I’ve been mistaken for Billie Jean King often enough, so it wasn’t a surprise when it happened on Friday on my 30 minute ferry ride to Bainbridge Island to have lunch with friends. As always, I’m delighted to be mistaken for a professional athlete and a tennis icon of Billie Jean’s caliber. Billie Jean was born in 1943; she’s two years older than I am. When I Google her I do see the resemblance. I think the odds that Billie Jean, who divides her time between New York and Chicago, would be on the ferry to Seattle’s Bainbridge Island weren’t high, but I suppose it’s possible. The two women who approached me certainly thought it was.
The funniest “aren’t you Billie Jean King?”encounter of all was January 2018 in the United Club in Houston, on the way to Panama. The guy who thought I was Billie Jean simply wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. When I demurred, he said, “No, no, I get it. You don’t want people coming up to you all the time and asking for autographs. I totally get it. But I’m a huge fan. And I loved Battle of the Sexes.”
At that point I simply nodded and smiled, and said that every professional athlete is eternally grateful for loyal fans. He was thrilled, and no doubt left with a story to tell. 🙂