My teeny tiny encounters with Robin Williams

By: Cityfella

If you work in Downtown San Francisco near the major hotels, Celebrity sightings aren’t  uncommon. I worked for car rental agencies and from time to time celebrities would rent or return their cars.

You remember the nice celebrities, Linda Grey, Jim Nabors, John Travolta come to mind and you have lifetime stories about the negative encounters.  Actor/Comedian Ronnie Schell who was OUTRAGED about his final bill OUTRAGED! and Lainie Kazan.  After I complimented her performance in “Beaches” which was in theaters at the time , she started swearing at me.” She said the Avis outlet in Santa Monica told her the gas was free” She knew her four letter words and used them correctly and stormed out of the office, almost falling off her heels.

My first sighting of Robin Williams was surreal.  I was leaving a small market on O’Farrell Street , the 38 Geary Bus stopped in front of the store, the second passenger off the bus looked like Robin Williams and together we walked across the street into the same building. He went through the door to the main office and I walked  around through the garage door.   As I began unwrapping my lunch, one of my colleagues cried, ” I’m renting a car to ROBIN WILLIAMS” .  I looked through the tinted glass, it was him?   I stood up and casually went into the office.  Cool was the word, I pretended to work by straightening papers.

He lived in the Seacliff area of San Francisco and throughout that summer, he would take the 38 to O’Farrell and Leavenworth. He didn’t seem to have an air about him, he was just a nice guy.   He wasn’t the spastic comic we’ve seen on TV, he seemed a bit shy. He went out of his way to accommodate my colleagues with pictures and autographs.  He signed Mark Tamanaha’s hat, who vowed he would never wash that hat.

One day,I saw him in the cellar at Macy’s, I was with two out of town friends. He said , hey big guy, Rob right?  Close enough, my friends were astounded, you know Robin Williams?  I was already a fan but now,  Can you say lifetime mega fan!

I think he came in one other time.    I learned he was making a movie in town. and the house being used was actually on the same street we were living at the time.   I mentally toyed with the Idea of driving by.  In my mind he would say, Rob come in an meet everybody.  It past….  I’ve seen Mr’s Doubtfire more than 40 times.

All over the world, people are speculating on why he took his life    For years, he reportedly struggled with depression, alcoholism and drugs.  Many of us believe if you have fame and fortune your life is trouble free.  Fame and fortune cant bring peace.and yet at the end of the day, that is what we all are looking for. I will never forget what I call teeny tiny encounters with Mr Williams. At lot of people has said he was nice kind hearted man. What I can say, he was nice to me. I am one of the millions who will miss him.



Published by CityFella

Moved to the Big Tomata in the nineties from San Francisco. No Suburbs for me with its single colored houses and lawns and the excitement of pulling out my trash can once a week. I'm a CityFella , a part time New Yorker. I'm happiest in the Center City where people the streets and people are alive. I'm still waiting to buy a 34th floor condo somewhere downtown/Midtown with a nightclub. "Hurry I'm old" My politics are somewhere in the middle with a needle that constantly moves. I'm too liberal to be a Republican and too conservative to be a Democrat. Everything interests me . I've come to love Sacratomato, Its a nice town in cheap sensible shoes .

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