Jeff Lang's
Gregory Peck Encounter

Jeff Lang and Gregory Peck

Last Updated on May 23, 1999

DISCLAIMER: These events are as accurate as I can get them. You have to think of how much of a shock this was for me to be there! :) The main discrepancies might occur in the order of events, but I have tried to fix that as much as possible. Also, sorry about how awkward some of this may sound, maybe later I can polish it up a bit. Thanks!

     We barely arrived in time at The Folly Theater on May 15, 1998. Through many wrong turns and missed exits, we turned up a little later then we really wanted to. We expected to show up about 7:15, only getting there a little closer to the 8:00 showtime.

     As we entered the building, I was amazed at how beautiful it looked. For me, this was the first time I had ever been in a real theater. I walked by "Will Call" and then into a large hallway. The first thing I noticed, besides a giant double staircase leading to the layered balcony, was that there were lots of huge posters of Mr. Peck on the wall. These were so awesome! As we were admiring the posters, a young gentleman approached us.

     "Are you Jeff Lang?" he asked.

     I answered yes and he went on to explain that he worked for the theater and had seen my page. He said he enjoyed it very much. I thanked him as he was short on time and had to go. We continued on.

     Having to wait in the hallway a bit, we took a few photos of the show that maybe I can put up shortly on this page. Anyway, we finally ventured into the theater itself. It was amazing! The sheer size alone was enough to make you take notice, but its beauty was beyond any other building I have ever been in! Over the loud system, music from various GP movies was playing. Among other notable selections, I could certainly pick out the themes from "Arabesque" and "To Kill a Mockingbird".

     While getting settled into our seats (which were front row, a little off-center, in other words, AWESOME!), another man, this time middle-aged, approached us. Once again, I was asked if I was Jeff Lang, and let me tell you, I was more than happy to reply! Never before have I been recognized this much! Back to what I was saying, this man explained that he was on the board of directors of the theater and had heard that I would be attending. We conversed for a bit and then waited for the show to begin.

     As the lights went down, two ladies and a gentleman came out and introduced each other, finally introducing the man who would be introducing Mr. Peck. That man came out and told a story of his favorite GP movie, "Gentleman's Agreement". He then introduced Mr. Peck, but first showed film clips from many of his movies. This was great because not only were they good clips, but because this is the closest I have come to seeing any of his films on the silver screen.

     After the clips, Mr. Peck came out to an outstanding round of applause. When the cheering finally died down, he proceeded to tell several stories about a few of the clips shown. I won't ruin it by telling you all of the stories, you will just have to go and hear them yourself. Trust me, it will be ten times better for you to hear them from him instead of reading them from here!

     A little while later, the question and answer portion of the show began. Some highlights included:

     When asked who his favorite leading lady was, Mr. Peck replied, "You know I'm not going to deal with that head on. They were all wonderful... some of these ladies are still very much alive. I'm going to weave and dodge around that one."

     When a man asked a very long question, it was met with, "That is a two-part question. I'm afraid you'll have to break it down so that I don't have a senior moment'."

     A man asked who he thought did the best impersonation of him. Mr. Peck seemed to recognize who was asking the question. "There was this guy named Rich Little, but I don't think he did that good of a job." The man was actually Rich Little, who then smiled and said, "Oh, I think I can do a better job then him!". Very funny.

     And of course, my favorite, for obvious reasons, occurred when I got a mic. Keep in mind that I had not yet met him. Like a stuttering fool, I fumbled my way through the question, "Mr. Peck, h-w-wh-h-wh-how do you feel about the Internet and its ability to allow your fans to communicate more freely?" He looked straight at me and asked, "Are you Jeff Lang?" This may have been the third time in the evening I had heard this, but it was certainly the most powerful! Shocked, I managed to utter a form of the word "yes". The crowds attention had turned my way. He then greeted me and explained to the audience what I had done, citing me as the "reason I'm famous on the Internet". He also explained how touched he was by all the birthday greetings, you, the visitors of my page, sent him "since I had to endure another birthday last month". I was still in total shock, all I could seem to do was grin. "I haven't met with this young man yet, but I will be meeting him backstage after the show. See you in a little bit." The audience once again applauded, as I sat there, still dazed and confused.

     A few more questions were answered after that, but I honestly can't tell you what was said! I was still feeling the effects of what had just happened! Before I knew it, Mr. Peck said it was time for the show to end. He told one more story, the one about how he and Veronique first met. Afterwards, he brought out Veronique and ended the show with the Irish poem found at the top of my index page. He then left to another astounding round of applause.

     At this point, I was getting up from my seat as the young lady that earlier brought me the mic told us to follow her to the backstage area. Filing through some tight spaces, we finally made it to the back. It was amazing! I mean, remember, this was the first time I had seen a large theater, but to see the backstage area was just as jolting! We were led down a corridor and told to wait a bit as Mr. Peck was getting ready. The anticipation was mounting and I could feel my heart rate increasing with each passing second. It seemed like an eternity but I was finally given the go-ahead. As I turned into the hallway, I saw him standing coolly in the doorway, and then he greeted me, "Hello Jeff!" This totally floored me! He then greeted my mother and invited us into the room. Veronique was standing there as well and I greeted her. He then once again thanked me for the page, saying it meant a lot to him. We then sat down and I gave him the gift we had bought for him. He said he enjoyed it. He also asked how we enjoyed the show. More was said, but at this point, I can not truthfully recall it! I can remember the face and the voice, but the words are something different.

     About that time, Rich Little came in and greeted Greg, to which Greg introduced him to me. We shook hands, and Rich presented Greg with a portrait he had done for him that sure beat down my gift! :) Anyway, Greg started to speak with Rich and at that point I started speaking with Veronique. Greg started autographing some of the items I brought along and before long, his tour manager told him he had to leave. My mom managed to step in and ask if we could have a few photos and Greg gladly obliged. I said goodbye to Veronique and then turned toward Greg. We shook hands again and I mentioned maybe seeing him again sometime, to which he said, "Yes, that would be nice." As we walked out, the last thing I saw was Greg's face. That was the end of an evening I will never forget. I recently got the photos back and you might notice one of me with him peppered throughout my site.