Charles Nelson Reilly

I love collecting autographs in person, but sometimes the autograph that I want is no longer obtainable so occasionally I will have to purchase them.  It’s always a challenge to figure out if what you are buying is authentic or not. 

This time I wanted to get Charles Nelson Reilly’s autograph.  At the time, when I searched Ebay a lot of what was available was pictures of him as Hoo Doo from his TV kids show, Lidsville.  I wanted a picture of him, but couldn’t find him so I went for the next best thing.  This is one of the more irregular autographs that I own.  


I suppose anything could be faked these days, but I’m pretty sure this is authentic.  Because I’m so interested in autographs, even before I started searching for it, I would always watch his handwriting (as well as my other favorites like Richard Dawson) on the Match Game cards he wrote his answers down on.

In this screen shot you can see the capital F is the same as the check.

I haven’t put it together in a collage in my scrapbook yet, but when I do I’ll update this with a picture.  

Charles Nelson Reilly has been one of my favorite performers since I started watching the Match Game. Boy did he have some crazy outfits ! He was just so funny, even when he wasn’t picking on Brett.  If you haven’t seen Lidsville before, he’s a perfect villain.  You’ll have to watch it on YouTube or spend over 160 bucks on Ebay for the vhs tapes.  

Speaking of YouTube, his one man comedy show called The Life of Reilly is available to watch in segments.  He talks about his childhood and life. This is the best recording of it.  



Gaelic Storm


I have a sizeable autograph collection. So many that you’d think I’d be a pro at getting them in person without getting nervous or hysterical deafness. I guess just because of my naturally shy and quiet persona, whether I’m nervous or very calm, I just can’t seem to get it together when I’m standing in front of a famous person. So many things are running through my head and I can’t get them to connect to my mouth- and another opportunity is always lost.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to meet my 2nd favorite music group, Gaelic Storm. (yea 2nd….sorry guys, but no one goes in front of The Monkees). They were performing all weekend at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest. I look forward to this weekend all year. Milwaukee has a lot of popular and fun ethnic festivals along the shore of Lake Michigan during the summer that I enjoy, but there’s something about being around “your people” that makes it more fun.   I’m 49% Irish with 1% French from one side of my family and the other is 49% Polish, 0.5% Russian, and 0.5% German. I love to hear all the bagpipes and tapping and seeing my favorite color green, eating the stereotypical potatoes and stew, tossing Wellies down the yard and dressing like Leprechauns.   All that being said, it’s not what drew me to Gaelic Storm.

Several years ago, I had purchased a new MP3 player and their song Scalliwag was pre-loaded on to it as sample music. I liked the song and decided to investigate the band some more and I’ve been hooked ever since. Gaelic Storm is Patrick Murphy, Steve Twigger, Peter Purvis, Ryan Lacey and Kiana Weber.

Last year, they came out with a new CD called “The Boathouse.” All of the songs are arrangements of traditional songs, except Watery Grave, which was written by Steven Twigger.  Available for purchase at live concerts and on, this CD is part of their small batch sessions. The Boathouse was reportedly recorded in only a week in close to 14 hour sessions and was done in a makeshift studio on a friend’s boathouse in Maryland. Wonderful place for inspiration for this group of songs! Kiana writes more about the production of the CD here.  

I truly like all of Gaelic Storm’s albums with their comedic lyrics and energetic instrumentals, but so far the Boathouse CD is my favorite. I have an inclination to pick out the songs they have about boats and sailing and pirates as my favorites.  (I love being by the water, so much so I’m even a submarine tour guide.)  Scattered throughout the band’s CD catalog, you can find similar songs that feel like they would fit in to that old time seafaring genre such as, Devil Down Below, Lover’s Wreck, Turn This Ship Around, Whichever Way The Wind Blows, and the afore mentioned Scalliwag just to name a few.

I was inspired by The Boathouse CD insert to put together a collage in a frame to get autographed. I worked hard the past two weeks on coming up with the perfect design, knowing that I had a deadline of this Saturday. I used my nautical rubber stamp collection and distressing techniques to create pieces that would complement the mounted CD insert. I chose a grey wood frame that reminded me of an old rotting boat. Also working on a time crunch I had to figure out which photographs I had taken from the concert the night before that I would print in sepia tone and also integrate into the collage. Being that I was not very close to the stage last night I spent the entire concert trying to get at least one photo of each of the band members that wasn’t blurry. (Hard task to complete when everyone is jumping around next to you)

With barely an hour to spare, I completed the collage and headed off to Irish Fest to get it autographed. When it was my turn in line and was standing in front of them, I wanted to tell them some of what I have said here, but I was just too nervous. I couldn’t even tell Steve how I had sort of made this with him in mind and had hoped he would like it. I think they did. It’s one of my favorite autographs, and I will always treasure it.  

Here are some close-up photos of the finished, autographed frame.

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William Shatner

Handwriting- a style in which characterizes a person.  It’s something uniquely theirs.  My own signature has changed over the years as I have taken a liking to the curve or straight lines of cursive letters which I have seen other people use.

Whatever the reason, I love collecting star autographs.  There’s something special about seeing your name being written in the moment on a piece of paper or photograph.  It’s transferring from the famous person’s brain to their hand, through the pen and forever onto the paper.  I see it as a fleeting moment in them that they are concentrating on you, making you special. That’s a lot to think about for the few seconds that the autograph is being created, so in reality, if you’re anything like me, you’re actually in a controlled hysteria causing you to stand there speechless; smiling like a fool before nervously walking away.

That reminds me of when I met William Shatner.  I’ve always been a Captain Kirk fan.  March 18, 2012 I got a chance to meet him in person.  He  bought his “It’s Shatner’s World and We Just Live In It” show to Milwaukee.  I chose to purchase the highest price ticket which would allow me to meet him backstage after the show.  Not to skip over the show and diminish how great it was (By the way I think it should be released on DVD I liked it so much), but this section is about autographs not shows.

I was very very nervous to even be in the same room with him.   Mr. Shatner was only going to be autographing posters from the show and nothing else in the way of Star Trek or other memorabilia.  We had our names written on a sticky note so he could personalize the poster and then pose for a picture.  This process would hopefully make the line run quickly and smoothly.  By the time it was my turn, the line may have been running too  smoothly and quickly.  I didn’t get to chat with Shat, but standing beside him was enough for me.  I posed for a nervous picture, took the autographed poster off of the table and began to take my first 2 steps away from the table when I heard him speak,

“Just hold on a minute. (pause)  Come back.”

It was like he had set phasers to stun and fired.  I was so afraid I had done something wrong as I turned to face him again.

“This poster is yours.  That guy before you walked away without his,” he explained.

I looked down and I was holding a poster made out with some man’s name on it.  Oh, Bill Shatner, if you hadn’t been paying such close attention, I may have had a useless souvenir on my wall right now.  I traded posters with Bill and thanked him.  He just nodded and went on to the next poster in front of him. I imagine if stars do this enough it does become quite mechanical.

This is one of my most prized autographs as I don’t think it’s that easy to get to meet William Shatner everyday.  Also the same reason why I paid so much. wpid-20140718_230559-1.jpg