Meeting Debbie Reynolds



I was saddened when I heard that Debbie Reynolds had passed away. However, I remembered when I had the pleasure of watching her in a live performance in Laughlin, Nevada and got to talk with her after the show.
Debbie puts on a fun stage show

I was going to stay for one night at the Riverside RV Park located across the street from the Riverside Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. While walking over to the casino I looked up at the big sign in front of the casino where I saw the marquee with Debbie Reynolds in big red letters. It seems that she was starring in her own stage show once on this evening as well as twice the following night which was New Years Eve. I thought it would be nice if I could see Debbie's show. As I entered the hotel I saw that the next show was in an hour. I figured there was no chance for me to get a ticket this late.

The photo speaks for itself

Before going upstairs to the casino, I stopped at the ticket counter. I asked if there might be any tickets left for the next Debbie Reynolds show. I was told there were a few and I was shown the seating layout of the theater. To my astonishment, there was a VIP seat right next to the stage just to the right of center. I didn't hesitate a second, I bought a ticket. I then continued on to the casino. After only 20 minutes of playing the slots, I went to the theater to find my seat. I was very pleased with the location of the seat. I would have an up close and personal view of the show.

I've been a Debbie Reynolds fan from the days of my childhood. Even though I am a little younger than her, I had a crush on her when I was a kid. So, I was now looking forward to seeing Debbie perform live. When the show began, Debbie came out in a sparkling dress — one of several she would wear during the evening — with sequins flashing as she moved around the stage. Her show was a quilt work of her life that at times felt very much like a visit with a close friend or relative.

Debbie put on a good performance and a fun show that included clips from many of her movies. I was surprised that I had seen every movie and was familiar with all the scenes presented. I was also taken down another memory lane as Debbie talked about her life in between musical performances. Debbie was very candid about her life, her marriages, her financial status and her relationships with her family and friends. Her stories were informative and funny at the same time. I enjoyed the funny impressions Debbie did of other stars.

Debbie told us about how she is a Hollywood packrat, a collector of movie stuff. She had put together a very large collection of movie memorabilia, which she put in a museum in Las Vegas. She told us about having to move her movie museum, but the good news is that she had a new home for her collection. Debbie told the audience that the new location for her museum would be located in a building on Hollywood Blvd. In the same building where the Academy Awards celebration would be held each year. The collection contained over 3000 costumes used in movies from the silent film era to movies made in the 1970s. When Debbie talked about her movie collection, I could tell she felt strongly about the importance of preserving movie history.

At times Debbie would come over to the edge of the stage and talk to people in the audience. I had the pleasure of being close enough to the stage that Debbie came over to talk to me for a few minutes. As I said before, Debbie made the audience feel as if we were old friends. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time. After this show I am a bigger than ever fan of Debbie Reynolds.

As pleased as I was with the show, I was impressed with what Debbie did after the show ended. She told the audience that if they were interested, she would come out after she changed into her street clothes, to talk with them and sign autographs. As I left the theater I saw a long line of people forming to talk to Debbie. I decided to avoid the crowd and come back later after going to the casino.

I played the slots for about 30 minutes. I had run my $20 roll of quarters up to about $80 early during this time, however, I had given all my gains back. I cashed-in the credits on the slot machine to get my $20 back. I decided to go down to see if Debbie was still talking to her fans.

I've met some of the nicest people during my motorhome adventures

The line to see Debbie was very short when I arrived. There were only three people ahead of me which made me the last audience member to talk with Debbie. She is a very pleasant person to talk with. A man in her group noticed a camera in my shirt pocket. He asked me to give him the camera so he could take a picture of Debbie with me.

I moved over next to Debbie thinking I would just stand next to her for the picture. Then I felt her arm around me, so I put my arm around her. When the flash went off, my first thought was that I sure hope the picture comes out. I could hardly wait to see the picture of Debbie and me. (I had nothing to fear, the picture came out better than expected.) This was a very special treat for me and like I said before, I am now a bigger fan of Debbie Reynolds than ever before. She is a sweet and gracious lady with a little mischievousness about her.

You might notice that I refer to Ms. Reynolds by her first name through most of my story. I do this not to be disrespectful. It's just that Debbie made me feel as if I had been a close friend in a very short time. So, I refer to her as Debbie as I would with a friend or relative. If she were to read this I would say, "Thanks Debbie for a great show and very special experience."

Unfortunately, Debbie was unable to find a permanent home for her movie memorabilia. She auctioned off most of the collection in 2014.


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