I had her haircut(s). I had her albums. I bought Tiger Beat, Teen Beat, Just Seventeen and People magazines and kept a scrapbook of clippings featuring Olivia Newton-John posing with other celebrities, riding horses on her ranch or listing her favorite beauty tips. Posters of her face stared back from my walls. Having received an autographed photo in response to a fan letter I’d written, it was easy for my nine-year-old self to believe that I was, in fact, her biggest fan! (When I was 11, I met my Aunt’s future husband and recognized immediately that he was special when I learned that he not only owned a LaserDisc of one of her concerts, but had actually seen her in concert! He had the program to prove it and gave it to me, so it was easy to believe I was still the bigger fan else he’d have kept it, right?)
My favorite number has always been 8, so it was bittersweet that my childhood idol passed away on 8/8. I had to take that as a good sign–that this woman who tried to bring a little light to the world had certainly entered into a brighter one. My Facebook feed was flooded with tributes, memories and old video clips. I didn’t know that I had anything new or different to say that wasn’t being said. So I’m scheduling this to post on her birthday, to say in writing that this fan still hopes to meet her, one day! Meanwhile, perhaps I’ll be able to find a bottle of Koala Blue wine to raise a glass.
Today I’m revising a novel that deals with faith, love, music and magic. I’ve thrown in a bit of this and a pinch of that but if this book is a gumbo, the roux is music and magic. Olivia’s music pairs perfectly.