Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Little Obsessed


Okay, I admit it. I've had a crush on him since I was really young and he had a black and white television series on TV. A rough and tumble Western called "Rawhide!" Westerns were big in my house as my father was a huge fan. Bonanza, Rawhide!, Big Valley, Wagon Train. (I beg you, don't google the dates. You'll only be sorry you did. It was a long time ago, okay?)

Anyway, my bedtime was always (for some unexplained reason) too early to watch these shows. But that didn't faze me. Especially where Rowdy Yates was concerned. I had to watch. I had to. Somewhere in my mind, I thought he'd know about my betrayal if I missed it. I don't think my parents ever caught me. I would creep down the stairs and somehow our black and white TV was oriented exactly so that the reflection of the screen showed right in the little windows at the top of our front door opposite the stairs. So I could sit out of sight and watch the show with no one the wiser. And listen to...sigh...Rowdy. Seriously. He was cute. Just look at that face! (Yes. I said face. What else would I be talking about?)

He had this whispery kind of sexy voice that always made me hold my breath to really hear him. I thought he was all that. Someday I would marry him!

Not.

Anyway, I never stopped loving him from afar. Play Misty For Me, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Dirty Harry ... I loved them all. Because I knew, you know, we were meant for each other. I became an actress, secretly hoping I'd get cast in a Western with him in it. Didn't happen. Besides, as I arrived in Hollywood, he dropped out for a while and became Mayor of Carmel, CA. And played golf.

Then, (after I caved to reality and married my husband) when my daughter was in Kindergarten, she became friends with another little girl whose mom, it turned, out was CLINT EASTWOOD'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT! I know! Kismet, right? One degree of separation? Alas, no. I never met him. For some reason she was weirdly protective of him. Strange.

Clint became a director and did one of my favorite movies--"A Perfect World" with Kevin Costner, where he played a crabby, but sympathetic FBI agent. He had aged, but beautifully. He was still hot.
"Unforgiven" was a work of art. And a western. That won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Maybe my husband didn't totally understand why I cried when it won. Maybe he did.

Anyway, I pretty much resigned myself that it wasn't meant to be. I couldn't seem to work out how it would happen. I moved on. Had a life. Raised my kids. Wrote western romance novels that I secretly dreamed he'd make one day on the big screen. (What? I don't recall ever saying I was a realist, okay?)

One night, a year or so ago, my husband and I were walking down Ventura Blvd. in Studio City after dining out. We ran into an old friend of his who is a well known stand-up comedian. So we're blabbing, saying hi and our friend is on his cell phone intermittently, because he's waiting for someone outside this restaurant who's meeting him to discuss some charity golf tournament he's organizing. But he sort of encourages us to hang there with him by blabbing about this and that. Nice, nice guy. We were happy to hang out with him. His dinner date was late.

Suddenly, he turns and goes, "Oh, good, here's Clint."

Did--? Did he just say--?

I swear, it all went into slow motion at that moment. Because who is walking toward us, with that loose-hipped confidence in comfy old clothes that look like they've hung in his closet for thirty years--not in any hurry, but moving toward us with movie star-ish authority?

IT'S CLINT EASTWOOD!!

THE Clint Eastwood! Rowdy Freaking Yates!

My mouth kind of drops open as our friend graciously introduces us and Clint reaches-his-hand-out-to me.

And just like that? I touched him. I took his hand, smiled up at him and burbled, "I-I'm a huge fan of yours, Mr. Eastwood."

He smiled a twinkly smile back at me and said, "Thank you very much. That's very kind of you. So nice to meet you both."

We exchanged a few more words that, frankly, are a blur now and said good-night. Afterward, I couldn't stop smiling, doing little bunny hops down Ventura Boulevard beside my sweet husband. Destiny had vindicated itself. Clint was gracious and lovely and sweet. Everything I hoped he would be. And a camera really wouldn't have been appropriate. No, that would've been tacky. But that picture of him reaching his hand out to me is settled comfortably in my mind.

And that's right where it belongs.

I heart you, Clint. Just in case you read this.

17 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

As the old cliche goes, did you ever wash your hand again? Great story!

stregata said...

Oh my, this was lovely!! Put a big smile on my face!
Have a most wonderful day (and keep that memory shiny)!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Barbara: So dreams do come true!
Great story - you made me feel like I was there - holding out my hand!!!

Snap said...

Wonderful story. How cool was that? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I touch *THE* hand that touched *THE* hand? !!!!!!

(Post tomorrow on ... are you ready ..... Bonanza!Synchronicity!)

Barbara said...

Debra-- believe me when I say I resisted. But the memory can never be washed away! Thanks.

Barbara said...

Stratega--:p) Glad you enjoyed it. It made me smile, remembering. Thanks!

Barbara said...

Bonnie--Once in a while they really do! I mean, aside from living in LA, what are the odds?? :p) Thanks for your kind words.

Barbara said...

Snap--Bonanza!!!??? LOL! How funny is that? Ah, I knew you were a kindred spirit! Glad you enjoyed it.

Sarah said...

First off...HOW COME I NEVER HEARD ABOUT THIS!!!!!???? And OMG that was wonderful - I looooved it - how freaking fun is that!! I'm so happy for you wowowow!!!! Whoo hoo - I can just see you bunny hopping LMAO BARB that was just too much fun!!
When I first started reading ..all I could think about was the fact that the first picture reminded me so of Hugh Jackman.
As your sis, knowing how very many Hollywood (famous ones) you know..the fact that you were star struck kinda made me giggle. I think we all have that one person that would make us stutter. Wonderful post hon!!! Love, Sarah

Barbara said...

Sarah--lol...I didn't tell you that one? I was probably in shock. :p)Yeah, he made me stutter all right. There really are just a few who you go, now there goes SOME-body. Thanks hon. xox

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

What a fabulous story! I was living every word with you & got the goosebumps knowing it was darlin' Clint he guy was meeting. Serendipitous with a capital S! I am so wanting to shake the hand that shook the man's!

Barbara said...

Alicia--It's crazy, huh? Just think, we might have gone somewhere else for dinner and here I'd be, blogging about frying fish or something.:p) Glad you enjoyed it! BTW, you have a beautiful home!

Holly said...

You know what I ♥, I ♥ that you told this story about having such a crush! This is how I feel about Peter O'Toole and I have to admit, Tomm Selleck. Never have had to pleasure of meeting them, but you give me hope!

And I'm so very happy you got to meet your heart's desire!!!!

A Palmer said...

You nut. What are we going to do with you? Rowdy Yates. He WAS pretty cool. I remember sitting on that same step with you watching TV. I wonder if mom and dad knew we were there and let it go or they really were clueless. I think they knew after awhile. Remember when we heard one of them get up out of their chair - we'd go scampering up the stairs until we thought the coast was clear? Good times.

Janna Qualman said...

Incredible! I think we all hope to meet an idol like that, and you were very lucky to meet yours. Great story.

Barbara said...

Holly--LOL--thanks! And you know, Tom's still around. It could still happen!

Anne--OH!!! Yes! I forgot we did it together, rascals that we were! Thanks for reminding me! And really, I have no idea what you're gonna do with me. But let's do it together, okay?

Janna--Thank you! Yes, it was absolutely fun. I once heard Debbie Macomber speak about a list she made years ago of those people she wanted to meet in her lifetime. She wrote it down and, sure enough, some of the unlikeliest ones have now been scratched off the list. She's a true believer in that stuff. And I guess Debbie's got something good going in that regard...

Yolanda said...

I have always sortof had a crush on him too.