"Follow me." And we did, through the lobby and out to the patio by the pool.
Standing 15 feet away by the bar, all alone, was John Denver. He turned and gave us his famous boyish smile.
My shyness caused me to freeze. Not Pauline. She took off running. "John, I just love your songs." She had him in a bear hug by the time I unfroze.
I raced over and wrapped my arms around him. I breathed in the smell of leather from his fringed vest and noticed how my head only reached under his chin. My mom and sister had piled on behind me. I heard a soft laugh in his chest as we set him free.
"Would you ladies like a drink?" he asked. We sure did.
The next hour, I never spoke. I was star-struck. He said something about Annie and the beauty of West Virginia. Cindy talked with him about fate and something called kismet.
The bar closed. "Bye, nice to meet you all," he said. He was gone.
I floated to the room.
The next day I walked into the house, an exorbitant bill for a new starter for the car in my hand. The kids wore the same clothes as the day before and my husband looked exhausted. "Well, what did you do last night after the concert?"
"I went to John Denver's party," I said.
"Sure you did," he said. To this day when "Country Roads" is played, he pats my arm and says, "Sure you did."
But I remember the smell of leather, the sound of a soft laugh, a boyish grin and something called kismet.
Melanie Vickers is writer and educator who lives in South Charleston.