Growing Up

We’d like to thank Erin for sharing this story.

When I was in my early teens, I attended JHS and HS with Bill Murray’s son Homer. I lived in Rockland County, NY and nearby was a place called Snedens Landing. Many celebrities owned big beautiful homes there; several of their kids attended the public schools.

A 5-minute walk from my apartment complex was one of the tiniest towns in New York – Sparkill. It consisted of two or three roads and one traffic light. Located in the center of Sparkill was the worlds tiniest barbershop, which was owned and operated by an elderly gentleman named De Soto. De Soto was (he has probably passed on by now) Bill Murray’s barber.

barberBill Murray would fly this man to movie sets around the world because he only liked him doing his hair. Every single Sunday, Bill Murray could be found sitting in the one barber chair of this tiny shop, which was beautifully decorated with rich dark woods and had a real old school Italian vibe. Next to this shop was a small deli.

I would walk down almost every Sunday in the summer, sit, and chat with De Soto and Bill Murray! It was amazing! He would ask how Homer was behaving in school, share funny stories, and even gave me lifts home on occasion. I would often run next door to grab lunch for him and De Soto. Now he was there every Sunday and it was funny because he didn’t need his hair cut every week! De Soto would trim the most minuscule pieces of hair; it was more about the bullshitting and, from what I could tell, Bill Murray liked the time away from his then wife.

One Sunday they asked me to go grab sandwiches and drinks. Bill Murray handed me a $100 bill from his wallet and told me to get whatever I wanted. I returned with the food and he insisted I keep the change – roughly $80! I returned home and my mother was pissed, wanting to know how a 14-year-old girl came by so much money. I told her what happened but she didn’t believe me.

Next Sunday I told him how upset my mother had been and when he was done, he gave me a lift home. He parked his convertible and came up to my apartment. I opened the door and invited him in. My mother had a mild stroke seeing Bill Murray in our condo!

He nicely explained how he had let me keep the change the previous week and basically got me out of trouble 🙂 As he was leaving he reached into his pocket, pulled out some lose cash, handed me a $100 bill, and said, “That’s for having to put up with a mom who doesn’t believe you.” winked and left. Greatest moment ever!

3 thoughts to “Growing Up”

  1. Hah! I have a few friends from up in that area. I wonder if the barber shop is still there?

  2. So if this is true, and the whole urban legend of “they’ll never believe you” is also true, do you think this is what inspired Bill to start the whole thing?

  3. Bill was not so nice to everyone, back in those days (1980’s). I ran into him, at one of his favorite eateries; a local pizzeria. He was standing on line, in front of me. Respecting his privacy, I *quiety* said “Hello Mr. Murray. How are you doing today?”. He first glanced nervously around the room, as if ensuring no one heard my near-whisper, and then .. before I could speak another word .. said “The pizza smells great, doesn’t it?” and then he turned his back to me – clearly, not interesting in any further dialog.

    It was a shame, because (like others who commented here) I knew several other celebrities, while growing up in the “valley” (Northvale NJ, Old Tappan NJ, Upper Saddle River NJ). Danny Aiello, who presently resides in Upper Saddle River NJ; Joe Piscopo who (with his babysitter/girlfriend) used to attend “Church of the Presentation” in Upper Saddle River; Eddie Murphy who, at the time, used to frequent a barbecue eatery on Livingston Street in Norwood NJ every Friday night like clockwork .. and whose manager (at the time) was my friend’s father who lived in Old Tappan NJ. Due to the quaint setting of that general area, especially in the 80s, drew a good deal of celebrity to the area. Some years back, even singer Bjork took residence in Sneeden’s Landing.

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