I’m a little bit country. So is she.

At a very young age, my friend LaDawn and I would stand in front of the fireplace gripping a curling iron or a hairbrush, and we would pretend to sing A Little Bit Country – A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll by Donny and Marie Osmond. The plan was to learn it well enough to perform it in the lip sync competition at the Graham County Fair. For whatever reason, we never made it to the fair, nor were they ever discovered that we were the next great duet. Go figure.

Marie Osmond came through my tiny, insignificant town on one of her concert tours when I was still in high school. I remember attending the concert with my buddy Josh Jones. I thought Josh and I were the coolest people in the audience because we both wore our boots, wranglers, button-up shirts, and our 50-gallon cowboy hats. I was right- we were cool!

After Marie sang a few songs, she asked the audience, “Anybody want to hear some country music?” We all threw our hands together and shouted- what can I say, Thatcher, Arizona has many country music lovers! Then she turned toward Josh and me and winked. Be still, my heart! I knew she was winking at us because we were the only two guys in that section of the Eastern Arizona College Fine Arts Center who happened to be wearing cowboy hats.

Jump forward to 2010 when I was in the process of coming up with my very cool bucket list. I knew what I needed to do: Number 63 on that list is to meet Marie Osmond. Jump forward again to today when she happened to board the flight I was working from Philadelphia to Denver. I didn’t recognize her during boarding but did once we were in the air. I needed to say hello and actually meet her, but she went right to sleep! For most of the flight, and hoped that she was awake, but nope. I wanted to “accidentally” bump into her, apologize, and then casually explain that I’ve needed to meet her for years and years. This stalker wasn’t getting his break.

FINALLY-at the end of the flight, when she was about to grab her bags and leave, I approached her, smiled, and told her I needed to tell her a quick story. She smiled and said sure. I basically told her everything that you just read above- I even pulled up this very blog to show her that meeting her was literally one of the items on my bucket list. I asked her for a picture, and she was so sweet and polite and posed with the crew. Then… I kid you not… she said, “If I’m on your bucket list, then we need to make this worth it!” She grabbed my left hand and pulled it around her waist. She threw her own right hand up to my shoulder and gave me a hug. We took another picture.