I saw Mickey Rooney at Wingate University at 2006. The college is centered in a small town just east of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the biggest celebrity to hit the town in years. I showed up about fifteen minutes after the program had started. By then, all of the ticket takers had gone inside, so I walked in and found a seat in the dark. That also made it easier to hide the camera that I had tucked inside one of my coat pockets.
The show featured Rooney and his then-wife performing songs, and his recollections of working on various movies. It was a good show, and I started sneaking photos near the end of the show. I got a couple of good photos as the show ended, and the Charlotte Observer ended up running one of my pics.
I also took photos of Rooney talking to fans after the show. I stayed further back, not wanting to draw attention to myself. Should I have bought an autograph? Said hello? I don't know. I didn't have to much to say that Rooney hadn't heard elsewhere, and there were a lot of people that night that were eager to meet the man whose film and TV career had spanned their entire lives. Mickey Rooney was one of the last from the golden era of Hollywood, and a reminder of what the movies, and movie stars, once met to us all. To Mickey, it was another chance to put on a show, say hello, and head on to the next gig.
Safe travels, Mickey.
April 20, 2014