Historical Celebrity Sighting: John Young Meets “Johnny Gage”

Even though I’ve been involved in the media world for nearly 30 years, I have very few pictures in my possession of me with celebrities…most of the pictures in my work collection feature the amazing listeners I’ve had the pleasure of broadcasting to. So, when I DO run across a photo featuring me and a celebrity, I pause…where was that picture taken? What was the event, or the moment that led to it? For the picture I’m featuring in my Blog today, those details are crystal clear to me: here I am in the unlikely situation of meeting one of my childhood television heroes, the actor (and first responder advocate) Randolph Mantooth, on The Universal Studios backlot where he and the rest of the cast from the show “Emergency!” were filming some outdoor overturned delivery truck scenes. My late father was a Senior Sales and Staff Trainer at The Hurst Corporation, where they manufactured “The Jaws of Life” rescue tool, and he was assigned to provide equipment and training to the cast and crew of the show. One fateful Saturday in the Summer of 1975, my Dad let me tag along to the set, where my idol “Johnny Gage” was rehearsing his lines before his upcoming scene. The Set Director yelled “Cut!”, and the actors and crew began wandering away from the overturned truck, when my dad casually asked “Johnny” if he wouldn’t mind posing for a picture with his son, who was “a big fan.” “Sure,” the generous actor said, and he sat down on a prop in front of the truck and asked me to sit down next to him. Although I look like I’m going to throw up in the picture, I was excited beyond belief to meet one of the people I’d been watching on T.V. since the early 1970’s. A wonderful gift from my dad, who should get a medal for trying so desperately to coax a smile out of me…that photo I’ve used here is actually the best of SEVEN he took (no smiles among them).


John Young