The first photo of Joan Rivers and me. Don't you love the tinted eyeglass lenses of the late '80s and early '90s?
April 28, 1990, was the first time I met Joan Rivers. Nineteen years ago. I can't believe it!
My parents knew how much I wanted to see Joan so we traveled from Aberdeen, SD to Minneapolis, MN. Joan performed at the famous Guthrie Theater and my mom went to the show with me.
I'll never forget sitting in the audience waiting for Joan to appear. I was so nervous. I couldn't believe I would be seeing her live! Finally it was showtime. The orchestra played Anchors Away and spotlights swept over the crowd.
Suddenly, Joan burst through the curtains. She was wearing a Bob Mackie evening gown and had a black feather boa over her shoulder. When I saw her, I physically jumped in my seat. It was like I had been zapped with an electrical current. The entire show was a rush and I can remember trying to memorize every detail.
After the show my mom and I went to the backstage party. The performance was an AIDS Benefit and if you purchased a $100 ticket (1990 dollars), you got to go backstage. Joan was wonderful with me and I never left her side. I'm sure there were times when she wanted to call a security guard over to "get this kid away from me." But she never did.
As Joan was talking to others, I saw that her assistant, Dorothy, was holding Spike (Joan's Yorkie). I asked if I could pet him. Dorothy said, "Do you want to hold him?" My heart jumped as Dorothy placed the small dog into my hands. I beamed! I was holding Joan Rivers' Yorkie.
After talking with everyone backstage, Joan, her assistant and security guards headed out the back entrance. I of course followed along. My mom, wondering where her son was going, quickly caught up. We went out a back door which lead to a dark alley behind the Guthrie Theater. A waiting limo was glowing in the darkness. It was magical.
Joan asked if I wanted to walk Spike down the alley to "do his business" before they entered the limo. I would have walked Spike to China if she had asked me. I walked with Spike and then Joan scooped him up, said good night, entered the limo and drove off.
Next year will be the 20th Anniversary of that night.
I wonder how Joan and I will celebrate!?