Do you know who I am? Fame is a mixed blessing

Do you know who I am? Fame is a mixed blessing

Baby Ernie at 9 months

We all read about Reese Witherspoon’s question a few weeks ago to a police officer: “Do you know who I am?”

Well heck, us famous people deserve to be recognized and not have to tell people just how important we really are. Most times when I am shopping in Cutler Bay and happen to be wearing a shirt proclaiming the fact that I am the vice mayor, people will in fact say, “Hi, Vice Mayor.”

Of course, should I go beyond five miles of my home, I become a total non-entity once again. There was a time when I was truly famous as a radio talk show host in Dade and Broward counties. Seriously, people actually recognized my voice and would engage me in conversation about one of my recent shows.

This was not always a good thing. Some years ago when my children were still of a young and impressionable age I decided to treat them to dinner at Denny’s restaurant. When we walked into the restaurant the maître d’ evidently recognized my voice and said (quote); “Mr. Sochin, I have your table ready!” My kids were of course embarrassed by the fact that I was so well known at Denny’s restaurant as opposed to the Forge or other similar places where the elite meet to eat.

There was one occasion where my wife and I were in an audience for a theater production on Miami Beach and were having one of our normal bickering type arguments. This is fine as long as no one knows who you are. In this case the people in the row directly in front of us recognized my famous voice, turned around and said: “Aren’t you Ernie Sochin?” Yikes!

There are times when it just feels good to be recognized. The other day I was in a large computer store trying to get a virus removed from my computer when the technician heard my name and said “Radio…right?” He was a fan maybe 25 years ago. As I was seeking help in the store, the salesman said: “Will that be all, Mr. Sochin?”

I looked down to make sure that I wasn’t wearing one of my town shirts with my name on it. I wasn’t! He said that he lived in Cutler Bay and had seen me before. The store was in Kendall by the way.

Now comes the very best. Some years ago, my traveling companion and I were strolling around Paris when I spotted some delicious looking pastries in this little Parisian coffee shop. Naturally we went in and tried them. Delicious!

As we were leaving, someone shouted out: “Aren’t you Ernie Sochin?” He said that as he was walking by, heard my voice and decided to grab a cup of coffee and wait for me to leave so he could actually meet the great Ernie Sochin (ed). Talk about an ego trip. Same thing happened in Marco Island. As my travel mate and I were leaving a rather nice restaurant, a couple was waiting outside for us to leave so they could also meet — guess who?

When I first became an elected official I received a letter in the mail addressed to The Honorable Ernest N. Sochin. I thought it was a joke. I later learned that that is my title and I could be addressed as “Your Honor.” My family and friends refuse to believe this. I won’t tell you what they call me.

So, just in case you happen to see this famous vice mayor, columnist and former talk show host walking by, don’t hesitate to bestow praise and adulation on me. I don’t get too much of that since I went into politics.

Do you know who I am?

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