How an Instagram pic of Johnny Depp rocked Rockport (Video)
Forget Johnny Depp. Sure, he apparently was fishing this weekend in Rockport, setting tongues wagging in the sleepy coastal village.
But the real social media star is Michelle Bollom.
No, Bollom is not romantically linked to the Hollywood superstar whose mere image can cause a woman's heart to skip at 100 paces. She's not even Depp's biggest fan - by a long shot.
Rather, she's a Rockport native who posted on the social media site Instagram a photo of Depp taken by a friend. Proud of her hometown, she added this caption: "Oh yeah, Johnny Depp likes to fish in Rockport! My hometown with guide Todd Adams."
After posting the image Saturday night, Bollom got busy doing other things. Her twin children, a boy and a girl, started as freshmen Monday at Tomball Memorial High School near Houston, where the family now lives.
By Monday afternoon, however, she couldn't ignore the furor she had set off. The Houston Chronicle had posted her photo of Depp, along with speculation about the actor's whereabouts, on its website. Other news outlets posted, too, causing Bollom's phone to start ringing.
"People are going crazy all around town trying to find him," said Bollom, whose mother and twin sister still live in Rockport. Bollom's father was Charles "Popo" Cosby, a well-known artist who ran a Rockport gallery until his death in 2008.
Her friends and family reported Depp ate Sunday at Moon Dog restaurant in Rockport and capped off the night at Legends Saloon. Some said the star was still in town.
However, no one who actually saw Depp wanted to go on the record, either hoping the star would return or just respecting his privacy. Bollom said she found all of the secrecy "silly - should be an honor he chose Rockport."
She likes to think of Rockport as the Hamptons of the South, a place where George Strait and Sandra Bullock have homes. But Depp is in "a whole 'nother stratosphere," she discovered after her Instagram post.
Adams did not return phone calls, but a longtime friend and a relative, who both asked to not be named, confirmed to the Advocate that the guide did take out Capt. Jack Sparrow. Whether the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star has since set sail from Rockport is anybody's guess. Perhaps he's gallivanting with his latest love interest, actress Amber Heard, an Austin native.
Bollom doesn't know "any of the backstory, how he heard of Rockport, how he came to be connected to Todd Adams."
What she does know is the power of social media.
Last year, Bollom went with two of her girlfriends to a "Love Life Women's" conference in St. Louis, Mo. A regular user of Twitter and Instagram, much to her teenagers' chagrin, she was showing her pals how to use social media.
Her friends said they just didn't get it, but she said it was easy. To demonstrate, she replied to a tweet from gospel singer Mandisa about her need for a backup singer to replace TobyMac for a duet at her upcoming performance.
Much to their surprise, Mandisa replied. Before she knew it, Bollom was on stage with the former "American Idol" star doing a hastily learned rap in front of 27,000 screaming fans. For the rest of the conference, fans swarmed her as if she were a celebrity.
She wasn't looking to repeat the experience by sharing the photo of Depp. Generally, she posts inspirational messages such as the one at the top of her Twitter page: "Wisdom to the soul is what health is to the body."
"My kids make fun of me," she said. "They say, 'Mom, you stay on Instagram way too much. You have 700 posts on there. Nobody puts that many posts on there.' I tell them, 'Isn't that what Instagram's for?'"
Hard to say how Capt. Jack might respond to that question. Is social media like the curse of the black pearl to an erstwhile pirate wanting to be a lone ranger?