|It’s early 1971. I’m 7 years old and just got the newest edition of Tiger Beat. I page through, then stop. The dark, perfectly manicured dark hair. Those penetrating brown eyes. Perfect eyebrows and lips. Then, the teeth. Oh, those gleaming white teeth. Who is this boy?? I must know...
Then, I hear the voice. “I love the little wiggle in your walk...”. Sweet and Innocent. His name? Donny Osmond. I was captivated. And that captivation would end up lasting a lifetime.
Fast forward to April 2018. My journey through Washington now complete. It is time to start the trip back to Texas/OK. I’m in Spokane planning the journey southwest when I look at the map. Donny and Marie made a stop in Spokane last year, and Donny and his wife headed over to a place called Coeur d’Alene (Coor-duh-lane). He raved about it. I must go...right??
From Coeur d’Alene, I could head south and gulp...be in Utah. Donny’s home. I have never been to his birthplace or where he calls home now. I must go...right?? So, after a few days in Coeur d’Alene where the dogs and I traversed up some challenging, but beautiful hikes overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene, we headed south toward Utah, only stopping in Idaho Falls at the Wally Mart to spend the night.
We enter Utah and it’s not long until we come upon the birthplace of Donny Osmond...Ogden, Utah. What, no sign?? Tupelo, Mississippi can boast the birth of Elvis, but Ogden can’t even put up a little sign concerning the state’s most famous Mormon?
After a quick tour, we journey further south past Salt Lake City until we reach Orem, Utah. For our brief stay in the area, I booked a room at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort. Beautiful resort, but on arriving, discovered it was closed for maintenance. We were renting one of the few privately owned condos on the resort. Therefore, we were literally the only guests at the resort. It was awesome as the dogs ran and played without hesitation or restraint. The workers didn’t seem to mind so I allowed the pups to run carefree.
We spent one day hiking near the resort and viewing the Bridal Veil Falls, but the purpose of the visit was Provo. Provo is home to Brigham Young University...and the current home of, you guessed it...Donny Osmond.
I develop my plan. I found his address through Goggle, then looked it up on satellite. I knew from his instagram posts what his house looked like and sure enough, the satellite view confirmed it was the right house. Being a Sunday, I thought there might be a good chance he would be home since he plays in Vegas until Saturday night, flies home to spend Sunday and Monday with his family, then flies back to Vegas. They go to church on Sunday, then his wife makes Sunday lunch for the family.
Ok, at this point you think me a stalker. And, I might have to agree with you...to a point...but, Donny freely shares this information on social media. I just happen to read it all!
We take off toward Provo and arrive near Donny’s house around 12:45 p.m. I figure this is just about the time the Mormons get out of church. And, by golly, the Mormon church is literally across the street from Donny’s subdivision. But, as I drive up, I notice the subdivision is gated. Not surprised. Yet, based on the satellite viewing, I know there is an empty lot next to Donny’s and his house sits at the entrance of the subdivision. I can see over the gate and see the empty lot...and then Donny’s house! I can see the side view. Three car garage. Cabana. I take a few pics.
I start to see the Mormons leaving the church, but no one enters the gates to the subdivision. I’ve parked Gypsy on the side of the road and as I’m looking at the entrance gate, I notice there is also a walk-in gate. And, it is open! I must go in...right??
So, I casually walk through the gate and down the street. Not a soul in sight. Ok, now I might be a stalker. I walk to the front of Donny’s house. Yep, the address matches. Very nice house. Big, but not ostentatious. Blends in well with the entire neighborhood. All of the blinds are shut and there are no cars in the driveway. I snap the pic and feel obliged not to linger, but my heart is racing and I’m downright giddy! I don’t quite feel 7 years old again, but I feel like a teenager in love. Sad, but true.
Donny Osmond will never know my name (even though he has met me several times) or know the efforts I have made over the years to see, hear and be near him, but just like that first picture in 1971...I’m still captivated. Seeing the place he calls home? The perfect topping on a truly great 3 1/2 month journey.
No sign of Robert Redford or Donny Osmond, but I have to give those Mormons credit. They picked the most scenic views when they settled in the Utah. Truly stunning views!