It's quite an odd photo, isn't it.
About a month ago I found an article on-line that hinted that Mr. T might be on hand at the Gloucester County 4-H Fair sometime during the Fair's four day run.
He is busy shooting episodes of his reality show "I Pity The Fool" and one local farm might be featured in an episode.
After a couple of well placed calls I had all the information I needed. Mr. T was going to fly into New Jersey on Thursday July 28th and would be heading out on Friday night.
Somewhere in between he MIGHT be at the fair.
Thursday night I hopped into the Sweetie-mobile and took the 90 minute drive to South Jersey.
Before you start picturing scenes from the opening credits of "The Sopranos" let me stress one thing:
This is SOUTH Jersey.
It's really like the "South."
I loved it. The Gloucester County 4-H Fair has all the things you would expect a 4-H fair to have.
If you tip the right person, they'll even tell you what the four H's stand for. (I have been sworn to secrecy on two of them, but I can tell you one of them is for Jalapeños.)
Here is a sheep:
Anyway, Thursday night ended up being totally "T" free.
No mention of him anywhere. A query at the information booth revealed that there was a chance he would be there on Friday.
Friday July 28, 2006 I arrived at the fairgrounds bright and early. Still, no sign of Mr. T. So I watched cows eat for hours.
Although this was more fun than it sounds, it still was no match for actually MEETING Mr. T. I was starting to think this was as good as it would get.
Then I saw some show biz types. They stuck out like a sore thumb. They even stuck out more than me since I had been clever enough to buy a cowboy hat so I could walk around incognito.
The show biz types were scouting the grounds and putting up signs.
Finally! A glimmer of hope! Perhaps the dream of being photographed side by side with the "one and only" Mr. T while wearing a cowboy hat would be coming true.
(I know you saw the photo at the top of the page, but pretend you don't know the outcome of the story yet. It's more fun.)
Still, even with some show biz types around I had not found Mr. T.
But I did find a tiny horse with the most adorable little bangs:
Then as I walked away from this crazy midget horse, I heard the unmistakable voice of Mr. T.
Clad in an outfit FAR too hot for that particular day Mr. T stood behind a barn chatting with locals and being shielded from the heat by an umbrella held by a member of his entourage.
Mr. T spotted me (in my Mr. T shirt) and called me over where we took the following photo:
For the next 8 hours Mr. T was driven back and forth from his trailer to the main "horse show" area many times.
When he was in main area he did all kinds of really cool Mr. T things.
He dispensed advice to riders:
He sat in the crowd and cheered for riders:
And he became a rider:
Plus, when he wasn't shooting he made a point of greeting every single person at the fair.
He told us the show premieres on TV Land on October 11, 2006. This particular episode will be aired a couple weeks later.
It was awesome. I was even interviewed for the local paper, the Gloucester County Times.
Here is an excerpt from the article that appeared in the paper a day later (written by Trish Graber):
His arrival did not cause much stir at the agricultural fair, but for one hard-core fan who drove from Princeton for the chance to see Mr. T, it was the highlight of his week.
"I have thousands of (Mr. T) items," said Guy Hutchinson, who wore a black T-shirt with Mr. T's mug plastered across the front. "I've been across the country to see him."
Hutchinson drove to the fairgrounds two days in a row to see his favorite actor, since organizers did not announce whether he would appear Thursday night or Friday.
"He's so nice to everyone," Hutchinson said, after having his picture snapped with Mr. T.
And of Mr. T on the horse, Hutchinson said it was definitely worth traveling for.
"It's certainly a different side of Mr. T," he said.
A different side indeed.
Many thanks to Mr. T who is still the coolest celebrity on the planet.
Also, I want to point out that when it was written that seeing Mr. T was the "highlight of (my) week" it is worth noting that this was the highlight of a PRETTY COOL week.
In addition to seeing sheep and cows and funny little horses, I saw the Phillie Phanatic (at a Phillies/Diamondbacks game):
I also went to a balloon festival:
Still, it is true that Mr. T was the highlight of the week: