Today was the day, in that galaxy far far away, known as the 20th Century, I met Mr.Teen Idol King himself--Donny Osmond--for the very first time--sorta. Yep. Somehow I talked my Sweet Big Daddy Don to take me to for a four night, three night stay in Las Vegas, so I could see The Osmond Brothers. Their younger sister Marie had just started performing with them too.
***After some prodding, and I'm sure pouting on my part, Dad agreed. He thought my ten year older than me cousin Jan could come along-sort of another female for me to hang with. Dad wasn't sure what we were getting into. Heck, me being the Osmond fan, all I cared about was seeing the Osmonds perform, for just my second time--and >gasp< MEET them? The teen magazine bible at the time, Tiger Beat, showed pictures of lucky girls who got their Deep Purple moment to meet them--plus I was really in the pen pal circuit then.
***Any of you have pen pals? Ya know, we actually wrote letters, put stamps on them, and snail mailed them. About 99% of my worldwide 100 pen pals were also Osmond fans and even most of them had met Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay and just about everybody's hearthrob, Donny. I was bound and determined to be part of the elite group too.
***OK, back to the story--The Osmonds were performing at the Tropicana. Due to some convention or something, the hotel was booked. Dad, Jan and I stayed down the street at the Hacienda--which had a leak in the ceiling hallway. Dad wanted me to stay with him and my cousin--I wanted to go to the Tropicana. I won. We did breakfast at the Tropicana, on the 24th, and all I could think of is I wanna meet an Osmond....and I'm sure my Dad looked at those menu prices and wondered if a McDonald's was near by...
*******As we came out of the Tropicana restaurant, Dad wanted to do something silly, like sight see--while I wanted to might see some Osmonds. I did know Dad wasn't feelin' that so something had to happen and quick otherwise I might be banished to the Hoover Dam. As if God heard my prayers, a fellow teenage girl asked me who I was and I told her. She began to smile and told me to look in this thick scrapbook on her lap.
******I saw a picture of ME and a short note I wrote to the Osmonds! This other teenage girl was named Bonnie. She'd written me a few months prior, saying she was going to be Las Vegas for the Osmonds. Bonnie planned to give them a scrapbook filled with their fans and would I want to contribute? Never, ever thinking I would meet her (Bonnie lived out East) now here she was! Bonnie, her sister (I have forgotten her name) and a few other teenage girls were waiting in the hallway, outside the restaurant. Bonnie said this spot was a great place to meet the Osmonds---they did have to eat. My eyes widened and I looked at Dad. I'm sure he panicked. I wasn't even close to 21, this was before Las Vegas was kid friendly, and I wanted to be left at this hu-mungus hotel for as he said "a bunch of white boys." I know Dad was about to say No. And he really probably should have---but something happened. Not sure exactly what.
***Maybe Bonnie's parents said something to reassure him. I do remember them talking. After what seemed like forever, Dad said I could stay, but I had to stay around Bonnie and her family. I had to be back at the Hacienda by such and such a time because we were going to see the Osmonds perform that night. Dad gave me taxi money and hesitantly left me there, only after I spotted my first Osmond--the eldest, Alan and his wife Suzanne. They had been married so far, at that time, a grand total of eight days.I got my picture snapped with him. Girls were going nuts, flashing cameras (way before digital) and all--I knew then I wasn't in Iowa anymore.
*****Then as if on cue, Wayne Osmond walked thru--hysteria again. I got my photo op with Wayne too. I could not believe my good fortune! I don't know how long we waited--minutes, an hour or so--I don't remember, and my diary doesn't tell me---SCREAMS. Some so high pitched only dogs could hear them--Girls were pushing each other. SCREAMS. Tears and why?
********Donny. DONNY. I froze. The security guard stuck to Donny like glue. I took as many pictures as my little box 126 camera could take--- The guard let a couple girls get close to have their picture taken with Donny. That alone made the hysteria get even worse. The guard took Donny's arm and began to lead him away. I tried to get my picture with him, as the guard led Donny away. No luck. I did get Donny's autograph but no picture to really prove Donny and I occupied the same space. I was downtrodden for awhile until....