91 year old Ernest Borgnine was a featured guest at the most recent Chiller Theatre Expo that was hosted at the Parsippany Hilton. I managed to get a sliver of time with him - enough to get a station ID! (MP3) While standing in line to get this photo signed - him in 1955 after receiving an academy award for Best Actor in "Marty", I could hear him saying to people "I bet you thought I was dead!" The man was hilarious, in great form- although I hoped to see his lovely wife (and beauty product mogul), Tova in attendance, he was flying solo. Check out the WFMU Aircheck program that featured ONLY station IDs (Real Audio)! Others who WERE in attendance: Elvira, Barry Bostwick, Brigitte Nielsen, Richard Kiel, Lou Ferrigno, Joe Pantoliano, William B. Davis, William Forsythe (pictured left with moi), Stella Stevens and Mickey Dolenz among many others. I've been collecting autographs for years. I'll tell you the story of one of the first autographs I ever got.
It was another summer in Jersey, I think my dad didn't have much vacation time, or we were just lazy, so my family drove to HOLMDEL for a vacation. I know, but really, I couldn't make this up. Anyhow, we're going to hang out in the Holiday Inn there for a few days. Unbeknownst to my family, this Holiday Inn happened to be where all the performers who were scheduled at the then named "Garden State Arts Center" stayed. We check into our room and I'm ready to go for a swim --in the pool are the Osmond Brothers. I refuse to go in. My brother thinks it will be fun and has a great time. I am completely grossed out, and see no possibility of "having a great time" with the Osmond Brothers. The next performer at the Arts Center was a solo artist & I met her in the dining room that night. She was at the top of her game and looked stunning. Liza Minelli was in a booth in the back huddling with some guy that I did not know. I asked her for an autograph and she was gracious in giving me one. I was a kid, she was a pro. I remember being dumbfounded. After she signed my piece of notebook paper in red flair pen, the fella she was with spins the paper around so HE can write on it. He signed his name above hers and put a "plus" sign between the two names. In my memory, I thought he drew a heart around the names, but when I dug up the autograph for this post, I found that I was mistaken. Anyway, I read it and then looked at him again, I hadn't recognized Desi Arnaz Jr.! Check out Michael Shelley's program from this past April 26th, as his guest was Billy Hinsche, of the once famed Dino, Desi and Billy.