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Trial brings celebrity to area — is that a good thing?

Morning, UP

July 17, 2010
Renee Prusi

"To Kill A Mockingbird" was on TCM one night during my recent vacation. What a phenomenal movie from the fabulous novel by Harper Lee. Both are classics, indeed.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the novel's publication and I must admit my ignorance: I had no idea Harper Lee was still alive until stories about the anniversary began to appear in national media.

Lee is reclusive, to say the least. She's stayed out of the media mainstream and lived life on her terms all these years. Good for her.

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Renee Prusi

Miss Lee is definitely the exception to the rule of modern times. Authors, actors, musicians, politicians... their lives are broken wide open for the whole world to see. We know more details about celebrities than we know about members of our own families, or so it seems.

In great detail, we find out intimate facts about folks we will never meet. We discuss amongst ourselves what type of mother Angelina Jolie seems to be. We chime into talk about Mel Gibson's crazy rant against his then-girlfriend and mother of his latest child. We express definite opinions about Lindsay Lohan's jail sentence.

We think we know these people, but we really, really don't.

Recently I've heard this sort celebrity "knowingness" from local folks during the visit of actor John Stamos to the community. Stamos, of course, was here to testify in an extortion case in which he was the alleged target of a plot to gain money.

In the buzz around the trial, I have heard people express opinions about the case focusing on what Stamos would do or not do, as if these folks really know Mr. Stamos.

Marquette County had Stamos Fever this last few days, that's for sure.

People have posted on Facebook and other websites purported sightings of Stamos at various local venues. Others have stood outside the federal courthouse in Marquette hoping for at least a glance at the actor or even better, a photo op or an autograph.

By all reports, Stamos has been kind to these folks, which is good to hear. That demonstrates he is a man of grace as the circumstances that brought him here are less than wonderful.

The old saying that any publicity is good publicity is not so true. John Stamos's reputation has taken a hit by smarmy accusations made against him in court this past week. And no matter how much we all think we know Uncle Jesse from "Full House" we really, truly do not.

Where the truth lies in this court case is something a jury is deciding. Much attention has been brought to our area because of the case, with media outlets as diverse as Fox News, People magazine and Yahoo! covering the trial.

This isn't how I want our community to make the national news, however. Even if Mr. Stamos is finding the area welcoming, I would rather he was here filming a movie or an episode of "Glee," the show he is joining the cast of this autumn.

Once the trial is finished, things will get back to "normal" here, but the Stamos stories will continue to be told, I am sure. Let's just hope for everyone's sake, our next celebrity visit is for a performance at Kaufman Auditorium and not in federal court.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her e-mail address is



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