DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? – Marilyn Armstrong

This story has been on the news for the past few days. Every time it has been on, Garry and I had a good laugh.

There was a zesty little scuffle between Bill Murray, actor, and Peter Simon, a photographer who is, incidentally, Carly’s brother. And it was at “the restaurant” to which everybody who is anybody goes so that everybody knows they were there.

We used to go there once every vacation. It was wildly expensive, so not the sort of place you visited often. Or at least, not a place we visited often. Mostly, I prepared our meals at the house.

The Simon’s are permanent Martha’s Vineyard residents (and you should see their house — it’s amazing) which means something on the Vineyard. They do a lot to try to help feed the people who get hungry in the winter when all the tourists are gone and there’s no work.

The Taylor family (James, et al) are also Vineyard residents, so even though Carly and James are no longer married, they sometimes get together and do a show that will raise money to feed and house the hungry.

Thus, when Bill Murray asked Peter Simon “Do you know who I am?” and Peter answered with “Do you know who I am?” it was like a Vineyard joke.

Photo: Washington Post – Bill Murray

The thing is if you’ve spent any amount of time on the Vineyard — not as a two-day visitor but weeks at a time — you realize that everybody on the Vineyard is somebody, or is related to somebody, married to somebody, used to be somebody or is about to become somebody.

It’s a very somebody kind of place.

Peter Simon, photographer

I remember when Garry spotted Patricia Neal at a store in Edgartown. He whispered to me to wander over and find out if that was really Patricia Neal.

It is considered uncool on the Vineyard to ask for autographs or anything like that. People come to the Vineyard to get away from that … but they do want to make sure you know who they are. This can be difficult if they are on the naked beach in Aquinnah, by the way. Naked people just don’t look like their picture in the newspaper.

So as I was sashaying over to see if I can overhear relevant conversation (yes, she was), someone else was pointing at Garry because that was when he was somebody, too.

Lucky for me, I wasn’t anybody. Pat did give me some good advice which was “The most important thing for a woman is to have someone who’s good with hair and great with makeup.” Not that I have anyone, but if I had become a star, I would have taken that to heart because I’m sure she was right.


There’s no point to this story except that if you are going to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, be careful about assuming you are more important than that other guy. His face may not be familiar, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t own a movie studio. Or his father does.

RDP #74 – ZEST

16 thoughts on “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? – Marilyn Armstrong”

      1. Norma Desmond would’ve loved the Vineyard. I believe Gloria Swanson spent a few ‘discreet’ summers on “the rock”, courtesy of a certain powerful politico.


    1. Willow, the Vineyard was actually a fun place 40 plus years ago when I began summering there with a group of media pals. We rented a house together and passed many summers thinking of ourselves as “regulars”. Real, year round Vineyarders accepted us as “summer people” which is a big notch above “day people” or “touristas”. It’s a marvelous pecking order. So much name dropping. Like me getting off the ferry in the early 70’s and having James Cagney greet me. He didn’t say, “Do you know who I am?”

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good thing I’m not likely to ever go there ’cause I’d probably find some way to irritate everyone by pretending I hadn’t a clue who they were. I could also keep asking them if they know who I am – ’cause, of course, they wouldn’t, seeing as I’m nobody, but maybe they wouldn’t know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They would be sure you really WERE someone, so you could thoroughly confuse many people. But generally, you ignore famous people. It’s actually traditional to NOT pay attention to famous people especially because there are so many of them. That’s why that little scuffle was so funny. Two old guys being important.

      Liked by 2 people

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