What a lovely memory Ike Brannon shares in The Weekly Standard. He was 5 years old, traveling with his cousins on a camping trip. The year was 1970, and Glenn Campbell was one of America’s biggest stars, country or otherwise:
…One afternoon I had an urgent need to go to the bathroom, so my uncle pulled into the next service station and I ran out, alone, to the bathroom. While I was standing at the urinal a wasp landed on my shoulder and I froze in fright.
The man next to me noticed it, too, and whispered to not move an inch while he slowly moved his free hand in position to make the kill.
Naturally, I immediately tried to shake the wasp off, which caused me to be stung just as Glen Campbell’s hand hit my shoulder, hard, right where I had been stung. I burst out in tears and I made a mess of the task at hand to boot.
Campbell went into parent mode (he had three kids at the time), cleaned me up and carried me in his arms to my aunt and uncle to explain what happened. The adults chatted for a couple minutes while waiting for me to catch my breath, my aunt took a photo of me with him that’s forever lost, and we went on our way.
The incident stuck with me not just because of the celebrity encounter; as I grew older I came to appreciate what an awkward situation it must have been to be alone in a bathroom with a screaming 5 year old, and how he handled it with grace and aplomb.
Brannon goes on to say that this is a lesson in parenting he took with him: How we can ask kids to do the things we know are best for them, and the won’t always comply.
But the lesson I take is this: Most people, famous or not, will help a kid. Even in the men’s room.
Rest in peace, Mr. Campbell. – L