A Trip to Long Beach with Bill Murray, A Long Time Ago

The following story was submitted by Christine – Thank you!

It was spring around 1981; I was living in Fresh Meadows, Queens with my BFF Donna. I had taken the red-eye home from visiting my sister in LA that morning, then went to work but left early because I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I remember falling asleep on the living room floor, then being woken up by someone banging on the door.

“Chrissie, wake up and get dressed. Bill Murray is downstairs and we have to take him to Long Beach… I’ll explain in the car.” I remember digging through my suitcase and grabbing whatever I could. I got dressed and stumbled outside and, yes, Bill Murray and a friend were sitting there in Donna’s beat up Honda Civic. They handed us a quart bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon and we were on our way.

So here’s her story:

Donna was driving home in bumper-to-bumper traffic that night, sitting and reading the paper (way before cell phones) when she noticed the guys in the car behind her we gesturing for her to pull over. One of the guys jumped out of the car and asked her, “Can you tell us how to get to Long Beach?”

“Hey your friend looks like Bill Murray”, she responded, looking into the car.

“It is Bill Murray.”

“Let me stop home and get my roommate and we’ll take you to Long Beach”, she offered, “Follow me.”

And they did!

greetings from lbi

Why would they want to go to Long Beach was the question. Long Beach, at that time, was not a nice place to go. As it turned out, they were writing partners and wanted to write at the beach. They also were going to watch “The Judgment of Nuremberg” and someone suggested Long Beach.

So we took them there. They found a motel (it was pretty seedy) and got them checked in. Then they took us out to dinner. It was a Monday night so the restaurant pickings were slim; you see, restaurants used to close on Monday nights back then. We found a place and all I can remember was I had my first martini and Bill Murray sang Happy Birthday to me (no, it was not my birthday). Not too many people can say that!

After dinner, I’m not sure what happened, but they decided not to stay there so we all went back to our place. We set up a film projector and watched (or slept through) The Judgment of Nuremberg.

By the time I got up the next morning, Donna had already left. While I was getting ready for work, Bill Murray sat there with me while I put on my makeup… weird! I can’t believe that I even went to work! Anyway, I told them to just shut the door on their way out and it would lock. Then I said goodbye and that was that.

I got home that night to find the projector cover and a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon in our refrigerator.

ny / li mapAt that time, I worked at Lord & Taylor in Manhasset LI. About a week later, one of my salespeople grabbed me and said that Bill Murray was on the phone. He needed to make arrangements to come and get the projector cover, because he had borrowed it from a friend and needed to give it back. So we agreed he’d come over on Saturday.

Donna and I were pretty excited – you see, the only thing we had to prove he had been there was the projector cover. There were no iPhones to record the moments, just film; so if you were out of film, you were out of luck! We invited a friend over and the three of us sat there with our camera all day long… no Bill.

The next week I was in a meeting and one of my salespeople interrupted to say Bill Murray was down on the selling floor looking for me. And yes, everyone ran down to catch a look. He came to see if I could get him the projector cover. I gave him my key, told him to leave it inside, and to just shut the door after himself on the way out.

When I got home that night, there was no projector cover and, after looking in the refrigerator, saw that the Pabst Blue Ribbon was gone too.


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