Monday, October 27, 2014

My Day Bodyguarding for Richard Gere...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I find it hard to believe, looking back...that Mamma Bear and I, after marrying in '87 didn't get an "out of town" vacation until 1999.

That year, my wife's cousin Paige asked us if we would "stand up" for her and her fiancé when they got married in Vegas.

VEGAS you say? As in Las Vegas?!?

Hell YES we would!!!

Her Fiancé Pat worked at the same GM plant that I did in Pontiac. We were down the first 2 weeks in July for a model changeover, and they decided that was when we'd go.

We flew in on Tuesday the 6th., and we took a taxi to the Rio Suites Hotel to get our rooms without incident.

That night as a special "thank you" for coming out with them, Pat and Paige took us to see Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage.

It was amazing to say the least, and we were so grateful to see these legendary performers live!

After the show we came back to the Rio, gambled a little, had a few drinks and went to bed. We had a big day the next day as they had the Candlelight Wedding Chapel already booked.

Set across Las Vegas Boulevard from Circus Circus Hotel and Casino and next to the Riviera it was a Vegas landmark! In doing a little internet reconnoitering for this, I discovered that sadly it no longer resides there.

Moved when the land it sat upon was sold in 2007, it made it's way across town to be preserved as part of the Clark County Museum complex. It's sign is now in the Neon Museum alongside other historic landmark signs! 

Celebrities that have married there include Bette Midler, Barry White, Michael Caine, Clayton Moore (the Lone Ranger for those too young to remember), and Richard Gere! Well, almost...

Pat and I met up after breakfast, he in his black suit...looking dapper. Me? I was in a grey pinstriped double-breasted. We took a cab to the chapel while the girls made sure Paige was stunning. 

So we arrived well before they did, but what to do?
Well, when in Vegas...
So we walked next door to the Riviera to get out of the heat. July in Vegas, it was hovering around a 110° F. "But it's a dry heat....."
YEAH RIGHT! Tell that to the 2 Michigan guys in suits!

So we stepped into the casino where it was cool and dark. A light haze of cigarette smoke hung in the air. Though it was early a few die hards were already trying their luck at the one-armed bandits. There was a bar close to the door, and Pat and I walked over and got a couple cokes.

We did not have direct line of sight to the Wedding Chapel's drive so I wandered over by the door so I could see out. As I was standing there, two women approached me...looking "touristy" in "I ♡ Vegas" T-shirts and visors.

Amid much giggling, and looking towards the bar one of them asked me: 

"Are you his bodyguard?" indicating Pat.

This set off another round of giggles.

I must have looked a little confused as I asked "What?"

"Richard Gere," they said pointing to Pat "are you his bodyguard, can we talk to him?!? P-l-e-a-s-e...."

"Um, yeah you can talk to him...but that's not Richard Gere, and I'm not his bodyguard. His name's Pat and he's marrying my wife's cousin in about 15 mins."

They looked crestfallen and asked "You're not lying are you?"

Then I looked, really looked... Damn, I could see it....

Mr. Gere
If ya squint a little, look just right...

I guess he does look a little like Richard Gere...

Lucky Bastard!!!

After assuring them I was NOT in fact lying they moved off in search of other celebrities... 

I walked back over to Pat, chuckling.

"What was that all about?" He asked.

"Evidently, you look like Richard Gere, and I look like your bodyguard..." I told him.

"Gotta be the sunglasses..." Pat said, indicating my gold tone Gargoyles™ with a laugh. I'd been wearing them looking out the door.

We finished our cokes, looked at our watches and started for the door...when we heard:

"Excuse us....can we get a picture???"

We turned around to 2 different ladies, older than the first pair yet similarly attired, readying cameras.

"Sorry ladies...not Richard Gere..." I said.

"Dammit Gloria I told you so!" One said to the other, as they too wandered off.

"Come on Buddy, I better get you out of here before you cause a riot!" I told him as we hit the door.

We walked back over to the chapel and were standing outside waiting as the girl's arrived.

As the cabbie pulled into the drive, Mamma Bear said to Paige:

"There they are...ready?"

"Holy SHIT!" said the cab driver, turning around.

"You're marrying RICHARD GERE?!?"

The stunning couple!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear


  1. Another year, another time, you could have had a good time with that.

    I saw the resemblance right away.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking joeh!!! Could have been a LOT of fun! :-)

  2. I guess there's a That's hilarious though. I'd have to see Gere with a mustache for a real comparison!

    1. It was funny, we got quite the laugh out of it...

  3. LOL! Awesome! He does look like Richard Gere!

    1. Thanks for dropping in again! He sure does...handsome devil! Lol

  4. That's a great story to tell for the rest of their lives! Oh, and of course for YOU and your bride, as well.
    How fun!! I totally see it.

    1. It was a hoot! The wedding was great! They are such beautiful people, inside as well as out!!! We were having a blast, "Then the rains came...."