and TV production... Sonny was very eager and hospitable to meet me, very nice!!! Cher on the other hand was very shy and withdrawn ... It was very apparent to me at that time they were having problems with their marriage!!!
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When I was living on Maui working at the Anchor Deli, a man came in that appeared ?? very tall at first till I noticed he was wearing elevator shoes!!! It appeared that someone or something was cramping his style, because the first thing he said to me was do you have exlax??? There were a number of people in line ahead of him I was ringing up an order so I didn't answer right away... Well he got rather irate and demanding!!! He shouted "do you know who I am", I shook my head yes non chealantly... He repeated in a rather loud voice " do you have Ex Lax" !!! I don't think so, I said ... But down the street is a store that may have some ... He was a big time actor producer, director, writer and there was an actor or writer's strike at the time , shutting down his show , Little House on the Prairie!!! He was known best for his role as Little Joe on the TV show Bonanza, my favorite show growing up!!! 
Alsowhen I was working at the Anchor Deli a sweet young lady in a frilly white dress came in to buy a pack of Marlboro cigarettes... I didn't realize who she was at the time... I had heard the band she was in would just show up and play a set or more at the club The Blue Max on Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii !!! I so wanted to catch them there !!! And if i had recognised who she was when she came in maybe I could of caught Stevie and Fleetwood Mac playing at the Blue Max for the price of a drink !!!

A similar thing happened to me again I didn't realize I was in the presence of one of the fab four till after the fact !!! Because I was in the middle nowhere on Maui in the millionaires paradise, Hana which means Heaven in Hawaiian !!! Its near the final resting place of Limburg... I was having an awesome day diving off the pier!!! After expiriencing Hana on earth, i noticed there was a public library and i had to check it out. !!! Hana has an Awesome library with a whole huge section dedicated to music !!! Thats where I saw him all alone just sitting there listening to music... He was a middle aged gentleman with long jet black hair well below his sholders, with a likeable familair face... He was part of the Fab Four during the sixties, producing a ground breaking album every six months !!! I was only 10 yrs old when the Brittish invasion hit 50 yrs ago in 1964, and still know all the words and music to most of their songs ...

If only had recognized him at the time I could of asked him all sorts of questions !!! But as it was just being in the presence of this pop icon and just saying hi was enough !!! It wasn't long after I saw a photo of George's Hana Maui home in the national enquirer did I realize it was George Harrison whos presence I was in!!!

I've always had a kind ship with Musicians I use to like to go to the taping of of many TV shows... My favorite was the Dean Martin show and the Tonight show... In 1997 I finally was hired as a professional laugher for many sitcoms!!! They basicly paid me to sit in the audience watch the TV show and laugh if I thought it was funny...

I worked as an extra in several movies and along the way i met some fine actors and had a lots of fun!!! The first actor I befriended was on the set of the movie "The other side of the mountain". We were on location in Mammoth Lakes Ski Area. I had recently moved there and had not yet learned how to snow ski, I was nineteen or twenty ... The assistant director asked me to go the main lodge cafeteria and tell the extras that the director was ready for them. I walked up to the table they were sitting at and said, "all extras the director is ready for you" looking at one young man when I said it. It happened to be the star of the movie!!! I was so embarrassed when it was pointed out by one of the extras!!! Later when we were filming a tavern ski lodge scene this actor got me a speaking line in the scene by asking the director if it would make sense to have me say "hi Dick how you doing" when he came into the bar then come over to me and shake my hand... The director said good idea!!! I was surprised two years later when the movie came out in 1975 that in that scene you only see me from the waist down!!! I told the director half jokingly, "since I have a line do I get more pay?" !!! The asst. Director said, if you don't shut up we will cut you out of the scene, jokingly and laughed... But that's not why they did it... Because I was a time keeper in a ski race, I couldnt be the actors characters good buddy, Dick Buick... Who was a ski racer, who came in the bar with a broken arm telling everyone he was still going to race!!! This actor did his own stunts, in this case flips on skis... His father had a TV show fifties called Sea Hunt, and that's where he got his start as an actor ... He was in his thirties but looked much younger at the time, now in 2014 he is playing a grandpa on a sitcom!!! He still looks good for over seventy ... I remember befriending him at hot creek hot springs , him playing guitar and we all singing along, he is multi talented... He is Beau Bridges!!! I remember in between scenes reading a magazine that had just come out, it was the first of its kind , People ...