Friday, February 24, 2012

Kissing Willie Nelson by Ray Cech

It isn't every day that a young lady gets to meet a famous singer and movie star, no less have him give her a hug and a kiss. But it was back in 1986 when the stars were all aligned for On Top of the World resident Lolly Foos, when she went backstage to shake Willie Nelson's hand, but instead, to her blushing surprise, got a warm hug and a kiss. As Lolly says, "I didn't quite faint but the world went to a blur and for the next few days I was in a wonderful stupor."

A photo was taken of that moment in time for Lolly on February 4, 2012 at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala, Florida where Willie Nelson performed to a sold-out crowd. Lolly wore the same hat she had on 26 years ago when Willie signed that photo and complimented her with, "You're looking good."

How did all this happen? Lolly Foos was the recreational coordinator for First Interstate Bank in Los Angeles, California back then. It was a great job she admits, as she got to book and meet some of the greats like Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson. Of all the stars she met however, she found Nelson's persona and lyrics to be the best and has been following his career for more than 30 years. "I was a fan back when he was singing and strumming in a business suit", said Lolly who at times was a very active member of his fan club.

When she heard he was coming to the Circle Square Cultural Center located just a golf cart ride away from her house, Lolly naturally got her ticket and on that Saturday night, carried the "kissing" photo with her. It is now a very official document hanging prominently in her home.

Lolly has been an On Top of the World resident for fifteen years and is a cheerleader for volunteering. She has taken on the responsibility for coordinating volunteers for most events in the community. You can see Lolly and her team working at the annual Craft Fair, Home Improvement Expo, Health & Wellness Expo and the Ocala Open, just to name a few.

How will you find Lolly Foos spending her time when not volunteering? Probably kicking back, spinning some Willie Nelson records and looking at that picture on the wall, daydreaming about that unforgettable kiss from back in 1986...and of course, Saturday February 4, 2012.

Ray Cech is a resident at On Top of the World Communities and a writer for the OTOW News

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