My First Love
I was 3 and I fell in love with John Denver. We lived in South Lake Tahoe at the time, and he came to play a concert in the dinner theater at Harrah’s Tahoe on the North Shore at Stateline, Nevada.
I had been singing his songs from the time I could remember and heard on the radio he would be coming to town. I vividly remember driving in our green Ford Pinto station wagon and talking my mom’s ear off about how much I needed to see him in person.
You had to be 6 in order to attend the dinner and concert series at the Harrah’s venue. I had recently turned 4. Over a dinner with my parent’s friends, who somehow had connections with the folks who ran the concert series, my parent’s friends bought a table for 8 and invited my mother and me to attend.
We rehearsed a practiced response to anyone who might ask me my age at the venue. My mom kept telling me the little white lie was going to be okay and responding six would be just fine! All this because I was going to marry this man someday and I needed to enter gracefully into the dinner theater for this to come to fruition. My mom worked hours testing me, and I knew I could nail this!
The night of the concert finally arrived and my excitement was unreal. When our part of the line arrived at the door a nice man in a tux smiled at me and bent down to my level. He introduced himself and placed my hand like a princess in his. He asked my name and complimented my dress.
Then he asked the big question, “How old are you, young lady?”
I proudly gazed up at him, smiled big and said, “Six!” While holding up 4 fingers with my free hand. He winked at me and proceeded to lead us to our table.
I ate the six-course meal like a lady, I was a picky eater too, and when Denver came to the stage I sang every song—word for word. He even acknowledged me as his youngest and most enthusiastic fan!
I remember that entire event clearly in my mind. I was so sad when he passed away in a plane crash. He was piloting the plane.
Amazing how we remember those singular events and they still bring a smile to our faces!