Wednesday, February 8, 2012

" An Adventure " Starring Frankie Avalon

It was a few decades ago that I had my meeting with
Frankie Avalon.

I was very young , so young in fact , 
I don't remember how old I was exactly. The best that I can figure , thinking back , I'm guessing around eleven years old.

I never liked school. I don't know why. It could have been because of my extreme shyness or perhaps because I had went to so many different schools up until high school , which I really didn't like. It was then that I was in the same school for four years.

Before high school I spent three years , sixth , seventh and eighth grade at the same school. Before that I lost count of the different schools that I attended due to the yearly moving across country for my father's job.

It was in the sixth grade that I met Andrea. She was a cute little red headed girl with the same sense of humor as me.
We became fast friends. As a matter of fact that is when I remember starting to have those hysterical fits of laughter that I had spoke about in the past. 

All it would take was a couple of crazy faces made back and forth at each other. The laughter would start and inevitably,
we'd end up getting into to trouble again.

I don't think that Andrea liked school much either because we would skip out of school frequently. We went on many adventures together during those days , most of which were taking the El ( Chicago Transit Authority Elevated Train )
from the Lake Street Station to Downtown Chicago.

We had many , many fun adventures downtown. We would go inside all of the different shops. One was a Popcorn shop that had all different forms and flavors of Popcorn. I've often wondered if it still exists. It was one of my favorite places to visit. The aroma of the delicious Popcorn would envelop us as soon as we walked through the door. We usually bought Popcorn Balls. They were portable and fun to eat.

Marshall Fields was another fun place to go to. We used to love looking at all of the different departments, quite different from today's shopping indeed !

Another time we wandered into a theater to see the movie
"Shaft". Maybe you could imagine our surprise as we went to find our seats. We were the only two little girls , little white girls in the theater !!

It didn't seem to bother anyone and we enjoyed the movie ,
so it was another fun outing.

Another thing we enjoyed doing was going inside the big and fancy hotels such as The Chicago Hilton. 
We knew that movie stars would often stay there. I don't remember how we found this out but it doesn't and didn't really matter as the fun was in the hunt !!

I don't know how we found out that Frankie Avalon was staying there on this particular day but again it doesn't and didn't really matter. We both had a crush on him. You may or may not remember him. He was most famous for his beach movie's in the sixties.

I had such a crush on him that when I would watch his movie's , I would take black and white photo's of him on the Television, with my Baby Brownie camera that my mother had given me.

On this particular day that we chose not to further our education , we were determined to find and meet 
Mr. Frankie Avalon.

Never underestimate the determination of a love struck young girl , let alone two ! The question was , how on earth would we find him in this huge hotel ?

We started out walking all over the inside of the hotel trying to act as grown up as possible. We didn't need to draw attention from any adults that may be wondering why we were wandering around on a school day while school was in session.

Then one of us, I truly don't remember who but it most likely was Andrea, had a great thought. Lets ask the maids !
Well let me tell you, those maids are a tight mouthed bunch!
I don't know how many maids we asked.
I don't know how many floors we searched.
I didn't know that there were secret hallways.

That's right, secret hallways. We found this out thanks to that one loose lipped maid !!

Oh it was such an odd feeling sneaking through the different floors and and hallways to find the one secret hallway that we were told about by the nice loose lipped maid.

We felt like spies on a secret mission. I guess in a way we were now that I think about it.

Anyway we finally found said hallway. It was odd. There was a main long hallway and then , as we kept walking, there it was to our right. A hallway that led several feet to a large door that had a peep hole on it.

I can't tell you how nervous we were as we walked arm in arm to the door trying so hard to be quite. At that age it's very hard to stay quite, at least for us it was.

As we reached the door, one of us decided to knock. I don't remember which one of us that it was but it was probably Andrea.

Just a few seconds went by when we heard a voice say,
" Who is it?". Then in a very timidly, shaky voice, one of us said, " We are here to see Frankie Avalon." .
 I don't remember which one of us said it but it was probably Andrea.

The mysterious voice behind the door replied,
" Go away."  And it was at that very moment, if you had been a fly on the wall, you would have seen two little girls
deflate. Not only did we feel deflated but fear as well. 
We were afraid we might get reported and caught!

But all was not lost.
 Right after we heard the voice telling us to go away, we heard another voice in the background.
It said, " Let them in." very calm and matter of fact.

The big door was opened by an unfamiliar face and it was then that my eyes took everything in very quickly.
I noticed a good sized kitchen to the left and large windows
in the living room area where the very, very big sofa sat.

The sofa that held Frankie lounging on his side in his stocking feet. I don't know why seeing him in his stocking feet was such a big deal to me but it was.
His socks were black and they looked expensive.
Maybe they came from Marshall Fields.

There we were, just Andrea, me, Frankie and this unknown man. I could not believe this was happening.

Here's the sad part. I don't remember a thing that was said by me or Andrea or Frankie. I guess I was really
" Star Struck ". I do remember him being very kind.

We didn't leave his room empty handed. 
We each had a personalized, autographed, hotel information booklet in our young " Star Stuck " little hands !

We left Frankie's room feeling elated to say the least.
The big door had shut behind us.
Andrea and I turned and looked at each other and just started
screaming with happiness as we dropped to the floor kicking our feet.

I can't imagine what Frankie and the stranger thought of us at that point. Thinking back on the moment now,
I'm pretty sure they were used to that sort of thing.

Years went by and I lost touch with Andrea.
We were in different high school districts.
I met my first husband and my autograph was destroyed in a flooded basement of the house that we lived in.

But that was a memory that will never leave me.
Unless of coarse I loose my mind!

Thanks Frankie !!


Jackie said...

Di - What a great story!! I was excited for you as I was waiting outside the door with Andrea...and then you got to go into the room with Frankie Avalon. Wonderful for you. know that I have to be worried that you and Andrea were out and about on your own when you were supposed to be in school. I think I know what you would say today if the same thing happened with your sweet li'l Sarah. You would be worried sick. Thankfully, all turned out well for you and Andrea. I wish that you still had the autograph, but like you said, you have all of it in your memory, and you have shared it with us. How exciting to read!! You are a great story teller. Thanks for sharing your memory. (Yes, I remember Frankie Avalon...heartthrob that he was.)
Hugs and love,

Maria said...

Hi Diana! Oh I just loved Frankie Avalon! Venus is one of my favorite oldies! Oh what a thrill that you got to meet him! Lucky Girl ♥
It's funny that my husband's teen crush was Annette Funicello.

That was a great story to read, Diana!
Wishing you lots of blessings and more great adventures!

Theanne said...

well wow look at you meeting Frankie Avalon! Do you know I skipped school once by myself and stayed home! How lame and pitiful is that?!!! Great story, great memory!

DeanO said...

WOW...I can't believe this is a true story. How awesome!

Rae said...

Do you still have that photo? Great story. Nothing like two determined girls on a mission to find a teen heartthrob. My friends and I wandered the downtown streets of Chicago as teenagers too. Amazing when I think of it now. There is no way I would let a kid of mine do it now.

Eileen said...

What a great story, Di! I do remember you blogging about this before, but it's nice to read the details! And it's fun to read your exciting memory! What a thrill!

Hey! Is this a REAL memory? I'm going to have to search your blog! Well, there are lots of details, it has to be at least half true!

It was fun to read about your friendship with Andrea, no matter if Frankie is a real memory or not. Those kind of childhood memories are a treasure!

This was great, Di! 'LOVED IT!

Dee said...

Great story...did you share your adventure with your friends? If you did I am sure you two were the envy of the school. What a fun memory to have after all these years.♥

Gail said...

HI DI - that is the best story ever!! I loved it, loved it, loved it. You are such a hoot :-)
Love Gail

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

What a totally awesome story. You lucky duck! I've never met anyone famous (although I did go on a date with a British sailor once whose claim to fame was seeing George Harrison at a football match and shouting at him "Hey George! It's me!"

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment!

Anvilcloud said...

Great story. It was worth cutting classes that day.

Bernie said...

Love this story, you may have been shy but you sure were brave. Thanks for sharing....:-)Hugs

Sandi said...

Oh Di! I'm so jealous! I swooned over Frankie Avalon, and went to all the beach movies. Loved the songs. You lucky girl . . . brave, too!

I skipped a couple times, in high school, to go downtown Portland. We went to the art museum! Not very exciting for high school girls, do you think??

Thanks for you warm and supportive comments on my post. I tell you, this surgery business when you get older is just the hardest thing. I am trying to stay active, but now both knees are hurting and it's making me so frustrated. I should have done both of them at once like you did, and got it over with!

Keeping you in my thoughts!

Big hugs!

Talin's Corner said...

What a story. You guys are two lucky "love struck" kids.

Ginnie said...

Isn't it amazing how gutsy you can be when you are young and "in love". A great story, Di, and a wonderful memory.

Linda Higgins said...

OH Di! I think we would have made wonderful friends had we known each other then! OH my gosh, I think that is the bravest story! Isn't it amazing how we rode trains and buses and it was just not a big deal at all! The world was such a safer place to live in honestly it was! 2 little girls wandering a hotel...not even thinking about the consequences or if you did, not even caring all that much! You only live ONCE! I loved this story!

Joy said...

Oh, LOL! What a great story! It sure was worth skipping school, wasn't it! Yea, Di!!! You go girl!! I used to skip school during high school... never had a story as good as yours though! He-hee... Girl, I like your style!!