Well, Sarah asked me to write this story of my trip where I met Patty Duke, so here it is. I'll try to keep

it relatively short.

Back in 1991-ish, I just couldn't sleep at night. I started watching the Patty Duke Show every night on

Nick At Nite, and it slowly but surely got way, way out of control. Before I knew it I was collecting
everything Patty. Videos, posters, pictures, books, records(!), + odd ball items like the board game,

paper dolls, etc.

Flash forward a few years and I'm working on a play at school. The director is a serious jerk and I end up

being a props guy/stage hand. I basically had to wait for hours to hand people props off stage during the

show. All those hours and nothing to do. I decided to kill time by photocopying some of my Patty pix +

articles and compile them into a little fanzine. It really started off as kind of a joke 'cause of the boredom,

but now has turned into a really great excuse to ask some of my fave bands to cover Patty songs!

OK, now it's 1999 and the guy who does the best Patty Duke web page

(http://members.aol.com/Duke80/index1.html) sends out emails about the latest Patty happenings.

I find out that in March she's going to be in a play, The Glass Menagerie, in Spokane, Washington. I flip.

A couple of months before the play opened, I called the theater to see if I could get tix, and was told I'd have

to wait until they went on sale for everybody. They went on sale, and I kept calling ALL DAY LONG from

work, but the line was busy each time. I started to freak thinking I wouldn't get tix. I go home and keep

trying, and by the time I got through, there were only 15 minutes 'till closing time. It turns out that for the

last two performances, there was only 1 ticket left for each nite. I barely made it!

So now the play is running and I stumble upon a review from the local paper. I wrote the writer of the

article to see if he could give me the contact info to try to get an interview with Patty for my radio
show. He's wondering why a college station in Detroit would send someone all the way to Spokane to cover

the story, and I explain to him that it's not a station sponsored event - I just happen to have a show, am a big

fan of Patty's, and was hoping she'd do a promo for my show.

He sends me the info for the theater and I think no more of it.  I call the theater but don't have much luck

setting something up.  I leave a lot of messages though!  I plan a big two-week spring break trip to see the

play plus visit friends in Seattle & San Francisco. (The big bonus about San Francisco was that BUCK was

playing my very last nite there! What a party!)
 

March finally arrives and I'm off to Spokane. I fly and get a taxi at the airport. During the ride the guy asks

me the usual taxi driver stuff, and it turns out he's from Michigan too, so that's a little wacky. When he

finds out I'm there for the play, he comments that the play is a big deal and there are people flying in from

all around the country to see it.

I get to my hotel, which is just a few blocks from the theater, and give them a call still hoping to hook up a

little interview. When I tell the lady on the phone that I had called a while back from
Detroit trying to set up the interview, she gets all excited and says, "NO YOU'RE NOT, REALLY?!? We

had bets in the office to see if you'd really come out here or not!" So I think this is pretty odd, wondering

why they'd care at all.  Then she says that she read about me in the paper!  I'm like , "WHAT?!?" I find out

that the guy who did the play review did a little story in the Spotlight section about me coming to Spokane.

I didn't even know! Then it hits me that the cab driver must have read that same story, and he was

referring to me! WACKY!

So now I'm a local celebrity 'cause I'd been in the paper and feel all cool. I go to the theater about three

hours early hoping to set something up. I name drop the lady on the phone's name, and the door person lets

me in. I'm hanging out in the lobby and meet the director, the producer, and an actor or two in the play.

They relay my request to Patty, and I'm told she'll see me the next nite, after the final run.

I hang out in the lobby with no where better to go, and people start showing up. It's so weird 'cause I've

seen Patty's husband and adopted son in magazines + on tv specials and talk shows, and recognize them as

they walk up to the theater. It's show time and I'm just in awe. I'm in a row kinda up close to the front and

right there on the stage is PATTY! OH MY GOD! I could go on and on about just that in itself, but this

story is gonna be way to long anyway, so onto intermission.

During the break, everyone is yappin' away, talkin' about the play, Patty, + other local stuff. I hear a guy's

voice and it sounds familiar. I'm wondering who the hell I'd know in Spokane, and when I turn around its

Sean Astin! He was there with his wife, just checking out his mom's play. He was really chatty, so I didn't

get a chance to talk to him. I did, however, overhear that Mack couldn't be there 'cause he was auditioning

for some production that Speilberg was doing and Speilberg himself requested for Mack to audition. Not that
I would have had the guts to actually do it, but I kept making myself laugh (almost out loud, all by myself in

a large crowd mind you) thinking about going up to Sean and saying, "DUUUUDE, your MOMMMMM!"

That was the exciting stuff the first nite. The second nite though.

I went early again just 'cause and talked with the producer again. She was very nice. This time I was seated

in the back of the theater. While waiting, on my left there was a grandma, granddaughter, and the mom.

I hear the grandma say that she read that someone came all the way from Detroit to see the play. I

SERIOUSLY can't believe the hype. I couldn't resist mentioning something, so I told her that that guy was

me. She was like, "oh no it's not", then BOOM! I bust out my Patty Duke picture book of over 150 Patty

pix to prove it and me, grandma, granddaughter + mom are chillin' with the Patty pix until they play starts.

So I see the play a second time and now I'm really nervous 'cause I'm gonna meet Patty at the end of it.

When it's over, She is saying her thank you's and talking to people afterwards. I'm waiting patiently on the

other side of the theater and the producer spots me. She can tell that I'm way nervous and helps me out by

pulling me over there and introducing me to Anna (Patty's real name). At first I was totally speechless. I

was a total goob! I could barely talk! Someone saved me by calling her over and that gave me a minute to

compose myself. By the time she came back, the crew had begun striking the set, so she led me to the lobby

where it was a bit quieter. She needed a smoke break so we stood outside and chatted. She was so cool
and down to earth! When we went back inside, she looked through my picture book and was amazed at all

the pix I had. Many of them she had never seen before and some things that I had she hadn't seen in a
long time because they were destroyed in a fire. She hung out with me for about an hour and a half looking

at those pictures + telling me little stories about a lot of them. To be honest, I don't remember most of

what she said 'cause I was so star-struck to be sitting there with PATTY DUKE!

After looking through the pix and talking a bit, she signed a few things, did a promo for my show, and took

a few photos (including the awesome one of her with the original Patty Duke Fanzine!), gave me a flower

+ a kiss on the cheek and sent me on my way.

When it was all done, I walked back to my hotel, totally geeked beyond what words can describe. It was

a TOTAL party.

A Patty Party.