Meeting Michael Landon!

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Meeting Michael Landon!

Post by weavereb » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:43 pm

BarbT - one of our newer Boomers - was lucky enough to meet Michael Landon in 1965. Here is the story in her own words and pictures... I met Michael Landon twice in 1965, when I was 17. Having watched Bonanza since Season One, it would be a dream come true to meet ‘Little Joe’ in person. And my dream did come true, twice in one year. Fortunately, when I got home, I wrote down every detail so that I could remember every minute of those two special days.

Michael was appearing at the Variety Club Telethon, at a TV station in Buffalo, New York on February 7. I persuaded my parents to drive me from our home near Toronto, through snow, then rain and fog, to Buffalo. The line of people waiting to get into the TV studio was long and moving slowly. When my mother and I were finally in the studio, I was so disappointed. I did not see Michael anywhere. An official said that he was ‘resting’. My mother told the official we had “driven all the way from Canada”, so he allowed us to wait in a corner as the people in line were moved along and out the studio door.

Finally, I saw a familiar figure at the top of the stairs. I almost fainted. My mother hailed ‘Little Joe’ over to us. Smiling and standing in front of me, it was the first time I had seen him in ‘living color’. My mother introduced herself and me, saying we were from Canada. I melted as he shook my hand and said my name. He was tanned and so very handsome. I asked him for his autograph but he explained that, because of the crowds in the studio, he was not supposed to give out autographs. Being so nervous, I dropped my pen. He bent down and picked it up. When I thought about that gesture later…Little Joe on bended knee in front of me!!! My mother asked him if I could take his picture. I will never forget his words: “No, you cannot take a picture of me, Mrs. Peeling, but you can take a picture of Barbara and me”.

However, there was a curtained barrier separating us. I was wearing a skirt! Trying to be ‘lady-like’ in front of this man who had held so many beautiful women and trying to clamor over the barrier was a challenge. Then, I felt ‘lifted’ by strong arms, turned and Little Joe was grinning as he helped me over the barrier. My mother was too nervous to take the picture, so the official did. I put my arm around his waist as he put his arm on my shoulder. Trying to hold back my tears, I clutched his green jacket. Now, 44 years later, that picture is my most treasured possession.

Image I stayed in the studio as long as I could, taking more pictures. I was peeved that some girls were grabbing my hand, having seen him shake mine, rubbing ‘Mike’ onto their palms. Michael smiled and winked at me several times.




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