I think that anyone who has ever met Anna would agree with me when I say that she is the most gracious
woman in the world. She is not the typical celebrity type. I don't think the woman has a stuck up bone in
her body. She is completely down to earth!
I had the honor of meeting Anna and her wonderful husband Mike in September of 2001. A group of us on
the fan list organized a trip to Spokane, Washington to see Anna perform in Love Letters. Many of the eight
of us had never met in person before, so it was a double treat.
The first night of the show, I was so nervous. I had been a fan of Patty Duke's for MANY years, and anyone
who knows me, knows that meeting Anna was a dream come true. All of my family and friends were so
happy for me. My trip to Spokane was actually my birthday gift from my mother's boyfriend, John. If not
for John, and his VERY generous gift, I would not have been able to go.
After the performance, which was brilliant, there was a Champaign reception on the stage. As we stood
there, waiting for Anna, my stomach was doing flip-flops. Kathleen and I were the only two out of the
group who had never met Anna in person. I'm sure she was just as nervous as I was, but didn't show it as bad
as I did. When Anna came out of the wings, I was in awe. I could not believe that after all these years, I was
actually in the same room as my favorite actress. When she saw us standing there, she said, "Is this my
group?!" The Spokane newspaper had written a story about all of us traveling from all over the country to
see our favorite actress. We flew out 9 days after September 11th, and this trip was just what we all needed
to get through that tragic time. Nothing was ever said, and no one really showed
it, but everyone was still
dealing with that dreadful day in his or her own way.
After Anna gave hugs and kisses to those she had met before, Billy introduced her to Kathleen. They talked
for a few minutes, and then Billy said, "Anna, you haven't met her yet either, this is Stacey." Anna looked
at me, smiled and said, "Hi Stacey" reaching for a hug. I have no idea what happened to me, but I looked at
Kathleen and mumbled, "Oh my God" and started to walk away. Anna, with open arms, came after me
calling out, "Stacey, come back and give me a hug!!" I gave her a hug and she kissed me on the cheek and
told me it was nice to meet me. I was so star struck. But after getting to spend some time with Anna, I
realized very quickly that I had nothing to be nervous about.
That night, after taking some pictures with Anna, her and Mike invited us all to her house on that Sunday.
We were thrilled, to say the least. I was happy with just meeting her and getting a hug! To go to her house
and have dinner with her, was the most amazing experience.
The Following Sunday, after her last performance, we all piled in our rented van and followed Mike and
Anna to their farm in Idaho. When we got there, Anna started to show us around. We each took turns
holding her Oscar and taking pictures with her and the statue, which was SO HEAVY! She gave us the
grand tour of her beautiful home and we even walked around outside and took pictures on her tractor. It
was great. We then went back to the house and gave Anna some gifts that we had all brought for her. She
loved them and was pretty happy.
After gifts, we all went to Pizza Hut for dinner. As we were being seated I asked Anna if she gets
recognized often. She nodded her head and softly said yes. I sat directly
across from Anna and we all had a
great dinner. Well, to be honest, most of us don't really remember eating much. We were just talking
away. Listening to Anna tell stories, telling our own stories of how we got to be such big fans, being so
much younger than her and all. It was the best time I ever had. After dinner, we all said our goodbyes, got
pictures and autographs. It was an amazing night!
Since then, I have had the pleasure of seeing Anna on two more occasions. Back in June of this year, 4 of us
from the list went to Los Angeles to see Anna perform again on stage, this time in Follies. It was great to
see Anna on stage again. One night during that weekend, Anna and Mike took us out to dinner to a great
Deli in Brentwood, CA. Again, we had a fabulous time!
The last time I saw Anna was this past October. Her and Mike came to the San Francisco bay area, where I
live, for a speaking engagement Anna had at the Santa Clara YWCA. It was a delight to get to see Anna
speak live. After the event, Anna and Mike asked me to join them back at their hotel for a soft drink. I
accepted and spent about a half hour in their room. I got to meet their daughter Charlene, who was very
This spring, I am planning a visit back east so I can see Anna on Broadway. There is no way I am passing up
a chance to see her on BROADWAY! I look forward to seeing her and Mike again. They are truly the
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