4. Kathleen Edwards, New York, NY
This picture is doubly special because it was the next-to-last photo taken before Zankel Hall security shut down the picture taking because "We don't allow pictures to be taken here." Bad news for the third member of our party who was blocked from taking a photo with Ms. Edwards after two of us (and perhaps a half-dozen before us) had already been taken care of. But on a positive note, he now has a signed "Asking for Flowers" album (an album, or CD, or mp3, or whatever that you should, as I've pointed out before, own) with a picture of him and Ms. Edwards as stick figures, in which the stick figure of Ms. Edwards is giving the finger to the unseen security guard. Classic.
3. Billy Redden, Parsippany, NJ
To think I almost passed up the opportunity to have a photo taken with the banjo-playing boy from "Deliverance." Crazy. This would have been a great Holiday Greeting because I would guess that if I sent it (with some cropping), I would have achieved 100% "who-the-hell-is-that?" clearance among the recipients. I could've held a contest for people to guess who it is. Or I could've tipped my hand and written "Hope you don't squeal like a pig this holiday season." How classy would that have been? Alas.
2. Corey Haim, Parsippany, NJ
This enables some lucky Holiday Greeting recipients and collectors to complete their "Photos with James and the Two Coreys" collection, and enables me to complete my "Photos with Me and the Three Main Actors in the Erotic Thriller 'Blown Away'" collection (and if you didn't know that that movie stars the two Coreys and Nicole Eggert, shame on you). I waited on a line for about two hours to get into the main pit at the Chiller Theatre convention and then went directly to Mr. Haim's table to find he had no line at all (the only reason the main pit line was so long was because Linda Hamilton's line wrapped around most of the pit). So I forked over my money to Mr. Haim's mother (sign you watch too much reality TV: you know what Corey Haim's mother looks like), Mr. Haim said something I didn't understand about the eagles on my shirt, and this magical photo was taken. Trivia fact: in my photos with the two Coreys, they are both wearing sunglasses. And we were nowhere near sunlight in either of them.
1. Maureen McCormick, Ridgewood, NJ
Another coup for Holiday Greeting enthusiasts looking to complete the Greg and Marcia Brady series. This photo was taken at the end of yet another long wait on a line, this time at a book signing at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ. I had gone to get a couple of books signed, but I also hoped to get Ms. McCormick to sign a football "Oh, my nose! Maureen McCormick." 'Twas not meant to be, as the rules of the signing were that she was only signing books. This was confirmed a few people in front of me when a trio of guys were shut down from having their photos and Marcia Brady doll signed, so I didn't push the issue. I thought about hanging around to see if she would be willing to sign the football after the event was over, but that would've required me to stand outside the store by myself with a football in my hand. There was a time in my life when that sort of behavior would have seemed normal. But these are my 30s. At least I got the photo.
So that's it for the celebrity photos in 2008. Who knows what next year will bring? Will the Holiday Greeting be retired? Will I get a photo with Gary Busey? Stay tuned.