A place to discuss Michael Landon.
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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Little Joe
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The take-away prize was his autograph.
October 3, 1965
Mike appeared at Pleasure Island, Massachusetts on June 12, 1965 where he met park employees and a member of his fan club.
Pleasure Island employees, Jeanie Maker & Jim Callahan
Picture taken by Sandy Giampapa
A member of Mike’s fan club. Renee Houle, age 15, from Dracut, Mass. reported her meeting with Mike in the Official International Michael Landon Fan Club Yearbook 1965.
A condensed version of Renee’s story, “Since I Knew You Were Coming, I Baked a Cake”, follows. [The entire article, posted June 1, 2012, is currently on p. 25 of this forum under the subject Fan Club Member Meets Mike 1965].
Ever since I first became a Bonanza fan, it was always my ultimate ambition to meet its most handsome star, Mike Landon, in person someday. So, you can imagine my excitement in May of 1965 when I heard he was going to make a personal appearance at Pleasure Island, Mass., a short distance from my home.
Just seeing him from a distance, I thought, wouldn’t be enough, not the way I like Mike! So, I racked my brain trying to think of some way I could get to really meet him. My girlfriend suggested, perhaps, if I gave him something I could get in to meet him personally. But then I wondered what to give him.
After much deliberation, I hit on an excellent idea. I could bake him a cake! However, since I wanted this to be an extra special cake [for an extra special person], I decided to have one made special. It was simply beautiful, a yummy cowboy dressed just like Mike with a rope inside of which said “If you’re the Ponderosa’s Little Joe, you can have your cake and eat it too!”
I attached a letter to the outside of the box that read: “Dear Mr. Landon, I hope this day at Pleasure Island has been as pleasant for you as it has been for me! I had this cake made ‘specially for you.....”
After his show, I followed Mike into the [Administration] building, found the cake. I was breathless as I handed it to Mike and said, “Here’s the cake.” “The cake?” he repeated. “Here, this is for you”, I told him and picked it up from the desk it has been lying on and handed it to him. He put it down on the desk he was standing beside and lit a cigarette. Then, he picked up the envelope on top of the box, which said on the outside, “To Little Joe. May he long outlive the Beatles.” He laughed and said he’d have to be knighted first. He looked at the cake and thanked me so sincerely for it, I knew he really appreciated it a lot. Meanwhile, I had been taking some candid shots of my own. I was shaking horribly. He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, sort of chuckled exasperatingly and said, “Will you relax?”
Everyone crowded around as he read the cake. He said, “How cute. Thankyou!” I then heard someone say, “Let’s take some pictures of him with the cake. Who was responsible for it?” Knowing it was me they were asking for, I couldn’t say a word. But my girlfriend spoke up and told them it was me. A photographer said to me, “Move to the light, young lady.” Mike gave me a reassuring smile and led me around the room by the elbow until the photographer found a good spot.
Besides being nervous with the cameras, I was petrified standing next to Mike!! I dared not look up. “Let’s get the cake in the picture”, he remarked. Shakily, I placed my left hand under it and [oh mercy!] it touched his right hand. My hand actually tingled as I squirmed to move it. He sensed [sensed? It was fairly obvious] that I was nervous and directly faced me smiling. What a dollpuss!! Then, slowly he slipped his right arm around my back and pulled me closer to him. As if I wasn’t petrified enough without him doing that! I was on Cloud 18.
Mike squeezed my arm and said “Relax!” I was speechless. Afterwards, I went to get my autograph book for Mike to sign. He was so sweet about it. He is ever soooo nice and much handsomer than in magazines and on TV. Just about then, someone called out, “Mr. Landon, come in the office where it‘s cooler.” This was our signal to leave.
I turned around and said goodbye and he winked and said, “Yes, and thanks for coming. The cake was beautiful.”
Outside, I started crying, out of joy for seeing Mike and partly because I never would again. My dream had come true at last! I had gotten the one thing I’d wanted most in the world....I met and talked to Michael Landon, the greatest, handsomest and most wonderful actor ever!
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