Meeting Lee Tergesen: FOUR

By Anne (amytych@yahoo.com)

Saturday, December 7, 2002
More photos from this event at LeeTergesen.com

This meeting happened after we saw Lee perform with some of his "Oz" castmates in a play called "The Day Jack London Got Pinched," which was directed by Tom Fontana.

My husband, Paul, and I arrived at the theater around 7:45 p.m. and saw Nic outside. We greeted her and went inside to say hello to Danielle. It was cold, so we stayed inside until the 7:00 p.m. show let out and caught up with D., her hubby, and Christy. Paul and I went with them next door to have a drink, where we met up with Mav and L. It was great to see everyone and meet some sibs for the first time!

D. said she'd told Lee I was bringing kumpe (Norwegian potato dumplings). She said he laughed and said I was crazy in a good way. *g* I carried it all over, and that stuff isn't light! It looks rather disgusting, I thought, but what the hell. If Lee asks for something I can provide, I'm there. :)

After the drink, Mav, L., Paul and I headed back to the theater. Nic and Danielle were sweet enough to save seats for us, so we were in the second row on the right side of the room, which is where Lee spent most of his time on stage. Thanks to Danielle for scoping out the show Friday night and providing this valuable info!

Just before the play started, Richard Belzer came in and sat in one of the reserved seats. I was surprised and pleased. I've been a fan of his since his stand-up days.

Anyway, the play got started with Tom narrating the story of Jack London as an older man looking back on his youth. Then Lee burst in as the young Jack who was hanging out in Buffalo and explains how he got arrested for just walking down the street. During Tom's narration, Lee kept interrupting to explain a term or add a different point of view. It was quite amusing. Tom kept getting more and more frustrated at his younger, arrogant self.

Then the other cast members came out and played several different roles, including Jack London, as the story was told. Kirk Acevedo acted out Jack London's time in jail and muMs played a man he befriended in jail. The two had really good chemistry and worked off each other well. Scott Winters played the judge who sentenced the men to jail for vagrancy. Several times he had to say the line "30 days" over and over to announce each new sentence and he did it with aplomb. He was really funny. It was wild to see him play a character other than Cyril. He did a great job. Everyone did, really.

Lee was amazing. He seemed so completely at home on the stage. I sometimes watched him when others were speaking (big surprise, I'm sure) and it was fun to see him react to the others as if he was hearing all of it for the first time. I also got long glimpses of that gorgeous profile of his. I noticed he was licking his lips a lot when he wasn't speaking.

I also noticed that whenever he got excited or angry about something, those veins in his head would pop up just like on Oz. It was the first time I'd ever seen it up close. They were like living things! LOL! They'd pop up and recede really fast depending on the level of his character's excitement. His performance was everything I expected and more. And it's not just because I adore the man. It's because he's so talented!

At one point, Lee messed up one of his lines, which set everyone laughing and smirking. I think everyone screwed up a line at one point, but they recovered themselves quite well and we all got to laugh with them, which was a real treat.

After the play was over, we all headed over to O'Lunny's Restaurant, which was two doors down from the theater. We headed upstairs to the room that was reserved for the party and before long, it was really crowded. Lee arrived maybe 10 minutes after we got there and was immediately surrounded by admirers. I noticed he was smoking, which surprised me. He didn't smoke at all during the Kanvas party. He did seem to be very relaxed that night.

I saw that Nic had made her way over to where Lee was standing near the top of the stairs. Danielle and I soon followed. She made a comment about me getting a turn after her. I pointed out that she had seen him the night before and it was my turn. ;)

He looked over toward us and gave me a smile and held out his arms for a hug. I think he said my name, but I was in a daze. So I gave him a big hug and a kiss. He leaned toward my ear and said, "I heard you have something for me." So I showed him the container with the kumpe and he said he had to open it and see it. On the outside, I had this little gift tag that said Goodies for Lee.

When he opened the container, he said "They look...not unlike they're supposed to." Whatever that meant! Anyway, he was pleased, and that was enough for me. He said he couldn't wait to try it and was going to fry some up tomorrow. Then he asked me how long I had boiled them. "About 35-40 minutes," I said and he nodded. I had it wrapped up in a freezer pack that was still cold, so he put it under the coats until it was time to go. He joked that no one had better steal his potato dumplings. L. took a couple of photos of me giving him the kumpe.


Then I showed him a picture of a woman who'd met Lee in Austin, Texas, last year. Her name is Jamie. The picture, which is posted at LT.com, has Lee licking this woman's ear with Eamonn Walker on the other side. It's a great picture. He laughed when I showed it to him and said he remembered her. He signed it.

At that point, I think, the rest of the gang made their way over and I introduced Lee to L., Mav and Maura (who I ran into while in line for the bathroom). Lee charmed them all and took some pictures with them. My husband nudged me and pointed out that I had forgotten to introduce him. Oops! So I did and Lee even charmed him. I think so anyway.

At that point, Lee wandered off in search of a drink, but got waylaid along the way and ended up sitting on Richard Belzer's lap. L. took a picture of that. Then Lee was off again charming everyone he ran into. 

After awhile, the crowd started to thin out and we were all wandering around the fairly small room. I noticed that Danielle had cornered Lee again and I walked over. She had promised to take a picture of me with Lee because I have such bad luck with my camera and Lee. I took several photos but have no idea how they will turn out. Luckily, I don't need to worry since others took back up shots for me. 

At that point, I asked Lee to sign my program because I had forgotten to keep it out earlier. He wrote: "Anne, thanks for the kumpe. -- Lee Tergesen."

At some point in the evening (and I am beginning to lose track of the order of things now), I found Mav and L. chatting with Blake Robbins (Dave Brass), whom we had seen at the theater in between shows. [We had also seen Kristen Rhode at the theater, but she didn't come to the party.] So I said hello to Dave and offered to take picture of the three of them. I hope it comes out. I also told him that Officer Brass was very mean last season and he smiled at that. Then I said, "but you did a great job." He said, "Yeah? Thanks." I think he was pleased to be getting some attention. He signed my program, too, which was nice.

Mav had brought along a copy of Jack London's autobiography and was asking everyone to sign it. She standing near Dean Winters, who was at the bar, and he remarked, "Oh sure, don't ask me to sign it. That's okay," in a tone of mock hurt and so she asked him to sign it, which he happily did, taking up the whole back cover. I was nearby, so I asked him to sign my program (which was before I asked Blake to do it, as I recall) and he said sure. I told him I'd met him at the DVD signing and mentioned that I'd had my two sons with me. He said, "Oh yeah, I remember." Now, I think he was pulling my leg since there like several hundred people there, but it was sweet of him anyway. It was at that point he told me that there was going to be another signing in January. I asked when and he said he thought it was the around the 30th but he wasn't sure.

Then I wandered back to the circle of sibs again, who were gathered around Lee and he said my name and put his arm around me. *sigh* I just cannot believe I keep getting so lucky with this adorable man. So we stood there talking in the group and he just kept his arm around me for a little while and I, of course, had to put my arm around him, which was no hardship for me.

Oh, I almost forgot. He was wearing a long-sleeved long-john style t-shirt that said Open 24 Hours on it. He also had on jeans that fit him very nicely.

Some time after I gave Lee the kumpe, Danielle asked me if I gotten a dollar. I had totally forgotten about it. You probably recall that Lee had said on leetergesen.com that he would give a dollar to anyone who brought him kumpe. I certainly didn't make the kumpe in hopes of getting a dollar, so I forgot about it.

Later, when I was standing next to Lee and he had his arm around me, Mav nudged me to remind him about the dollar. He overheard her and asked what we were talking about. I said, "The dollar." "Oh yeah," he said and took out his wallet. He searched through and first took out a $20 and held it toward me. "I'm not taking that," I said. Then he found a ten and a five, but no ones. I told him not to worry about it. Nic offered to give him one of her dollars so he could give it to me. "Wait," he said and went digging in his pockets. "I may have four quarters." I was really laughing by this point and told him not to worry about it.

"No, no, no. You brought the kumpe. You deserve to be paid," he insisted. So as he hands me the money he pretends to be doing math in his head. "Let's see there's the ingredients, time spent in making them, bringing them from D.C.," he paused for a moment like he's adding up the grand total, "Yep a dollar and a penny seems just about right."

I was still laughing, but I put the money in my pocket. Now, how the heck am I supposed to frame four quarters and a penny?!

At some point while I was chatting with Lee, I said that Rami wanted me to say hello and was sorry she couldn't come. Apparently remembering the lime-throwing incident from Kanvas, he said, "Why? Is she in jail?" Smart ass. That got a few laughs. When I said no, he said, "You see? There is no justice in this world." Then I told him that she was at a Christmas party for work and he huffed, "Some people have their priorities," or something like that.

I don't remember when, but sometime during the evening, Lee asked Paul and I when we got into the city and how our trip was. He also asked where we were staying, which surprised me because usually I just drive home after seeing him. He probably just assumed we were staying over. I just thought it was sweet that he included Paul in this conversation that was overwhelmed with females all evening. :)

During yet another chat with Lee, we were talking about his appearance on a local New York TV show and I asked him why he wasn't on more talk shows. He replied, "Thanks for pointing out my shortcomings." Now, I know he was just pulling my leg, but I was horrified at the thought that I may have inadvertently hurt his feelings. The reason I asked was because I thought maybe he didn't like to do them; some people don't. Then I quickly tripped all over myself trying to make up for it by pointing out that it was the television shows who didn't have him on that had the shortcomings, not him. Then he told us (as he had told Danielle the night before) that they liked him so much that they asked to him to host a whole show later in the month. He wasn't sure of the date, but thought it would be sometime between Dec. 17-19.

Lee also mentioned that he had not been able to watch the video clip of his appearance yet. Danielle suggested he email it to himself and he said he had tried but it didn't work. Then Danielle suggested that he ask for a copy from the station. "It's the least they can do since you're going to be hosting their show for three freaking hours," she said, or something to that effect. Danielle does not mince words. She and Lee were trading barbs all night. I remember telling him that he was very charming on the tape and had come across really well. I kept complimenting him all night long. I couldn't help myself!

I also told Lee about the Tom Fontana e-mail, but he didn't hear everything I said at first because he got confused. "Who wrote that?" he asked, referring to the e-mail with the naked comment (see further down for details). "Tom Fontana!" I said. "Oh, now it makes sense," he said. LOL. What a character.

A little while later, I noticed people were getting ready to leave and I hadn't gotten all my autographs, so I cornered muMs with his coat on and he was very sweet. I complimented him on his performance and asked him to sign the program. He said he'd be happy to. Then I saw Dean getting ready to leave and I had to take a picture of him with Nic. Then I cornered Scott and complimented him as well and told him he was very funny in the play. He gave me a big smile and said, "Thanks," then signed my program.

Thinking that Tom was the last one on my list, I cornered him as he was leaving and introduced myself, telling him that I sent him an email last week thanking him for putting Lee on the stage. "Oh yeah," he said, laughing, "The naked one." He was referring to his response to my e-mail when he wrote, "Lee on the stage is a wonder to behold even if he's not naked." Then he said he thought that response was pretty funny. I agreed that it was and said it made me laugh when I read it.

After Tom left, the party pretty much wound down and then I remembered that I hadn't asked Kirk to sign my program. I found him talking with a friend in the corner and introduced myself, complimented him on his performance and told him I'd met him at the DVD signing. While he signed my program, I mentioned that I'd also seen his guest spot on Third Watch and told him he did a great job. "But I was pretty mad that you killed Bobby," I said and he smiled.

When I came back to the group, Lee was putting his coat on to go and gave everyone a hug and a kiss. Then he grabbed his kumpe to head out. I said good-bye to all the sibs and we walked outside, where we found Nic and Lee chatting. I said good-bye to Nic and gave Lee another hug and a kiss goodbye and said "It was really good to see you again, Lee." "You, too," he said. And then we were gone and I went back to my hotel to dream about that entirely too adorable man. :)

Anne's collage of souvenirs from the event!

Main Page
Meeting Lee

Meeting One
March 19, 2002

Meeting Two
May 19, 2002

Meeting Three
October 7, 2002

Meeting Four
December 7, 2002

Meeting Five
January 28, 2003

Meeting Six
August 31, 2003

Meeting Seven
November 13, 2004

Meeting Eight
January 7, 2005

Meeting Nine
May 31, 2008

Meeting Ten
May 2, 2010

Meeting 11
Dec. 4, 2010

Meeting 12
Nov. 23, 2011

Meeting 13
June 9, 2012

Meeting 14
Aug. 17, 2013

Meeting 15
June 14, 2015