Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Who's Henry Thomas?"

I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you this story.

A few weeks ago I took my students on our regular trip to Little Rock. I brought Stella with me this time, thinking that we'd enjoy the time together and she'd learn a few things. Friday night we went to dinner, joined by my childhood friend Faith. We had dinner at Flying Fish, a restaurant where you order at the counter, wait for a seat to open up, and hope that you're seated before your food comes out. We were sitting waiting for our food when Faith noticed a man standing by himself, waiting for a table to become available. "Look at that guy, Alannah," She said, "I think we grew up with him. I think he was in your grade. What was his name?....I think it started with a Ch, but it's not Chad." I did that thing where you have to turn around completely but can't look like you're staring so you casually look over your shoulder, like you're just oh...scanning the restaurant. He did look really familiar but I was fairly sure he wasn't from Eureka. If I had graduated from Eureka Springs High School after all, I think our graduating class had something like 35 people in it so I was pretty sure I'd know if he was my age.

"No," Faith said, "You know who I think it is? I think he looks exactly like that guy who was in E.T.!" At this point Stella became very involved in the conversation. She turned around a few times to look at him. She thought he might've been Henry Thomas too. Eventually he was the table directly next to us, allowing much less obvious staring and discussion. Stella dared me to talk to him and ask if he was "that guy from E.T." but I didn't want to bother him. Stella then called me a wienie, and said that in a game of Truth or Dare I'd probably always pick Truth. At this point the discussion became so animated that I was sure he could hear every word. Stella pulls out my phone and insists I do a Google image search of him. They were looked exactly like him. So, as we get up to leave the restaurant I (to had to prove to my teenage daughter that I CAN accept a dare) discreetly went over to him and said, "I'm so sorry to disturb you, but my daughter insists that you're Henry Thomas." He looks at Stella and said, "Well, your daughter is right." She smiled triumphantly and we thought we could just leave him to eat his fish in peace. We were wrong. The large, boisterous, drunk table behind us were listening in on our conversation and the women from the table IMMEDIATELY jumped up and ran over to him, asking for photos and autographs. "That's Henry Thomas!" one of them screamed. "Who's Henry Thomas?" her drunk companion asked. Meanwhile all the other diners in the restaurant are beckoning to us, asking who this guy is, what the fuss is over, etc, etc. I was mortified. I went back over to him and apologized profusely and then we hustled out of there.

Stella was still so excited over her brush with celebrity. Faith and I laughed and laughed over thinking he was someone we grew up with. "Well," She said, "We DID grow up with him, in a way." He looks just like...a grown up Elliot.

The cool part? It spurred us to research why he would be in Arkansas. Apparently he's playing Hank Williams Sr. in a biopic.


Marty Maxwell Lane said...

great story!

kelly said...

It's about time I get the full story... and I'm totes jeals. (that means totally jealous btw)... (btw means by the way)

you love me

jessica said...

What a fabulous story, and I proud of you for asking ans so disappointed in brash and ignorant people. Very uncouth.