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    « Wherein Grandma rethinks the family bed | Main | Running for chocolate and GRAND Social No. 73 »

    On Andy Garcia and me

    The AARP Life@50+ Expo has come and gone, and I must say it far exceeded my expectations. So much to see and do and learn.

    Though the connections made — and the dogs met — were delightful and well worth the trip, my favorite experience there was hands down the Movies for Grownups screening of "At Middleton," which stars Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga.

    You may recall the trailer for the film, included in this post here. (And if you don't recall the trailer or didn't watch it then, go watch it. Seriously.)

    You may also recall from that post that I mentioned Andy Garcia would be at the screening. Which he was.

    After the lovely movie that I enjoyed from beginning to end, Andy Garcia, along with director Adam Rodgers and Glenn German — co-writer with Rodgers of the sweet story of two parents who meet during their children's college tour — took the stage for an "At Middleton" Q&A session with the audience.

    Glenn German, Adam Rodgers, Andy GarciaGlenn German, Adam Rodgers and Andy Garcia

    Andy GarciaAndy Garcia listens to an adoring audience member.Mike wranglers roamed the crowd, giving those in attendance the chance to ask questions. I so wanted to ask who chose the musical selections integral to the story, having seen Arturo Sandoval's name in the beginning credits (whom Andy Garcia played in a 2000 HBO film on Sandoval). But... though I can write for crowds, I sure as heck can't speak in front of crowds. At all.

    So I kept my mouth shut, listened to others, and shot frame after frame of the handsome men on stage.

    Then the topic of distribution of the independent film and support for it came up. Suddenly there was some mention of the support for the film on a site called Grandma's Briefs, with Andy Garcia saying something about there being a special request and... something else I can't remember at all because I somehow found myself standing and waving my arms and declaring to the men on the stage, That's me, I'm Grandma's Briefs!

    And then Andy Garcia asked me to come up front.

    Oh, <cuss>! I said in my head.

    "Oh, no," I said out loud.

    I quickly asked the gentleman behind me to please take my camera and get some photos, someone thrust a microphone into my hand (Here, take this!) and I headed up front.

    Right into the arms of Andy Garcia.

    Meeting Andy Garcia


    I wanted to say, "Wow! What a wonderful, touching film!"

    I wanted to say, "You are a good, good man, Mr. Garcia!" (I think he is. In part because he and his wife have been married as long as Jim and I, and his family is top priority. Need more? Google him.)

    And I wanted to say — once we hugged and I melted into his unbelievably soft jacket that simply felt like home — "Gee whiz! Let's just stay right here and hug all freakin' day!"

    I didn't say any of those things.

    Instead, I said, "The other grandmas are going to be so jealous!" Yes, at that very special moment, I thought of you all.

    Andy Garcia kissed me on the forehead, he thanked me for my support. And I just babbled: "Thank you, thank you, thank YOU...."

    (As I mentioned, I can't speak for <cuss> in front of crowds.)

    But Mr. Garcia was kind and seemingly genuine as he hugged me again — comfy, cozy hugs that, well, just felt like home. And we posed for pictures.

    Andy Garcia with Lisa of Grandma's Briefs

    Then I somehow managed my way back to my seat — after a quick hug to Sue, the PR rep taking photos... whom I also thanked profusely. The gentleman who used my camera gave it back, I thanked him several times, as well, then I sat back down and tried to stop shaking.

    A few questions from the audience later — what the Q was or the A that followed, I couldn't tell ya — then the whole thing was over. Just like that.



    Andy Garcia and Lisa at Grandma's Briefs Life@50+

    When the lights came up and the crowd began exiting, the first thing I did was dial my husband. It's the normal response when a long-time married woman hugs another man, right? Tell your husband?

    I simply had to share with Jim.

    And Jim was immediately jealous — jealous that he didn't get to hug Andy Garcia!

    But as he always is, my husband was thrilled for me.

    "Was it a good hug?" he asked, as he and I put a lot of stock in a person's hug, agree that so much of one's character is revealed in their hugs.

    I confirmed that it was.

    And it certainly was.

    Such a wonderful hug from a good, good man.

    One truly unexpected, truly unforgettable moment.

    Thank you, Andy Garcia.

    Andy Garcia with Lisa of Grandma's Briefs

    Today's question:

    Whose hugs feel like home to you?

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    Reader Comments (27)

    You're right...this Gma is sooo jealous of that Andy Garcia hug...lucky you! However, I'm glad you could experience and share it with all of us.

    I'm a hugger by nature, so most hugs feels great to me. If Mr. Garcia would like to stop by next time he's in Chicago, I'd be happy to give him a hug. However, hugs from my hubby, kids, grandkids, and friends feel most like home.

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    What an amazing turn of events! You looked adorable! Andy is a guy who hasn't been spoiled by fame - just like you, my dear! I'm glad you have it all in photos to re-live again and again!
    My best hugs are from the grandkids, of course...especially when they run through a crowd of people just to get to ME!

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

    I shall just start calling you "Grandma Hollywood" from now on :)

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdeb @ homespun

    Cracked me up. You're sitting their, not suspecting anything, then BAM! Andy Garcia has his arms around you!

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatti

    Yep, jealous!

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOlga

    I really agree -- you can tell so much about a person by their hugs! So glad you got good ones and YES -- very jealous! I am lucky that Grampy gives wonderful hugs and lots of them! Glad to have yo back!

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Loved this, Lisa! I felt like I was sitting right there with you..I too, cannot speak to crowds and would have been shaking in my boots. I loved how you stood up and waved your! How wonderful! Andy Garcia is the best. Know you will treasure this memory.

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Ruhlin

    You sound as excited, thrilled even, as you look in your "hug" pictures! So happy for you to have had such a good time.

    My best "homey" hugs come from you, Jim, your girls, and any other of my family of kids and grandkids and any young great-grandchildren.

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    What I love most about this story (and you) Lisa, is that you are so genuinely shocked that others would recognize the power, the depth, and the reach of your thought provoking voice! Just imagine if, when you look in the mirror, you could see what we see and feel when we read your words....

    Well done, well done, well done!!!

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRuth Curran

    Family hugs feel like home, husband's best of all. He said he first started falling in love with me when I tackled him in the snow and when he hugged me the snow melted. How great for you to be recognized in such a public forum. Fantastic!

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Covin

    OMG This is one of my favorite posts ever!! Wish I had been there with you just to see your face! And you know I would have helped you try to sneak him home, just like we did with those monster-sized posters at BlogHer! So glad you have all these great photos to remember your amazing experience. xo

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLois Alter Mark

    Dear Lisa, you are so beautiful and genuine. What a wonderful experience. I am definitely gonna see that film. I love Andy Garcia also. Saw the movie where he played Sandoval and all his others. Family hugs are best of course but I would appreciate a hug from a man who is such a kind family man and sincere in his acting persona and not egotistical.

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQMM

    I have had a crush on Andy Garcia for a very long time. When asked about my favorite male actors, I always name him, Gabriel Byrne, Clive Owen & Colin Firth. I probably would have babble too, but I would like to think I might have also pinched his butt.

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandraFunFit

    WOW! An Andy Garcia moment. I am incredibly a good way. He's an amazing actor and now I know a nice guy too! Dreamy!! Who say's Grandma's can't get the hunks?

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicki Anderson

    I live in Burbank CA. A few months ago, I was delighted to see Andy and his wife eating at Nippon, a nice restaurant in Toluca Lake. I told my husband, "I've got to meet him." I walked over and said, "Excuse me, Mr Garcia. I think you are one of the best actors of your generation."

    He was SO nice. Introduced me to all the people at his table, after asking my name first.

    Then, on his way out with his party he stopped by my table and said, "Good night, Kathy."

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Brennan

    I am absolutely jealous too! He sure looks like a great hugger! I've always thought of Andy Garcia as a sexy bad guy but this role he has in "At Middleton" looks even sexier.

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E.

    Just as they say in "The Secret" you get back from the Universe what you give back. You give out love and kindness and generosity. I do that, I hope, but I haven't gotten Andy Garcia, yet.

    WOOT HOOT! He was such a hottie, and still looks adorably cute (as does the cutie patootie being hugged!)

    I love what Ruth said. That you don't expect these these. But, my friend, you SO deserve them.

    Good for you. Good for you.

    Biggest hugs....

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

    Soooo jealous on so many levels! ; ) Glad you had a good time and thanks for sharing it with us. BB2U

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBohemian Babushka

    What a fun experience!!! It just goes to prove you never know what little perks are just around the corner in the blog world. Love your big smile!!!

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaryn/The Mid Life Guru

    Congratulations! I love that your husband was jealous - that YOU got to hug Andy Garcia and he didn't! I'm a little jealous, too, have been a fan of Mr. Garcia for a long time.

    My son's hugs feel like home, and my sisters'. Some of my ex-boyfriends that's a "home" hug, too, others... not so much.

    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Diehl

    I can only say that I am one of those "other grandmas" that is very jealous. You are a very special woman.

    Be well.


    October 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterb+

    Oh man, I can't believe I left early!!! You are a lucky woman!!! My highlight (other than meeting the AARP people, of course) was meeting you!

    October 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRonna

    He's still got it! I've had a crush since The Untouchables. Can't wait to see the new movie.

    October 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Parris

    Lisa, this is amazing and wonderful and beautiful! :) Someone told me one time, "you never know who's reading!" I'm so glad the right people were reading Grandma's Briefs! I love the pictures of you and Andy- what a thrilling moment for you! Someone commented, "he's a hottie", but then again, so are you!! :D


    Love, Joy

    October 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy @ Yesterfood

    You lucky, lucky girl!! I'm so proud of you and your accomplishments. You are so gifted and beautiful to me - inside and out!!
    My best hugs come from my middle son, mainly because he's so hairy underneath his shirt and it feels like hugging a Teddy Bear! Also, when he hugs, I can feel the love.
    Love you, my Lisa!

    October 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Darlene

    Lisa! So THAT's where you went - was wondering where you went off to! ;) Seriously, it was great meeting you and hope our paths cross again soon! - David & Veronica

    October 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe GypsyNesters

    I would like to say first I came upon your info on Andy Garcia I don't really get into celebs but I am helping my daughter with a project for school and he was her person on interest.. I never knew what a wonderful person his is its nice to know that in our crazy day to day world there is a little bit of humble and kindness out there ....Im glad you found it in him thanks Melissa and Ariel

    October 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Cobb
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