JR Chandler Comes To Tulsa
It’s always good to eat some humble pie sometimes. I had a big serving of it today at the Tulsa Women’s Living Expo, sponsored by my TV station. When I showed up for my 2 hour shift to greet people and sign my picture card, the line was unbelievably long. Women (and some men) of all ages. And they all had that look on their face. You know the look. Do I have to explain it to you? Here’s how the conversation went with Anne, my helper.
- Me: “Wow, that’s great.”
- Anne: “They’re not all here to see you, Mark (that was putting it nicely). JR Chandler will be here soon.”
- Me: “Who’s that?”
- Anne: “He’s a soap star on All My Children.”
- Me: “Oh.”
His real name is Jacob Young. And for the next two hours, in between photos and hugs and autographs, I chatted with him. He’s been on AMC for 7 years, and plays a bad guy.
- Me: “What’s the strangest thing a fan has said to you?”
- Jacob: “A woman told me she named her son after me. Both of my names. His name was Jacob Young (last name). Weird, huh?”
- Me: “What’s the worst thing a soap fan has done to you?”
- Jacob: “A woman assaulted me once at the store. She apparently couldn’t separate make-believe from reality.”
If Jacob Young is a bad dude on TV, he’s the total opposite in person. He treated every fan like they were the only person in the room. After an unusually long hug and a whispered conversation with one of them, I asked him what that was all about. “She has a brain tumor. She told me she only has three months to live.” At one time, Jacob’s character on AMC played a cancer survivor. He even shaved his head for the part. A few minutes later Jacob shared a moment with another cancer victim.
Every once in a while, a crumb was tossed my way. I’d sign a few pictures and pose for a picture. But the women were clearly there for JR Chandler. One woman confided in me: “He looks real fine. REAL fine.” She must have realized what she said, and quickly added: “And you’re not bad either.”
Then a yell came from the line of women: “Hey, you’re the bachelor!” One of the former “Bachelor Pad” stars was also at the show. I wasn’t, but it made me feel a little better. Then as I said goodbye to JR Chandler, Jacob Young told me that I look like his friend Donny Osmond.
That made me feel A LOT better. You can eat only so much humble pie.