When the news came out yesterday that TV icon Sherman Hemsley had passed away, it reminded me that I actually, sort of, met the man in person.


Back in 2000, my wife Sandy and I took a road trip to Jackpot, Nevada. There we met Sandy's sister Mary and husband Gary for a few days of gaming and overall R & R.

To quote Las Vegas Sun columnist John Katsilometes, "Jackpot is where people from Twin Falls, Idaho go to get loose". It's a very small town with a few hotel-casinos. The largest is Cactus Pete's.

We had been spending an afternoon at Cactus Pete's, where we had seen posters that Sherman Hemsley of TV's "The Jeffersons" was appearing as the headliner. You may not know that before Hemsley became a TV star, he had done Broadway, and was an accomplished singer.

Our little group had seen Hemsley go around a corner outside the hotel, so we decided to follow him for a bit. He must have sensed this, because he stopped, turned around and stuck out his hand to be shaken. He wasn't rude, but wasn't exactly enthusiastic either. Sort of a "Yeah, fine, how you doing, gotta go" encounter.

Not exactly old home week, but not "leave me alone you idiots" either.

Still, it was an encounter with a TV legend.

You can read a Las Vegas Sun column by John Katsilometes about a similar encounter here.