Having grown up watching her TV show, when I booked Patty Duke to ring the bell at the market I was thrilled. Like many of us, I have seen The Miracle Worker, for which she won an Oscar, many times. And of course, I’ve seen her in many other films and TV shows over the years. But as fun as I imagined the day might be, I never dreamed it could be as special as it really was.
Patty Duke (whose real name is Anna) is still absolutely beautiful, and she and her husband Mike are two of the most genuine, loving, fun people you’ll ever meet. The couple met when Anna was filming A Time to Triumph, the true story of a woman helicopter pilot. Mike, who was a drill sergeant at the time, was hired as a consultant to teach her how to salute, march, etc. and in the process they fell in love. They have been married for 28 years, and they both exude a combination of warmth, humor and kindness that is rare to find.
At one point, I told Anna & Mike about a dear friend at the market who is bi-polar had hoped to meet her but couldn’t make it that day. Her husband died recently and our community is worried about her. Anna listened with clear concern and both she and Mike simply said “Call her.” So I dialed the phone and Anna took it and walked off to give her support and sage words of advice in private. Our friend was blown away by the kindness and generosity of this amazing woman.
After Anna rang the bell, a small group of us went out to breakfast. What a lovely time it was! We were joined by Lori Ness, of Northwest Prime Radio (who is the person who put me in touch with Anna), Mary Kay Sherwood of Sherwood Silkscreen, and Kat Allen of Symbols in Art.
I never expected to meet two such down to earth people and make new friends that day. But these two are in my heart (and I hope my life) forever.
If you want to know more about Anna’s journey, I recommend you read her best seller, Call Me Anna. If if you or anyone you love lives with bipolar disorder, I also highly recommend her second book, Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness.
Anna and Mike will be at the Hollywood autograph show the 12th and 13th of April, in LA. http://www.hollywoodshow.com/main.php
Anna will be speaking in Kadima, Michigan on Thursday, May 8th
Anna will be attending a screening of The Miracle Worker in Omaha, Nebraska on May 23
Duluth Superior Film Festival, May 28th to the 31st
And she will be speaking in Connecticut on June 6th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Middletown, CT
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