All it took was a smile, and all of the waiting in the summer heat and the hours spent staking out hotel lobbies and trying to figure her next move was worth it.
Like dozens of other people, Tracie Blakemore was on the hunt for Robert Pattinson back in late July when the movie superstar came to town to film parts of “Water for Elephants,” which opens today in local theaters.
Unlike many of those same people, Blakemore was not a huge fan of Pattinson before his visit. Her 7-year-old daughter, Paige, however, was. When Blakemore found out through family members that the filming would take place on the street where she grew up in North Georgia, she agreed to take Paige in hopes of seeing Pattinson.
“I grew up on West Cove Road,” she said. “My mom, aunts, uncles, cousins all still live down there.
“I was excited that something like that was happening there, but my daughter was over the moon for Robert. I figured it was summer, so why not.”
The two arrived at 8 in the morning and, except for taking a lunch and dinner break, stayed until 10 p.m. Pattinson didn’t acknowledge the fans, but with the help of binoculars and a long-lens camera, they were able to watch some of the filming.
Saturday was spent recovering, but on Sunday night, Blakemore convinced her husband to take her, without Paige, to the Read House, where the actor was staying. They hung out for a couple of hours with no luck. They went back on Tuesday and joined a small group of fans.
“All of a sudden, here come some cop cars and the big black Suburban. Some people were saying, ‘Be quiet. He doesn’t like screaming fans.’
“He got out and turned around and looked at us, and I just stuck my hand out and waved. He smiled and waved, and then we started screaming. We couldn’t help it.”
Blakemore said she’d never done anything like that before, “but it was an awesome experience and adventure.”
She plans to see the film tonight with friends.
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US-101 is sponsoring a concert to benefit the family of Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin on April 28 at the Electric Cowboy in the Eastgate Town Center.
Electric Cowboy and Jim Boles from Chattacountry.com are cosponsoring the event. The bartenders at club will donate any tip money received that night to the fund. There also will be a silent auction.
Local country artists who have signed on to play include Davey Smith, Channing Wilson, Nathan Farrow and Dave Kennedy.
Admission is a $7 donation, and the show is limited to people 21 and up. The show will start at 8 p.m.
For more information, contact Kyle Croft or Brian Stewart at 892-3333. If you can’t make it, but would like to make a donation, you can send checks payable to Ricky D. Mincy, Trustee U/A, Educational Trust Fund for Tim Chapin Family to RDP Partners, 6111 Shallowford Road, Suite 103, Chattanooga, TN 37421.
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“Ghost Adventures,” which airs on the Travel Channel, will air an episode that includes a segment shot recently at Hales Bar Marina. The episode will air April 29.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...