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Loving Donny

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Loving Donny |

My best friend and I were Osmond fans from the age of 7. We liked all of the Osmonds but it was Donny who captured our hearts. On alternate Tuesdays we rushed to the newsagents to pick up a copy of ‘Osmonds World’ magazine, eager to see his latest pictures. In the seventies the world was a very different place. I remember being so disappointed that I couldn't join the fan club because I had a post code, not a zip code. I asked my Dad to point out America in his atlas because I needed to see Utah on the map. I never thought I would visit the USA as it was just too far away. When the group came to London in 1973, I watched their arrival at Heathrow on TV and saw the young girls swooning and chanting, “We love the Osmonds”. We did not even think of asking our parents if they would take us 282 miles to London. Young people today travel widely to see their pop idols and receive concert tickets as gifts. This accessibility destroys the wonder, mystique and the hero worship from afar that we experienced.

As adults we followed our dream when Donny announced a series of British concerts in 2006. We excitedly booked our tickets to see him at Edinburgh Castle, counting the weeks until we could be in the same arena. We were like teenagers again with our satin scarves and velvet hats. Perhaps he might notice us in the middle-aged sea of purple, (his favourite colour). We were not too old to shout, “We love you, Donny” on that gloriously sunny evening.

Getting to Cardiff in 2007 was not exactly a walk in the park. We flew from Newcastle to Bristol. We took a train to Cardiff and another to Merthyr Tydfil. A bus took us to Cyfarfha Castle. Luckily, the outdoor concert wasn't cancelled due to the torrential rain. Ankle deep in mud and surrounded by inflatable leeks and daffodils, we loyally sang along. Our enjoyment was interrupted as one unfortunate fan dropped to the ground beside us, having an epileptic seizure. Donny noticed the kerfuffle, stopped singing and requested paramedic assistance for his fallen follower. There was no bus service back to Cardiff that evening so we hailed a taxi. Soaked to the skin, we thankfully jumped in. Donny's 'Soldiers of Love' felt like they had been to battle but it was completely worthwhile.

It was so much more convenient when Donny came to see us at Newcastle Arena. He had been practicing his Geordie accent and shouted "Howay the Lads!" just as once American President Jimmy Carter did.

Meeting Donny at a book signing in Waterstones, London was an absolute masterstroke, bringing us closer than we ever imagined possible. We waited nervously in a massive queue.

“Hi , Donny,” I beamed, “I've travelled from Newcastle to see you and I've loved you since I was seven”, I declared.

“Wow, thanks for coming”, he said, “I love Newcastle. Who shall I sign this to?” and his brown eyes looked into mine.

“ It's… Angela, thank you,” I replied . He closed the book and passed it to me. I reached forward and he was so very close. I knew this would be my only chance, so I took it. I kissed Donny!

© Angela Craddock 2021-07-30


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