Harper Lee is sitting 20 feet away from me and I can't stand it!

I so totally want to go up and say hi but that would violate every rule of etiquette. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!! (And what would I say… “Hi Miss Lee… you know that book you wrote… it was good… you rock… now stop undressing me with your eyes you naughty old butchy!”)

Of course she knows I’m sure that there is a reason everybody in this library is walking through the coffee shop where she’s sitting with a look of purpose on their face, but still…

She’s soon to be played by Sandra Bullock in one major motion picture and by Catherine Keener in another (the latter being considered by critics everywhere the finest movie about Truman Capote to ever be written by any Judging Amy castmember.

Why would it violate etiquette for a simple ‘hello’?

I’m sitting here drooling in jealousy.
If you really want an icebreaker, you can go up and tell her you know of someone (me! ) who named her son Atticus in honor of her book.
If I were there I’d try, but I’d probably end up stuttering stupidly and running away :stuck_out_tongue:

Because think how often she gets that (and she’s a very well known recluse notorious for not liking recognition and publicity- that’s not to say she’s rude, just private).

And that’s the other reason. [Cue Eddie Izzard: Hi Miss Lee… I’ve got legs!)

Then just say “Thank you” and nod to her as you walk by.

In a very similar situation a while back, I gave my waitress some money and asked to pay the celeb’s check. I asked the waitress to just say that it was a small thank you from a big fan. At that point the etiquette ball is back in the celeb’s court. It is her option to stop at your table and say thanks, or not. In my situation the celeb not only stopped to say thanks, but also sat for 15 minutes or so of small talk.

So you know we have to ask… who was the celeb?

Now that is class. :slight_smile:

Local sports star, now deceased, Willie Stargell. I actually went to grade school with his niece and he spoke to us for a career day presentation. Maybe not on the same level as Ms Lee, but he was a very cool guy. When I told him I went to school with his niece (decades before) it acted as a real ice breaker.

::worships at vetbridge’s feet::

You met Pops Stargell…

(No, not a Pirates fan, but … wow.)

Similar situation for me recently. I went to see a studio production at my local theatre, and who should be sitting in the front row but Derek Jacobi. It’s theatre in the round (square) so it took a couple of minutes to settle down and watch the play without checking out his reaction. He was there with the rest of the cast of Don Carlos, which was on at the main stage. During the interval I literally bumped into Una Stubbs in the ladies. (Una Stubbs of Til Death us Do Part).

I sympathize. I once stood behind J.D. Salinger in a line and it took all of my restraint not to run after him going, “You’re awesome!”

Willie was a genuine class act type dude. Decades before that, when I was 6 or 7 years old I was at a neighbors house playing with their son. We were told to “play quietly” because someone important was meeting with my friend’s dad (who was a lawyer).

Turns out the meeting was to arrange details for an aid flight to Nicaragua. The “important” guy smiled and shook hands with us kids. My dad was impressed to hear about it, and we were all in tears a few days later when we heard that the plane went down and the guy…Roberto Clemente was dead.

Did he order “chicken on the Hill?”

Wow. Are you old enough to have heard Bob Prince offer folks to come on down for chicken on the hill with Will? The Pirates had a West Coast game. Willie Stargell owned a chicken place in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Bob Price said something along the lines of, “If Willie hits a homer, evryone come down and get chicken on the hill”. Stargell hit a homer and his store gave away $5,000.00 worth of chicken.

Cite: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/columnists/20010417webfinder.asp

Bob Prince and Willie Stargell, two great Pittsburgh sports icons.

Big time apologies for the Pittsburgh hijack.

You’re probably safe doing a tiny bit of gushing. Writers don’t get worshipped in stadiums. Call me crazy, but I doubt Harper Lee gets the same type of celibrity harassment as, say, Christina Aguilera. Or for that matter, J. K. Rowling. Or for that matter, V. I. Pritchett.

I posted this a long time ago but I’ll repeat. A couple of years ago I was eating lunch in Apple Annie’s in Tulare, CA when I looked up and in a booth about 10 ft. away was Dennis Franz (Andy Sipowics on NYPD Blue) and his wife. I left him alone. So did everyone else while they were eating. As soon as they finished people started going up for an autograph which he signed and added a few words. He seemed to take it as part of the job.

And many, many years ago my dad and mom were walking down La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles and out of a restaurant came Spencer Tracy. Dad was so startled he blurted out, “Hello there!” Tracy smiled, said, “Good afternoon.” and kept right on walking.