He’s here for the convention, obviously, but the man has a lot of roots and history in barbershop music. In fact, he currently has his own quartet – Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastiks – and they will be performing on the AIC (Association of International Champions) Show tomorrow evening at the Honda Center. I was hoping to go to that show mainly to see him, and now he’s standing just a few feet away from me.
I maneuver closer to Dick Van Dyke, hoping to shake his hand. He is not very tall, no, but for a man of 83 he looks to be in pretty good condition – especially for a guy who took all those spills over the ottoman back when he was married to Mary Tyler Moore!
I don’t get swept up in celebrity culture very much, but I have to admit to almost shaking with excitement here. I’m almost within arm’s-length of Dick Van Dyke – Burt from Mary Poppins, star of Diagnosis: Murder, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Dick Van Dyke Show and so many other entertainment memories from my life.
He signs some autographs and poses for a few pictures, one with a mom and her two daughters who look to be about four and six years old – he comments, “Why, they don’t even know who I am!” But at the same time, he has handlers from the Society to keep him on schedule – and to keep him from being mobbed – and very quickly they are announcing that Mr. Van Dyke will be leaving and to make room.
I can respect that, and I’m not so obnoxious that I’ll force my way in anyway after such an announcement, so I probably won’t get my handshake. Oh, well, I can live with that. It helps that he exits right past me. Our sleeves almost touch, he’s that close.
Okay, maybe for some people I do get caught up in celebrity culture.