Thursday, September 21, 2006

A brush with celebrity

I hope this is the closest I ever get to a California Highway Police officer. I had the opportunity to meet Ponch, er, Erik Estrada, the 58-year-old CHiPs star today, and he was very friendly, gracious and a lot of fun. Here's how it happened: You may have seen them: 30-minute infomercials with Erik Estrada selling beautiful lots in places like ... Bella Vista, Arkansas ... Horseshoe Bay, Texas ... maybe even California Pines, well, in California (big surprise). This land is sold by the company I am currently working for, NRPI, or National Recreational Properties, Inc. As NRPI's official spokesman, Erik not only gushes on about the wonderful opportunities NRPI land provides, but today he spared a moment to greet each of the 300-plus people working in the corporate office. My friend, Nan, and I posed for pics like teenage girls with their favorite rock star, as did most of the NRPI employees. While the fun only lasted for about 10 minutes, I'll always have these pictures to remember Erik by.

Fun facts about Erik Estrada (courtesy of

Birth name: Henry Enrique Estrada
Birthdate: March 16, 1949
Birthplace: New York, NY
CHiPs started in 1977 and he left in 1981 over a contract dispute.
He is Puerto Rican by ethnicity, but doesn't speak Spanish (Which I found particularly amusing after one employee kept chattering to him in Spanish and he just kept nodding. Now I know why.)
He's been married three times and has three kids.

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