Sunday, February 17, 2008

David Groh

Last week it was reported that Rhoda's husband, actor David Groh, passed away at the age of 68. This was significant to me for two reasons:

a.) Groh was the first celebrity I ever met on the train, (I guess you could say that he started me on my 'Conductor to the Stars' career.)

b.) He was nasty to me.

About 21 years ago, I was collecting tickets on a New Haven bound train, when I came upon Mr. Groh. He had his head down, reading a book, when I asked him for his ticket. I referred to him by his 'Rhoda' character name...

"Hey Joe."

He didn't respond and I thought that maybe he didn't hear me, so I tried again.

"You're the guy who played Rhoda's husband...right?"

Mr. Groh now looked up from his book and gave me a very sarcastic smile and then, as if to dismiss me, went back to reading his book. I stood there embarrassed, not knowing exactly what to say. I think I finally mumbled an apology and said something like,"I guess you're sick of answering that question...huh? Again, he didn't respond and I walked away red-faced.

About a month later, Mr. Groh was on my train again. This time he couldn't have been kinder. He stopped me, shook my hand (while maintaining direct eye contact,) he even asked how my night was going. It was as if he had just taken a Dale Carnagie course or was returning from a Tony Robbins' seminar. It was obvious what he was doing though; He remembered how poorly he had treated me on our previous meeting, and now he was trying to make up for it. I grudgingly shook his hand, figuring that everyone's entitled to a bad night every once and a while.

A word of advice to St. Peter: When David Groh enters the Pearly Gates, don't say..."Hey, aren't you Joe from Rhoda?"

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