Joe Pinner's memories of meeting Bob Hope - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Joe Pinner's memories of meeting Bob Hope

(Columbia) July 29, 2003 - My crossing paths with Bob Hope were brief, and there were only three occasions. The main one was when Peggy and I were in New York in 1968 for the Mr. Knozit show to receive the Peabody Award.

We were in a room at the Pierre Hotel and were just in a cordial conversation with the other recipients, which also included Ed Sullivan, newsman Eric Severeid, conductor Eric Linesdorf, and we were chatting with Mr. Hope about his career and how much we appreciated him.

Fortunately, the event photographer captured us conversing in a picture that Peggy and I will treasure for the rest of our lives. We are amused in the photo as I had just mentioned the fact that people had talked about his "ski nose" and that I had a nose that could be made fun of for its size.

He also appeared that night on the "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" along with Jack Benny and Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, and we were lucky enough to be in the audience.

The other main time of meeting "Bob" was in 1976 during a bicentennial celebration at Williams-Brice Stadium put on by the city with spectacular entertainment and invited guests, one being Bob Hope.

It has been said, and Bob seemed to concur, that his first professional appearance was at the Bluebird Theater in Orangeburg, SC; therefore, a delegation of people from Orangeburg had invited Bob to appear at a special gathering at the stadium to say hello to them and invited me to emcee and be the "warmup act" and introduce Bob to the group, which I did.

He acknowledged me and then launched into his thing. In the excitement of the occasion, I forgot to get a picture.

The only other time was a brief encounter without speaking as we were at Disney World, and we were staying at the same hotel. I took a picture of him as he passed and treasure that also. It was always a magical moment to be in his company realizing who he was and what he meant to the world of comedy and making people feel good.

I am so glad I lived in his time to enjoy his genius and warmth.

by Joe Pinner

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