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Star Struck at the Salad Bar
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When I was a teen, I had a raging crush on Peter Noone who was the lead singer in a group called Herman’s Hermits.
I listened constantly to their records and had a poster of Herman, or Peter Noone, on my closet door. I sent him fan letters and was a typical, swooning teeny bopper.
Eventually, I grew up and got married. It wasn’t to Peter Noone, although that’s what I had hoped for when I was thirteen.
My husband is wonderful, though, and loves old rock and roll. We were both thrilled when we found out Peter Noone was going to be in concert just thirty miles from us.
Before the concert, we went to a nice restaurant. We were chatting when I happened to see a man in shades at the salad bar. He looked oddly familiar. I whispered to my husband, “Who do you think that is?”
He looked at him and whispered back, “Do you think it’s Peter Noone?”
Yes! I did. I gawked at him while he filled his plate. It was definitely Peter Noone. Because our server hadn’t taken our order yet, I didn’t go to the salad bar. Okay, that and the fact that my feet felt like immovable lead weights. I missed a perfect opportunity to speak to Peter Noone. It could have been just me and Peter at the salad bar, chatting over the pickled beets. I watched him carry his plate off to the bar, wanting to bang my head on the table. Maybe I did.
When our young server came back to take our order, I asked her if Peter Noone was in the restaurant. She looked at me like I had a third eye growing out of my forehead and said, “Who? I don’t know who that is. I don’t have a clue.”
I knew very well he was in the restaurant. I just wanted to see if she would admit it. She was genuinely stumped when I asked about him, though. I was old. There was my proof. It was then I sincerely hoped I had remembered to pluck the stray hairs on my chin. I didn’t want her to see them, but most of all, Peter Noone must never see my chin hairs!
I smoothed my ruffled ego and we had a pleasant dinner; that is, when I could hold my fork steady. The adrenaline was making my hands shake. I was in a restaurant with Peter Noone.
On the way out, we peeked in the bar to see if he was still there. He was seated at the very back table and was obviously trying not to be recognized. I wanted to approach him, but out of respect for him, I didn’t. He didn’t need a wacky fan interrupting his dinner.
Peter Noone, I hope you get to read this, because I have something to say to you. If I ever have the opportunity to be that close to you again, you won’t be so blessed. This grandmother will stutter, her heart will pound, and I will ask you for your autograph. I hope you won’t mind. Just remember that on Friday night, August 1st in Hobbs, New Mexico at the Cattle Baron restaurant, I admired you, but left you alone while you filled your salad plate. I won’t have the strength to exhibit that much self-control again. You have been warned.
Excuse me while I turn up the oldies station. They’re playing “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.” I may faint.
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