A star walks among the regular people - Shannon Jenkins

Since moving to the Atlanta area over a year ago, I finally experienced my first celebrity sighting.

I'd heard the rumors that many big names have made their home in the capital of the Southeast, but I hadn't seen one with my own eyes until this weekend.

Three friends and I were dining outside in Midtown when it happened. I had just ordered an $8 sandwich. I know what you're thinking. I'm a writer. I have no business paying $8 for a sandwich. But I did. So let's move on.

My fabulous friend Tori spotted someone talking to the restaurant's host and asked if he looked familiar. I could tell by the tone of her voice that she meant it might be a celebrity. I immediately perked up.

"What do you mean? Someone on TV?"

I sat up straight and peered around the people standing in line. Sure enough there was a celebrity in our midst.

"Ooooh," I breathed in delight.

This was the closest I'd ever been to a famous person. I attempted to be nonchalant about staring, but I know I was obvious. Hey, I couldn't help myself.

So I watched Mr. Leslie Jordan mingle with the wait staff and then move to a table of equally watchful patrons before passing by our table as he made his way down the street. We all said hello as he passed. He nodded, smiled and said hello, and then he was gone.

For those of you who don't know Leslie Jordan, he may be best known for his recent appearances on the comedy "Will & Grace," among a long list of television and movie credits. He plays Karen Walker's not-so-friendly acquaintance Beverly Leslie.

Apparently he's been in town performing in a one-man play he wrote. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see his show. His last night was Sunday.

However, I'm impressed with Mr. Jordan nonetheless. On that particular Saturday evening, I didn't see a pretentious movie star. Instead, I witnessed a friendly, humble man spending a warm day walking through the city. There were no bodyguards. No expensive cars. Just a "regular" man enjoying his day.

It was refreshing to see someone of his caliber conversing with "real" people without flashing money or attitude.

I've heard a few horror stories about celebrities from friends who met the not-so-nice stars. It's nice to know money and fame don't change everyone for the worse.

Shannon Jenkins is the education reporter for The Daily Herald. He can be reached at sjenkins@henryherald.com or (770) 957-9161.