Art Sarzen was taking a walk with his wife by the Manasquan Inlet recently when he became the 14 millionth person from Jersey to have a surprise Bruce Springsteen encounter, even though there are only 9 million of us living here.

At least, that’s how it feels to me, a guy who’s been a fan for as long as I can remember but never had my own chance run-in with The Boss.

Sarzen said the same thing we’ve heard so many times before. That Springsteen couldn’t have been any more down-to-Earth and was the genuine article we always hope he will be.

“My wife spotted him walking towards us,” quoted Art as saying. “We spoke for a few minutes, we didn’t want to intrude on his privacy but I don’t run into ‘The Boss’ often so I asked to take a picture with Jersey Royalty. He said ‘of course let’s do it.’ Bruce couldn’t have been any nicer or more genuine.”

It should be no surprise that Bruce was visiting that section of the Jersey shore between Point Pleasant Beach and Manasquan. He’s gone there since a little kid with his dad.

If you hear the topic of chance celebrity encounters come up regularly on the D&D show, it’s because they’re fun stories, I’m fascinated to hear how famous people will come off on both good and bad days (we all have them), and it’s a cool reminder of just how many celebrities are in our area of the country.

But I never have these encounters myself.

Oh, I thought I did a time or three. Nothing I could ever prove though. Many years ago near an entrance to the Garden State Parkway’s southern end I could swear I saw Jack Nicholson driving a convertible wearing those on-brand shades. This guy looked right at me looking at him and flashed that toothy Nicholson grin. But because it was moving traffic and I never got to find out for sure no one has ever believed me. I don’t even know myself.

40th AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Shirley MacLaine - Backstage And Audience
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Then there’s the time I was in the parking lot of a QuickChek near Ringoes when a dead ringer for Clint Eastwood was pulling away in a car as I was pulling in. Squint and everything. This was about six or seven years ago. He was once quoted at 85 years old saying he drives an out-of-production GMC Typhoon. He’s 91 now, so this timeline didn’t match the car. And why would he be in New Jersey?

20th Annual AFI Awards - Red Carpet
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Then there’s the time a year or so ago just north of TCNJ when I would swear I saw Kelsey Grammer leaving a 7/11 parking lot in a black pickup truck. I thought I was crazy until listeners told me he’s often in New Jersey promoting his Faith American Brewing Company. Could have been him. Or not.

"The God Committee" Premiere - 2021 Tribeca Festival
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Then there’s the Scream King. Patrick Wilson, the actor from the “Insidious” and “Conjuring” franchises, lives in Montclair, New Jersey. So when I was caught in an epic parking garage traffic jam at Menlo Park Mall in 2016, I could swear it was Patrick Wilson himself trying to fight his way into the same exit lane I was vying for. He finally let me go. I stared right at him. I swear it was the face I had seen on the big screen.

'In The Tall Grass' By Netflix - Red Carpet - Sitges Film Festival 2019
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Or was I just conjuring it?

See why I like this topic? Our listeners have real stories they’re sure of.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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