30 Days Out (from Christmas): Meeting Perry Como
Perry Como is one of those singers like, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby, who will live forever. We hear them every Christmas whether we like it or not. Crosby’s “White Christmas,” Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” and Como’s “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” still rank among the most played and best Christmas offerings. I never got the chance to meet Crosby or Cole, but was lucky enough to meet the great Mr. Como on three separate occasions.
For too many years to count, my great-grandmother, Kate Spensieri, made bread and cookies for Como every other Friday. I have no idea how this started, but I do know that she loved it and he loved her. You could see it on his face when we were lucky enough to deliver a couple of loaves to his house on Jupiter Island, FL one warm day in the spring of 1988. He was extremely kind to me and took a genuine interest when I told him I was a singer in a rock and roll band. He even told me to send him a demo, which, of course, I never did.
My second run-in occurred at a Publix grocery store in Jupiter. I was pushing my then 14-month old daughter, Julianne, around the store looking for something when this older gentleman came up to our cart and started making her laugh by making funny faces. He looked at me and told me she was beautiful and then I did what I always do when I see someone famous…I pointed and said “hey, are you Perry Como?” He put his finger over his mouth, nodded and walked away down the chip aisle.
The third run-in was at St. Jude Catholic Church in Tequesta, FL. During the middle of a hymn, I heard a guy singing behind me and I turned to my grandfather and said..”that sounds like Perry Como.” I’m sure you can guess the rest.
“There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” by Perry Como
“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como
“White Christmas” by Perry Como