Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tobin Matthews: Newspaper Article

1 comment:

  1. Springtime 1967... Graduation at Horseheads High was not far off, and I was "just 17." Classmates had strongly encouraged me to participate in the Chemung County Junior Miss Pageant. It was an incredibly special time in my life, and one I'll never forget.

    As the pageant progressed over several weeks, the biggest thrill of my high school year came to me as a total surprise orchestrated by my late Uncle Rod, whose wonderful talent for writing had brought him close to many other amazing and well-known people. One of these people was Tobin Matthews, who accompanied Uncle Rod on one of his trips home to Millport NY that spring. My entire family still recalls that visit with great fondness...

    This Elmira Star Gazette clip stirs another very special memory, as I had the good fortune to be at the Mark Twain that evening to hear Tobin croon his repertoire to a sea of my contemporary pageant hopefuls. As if that weren't enough, Tobin won my young heart as he looked in my direction throughout his performance of "Pretty Blue Eyes." I remember being vaguely aware of the heads around me turning in curiosity (and most likely a tad of envy), but my eyes and ears were fixed on Tobin as the rest spun around me in a sort of haze. I had a difficult time feeling deserving of such a thrill, and I'm afraid I don't recall much of the fashion show segment...

    During Tobin's stay in the area, Uncle Rod had also arranged for him to sing at one of my high school's weekly dances in the cafeteria. For me it was a scene straight out of "Bye Bye Birdie," with my female classmates screaming at the top of their lungs as he ascended the school steps, and sharing delight in my own good fortune to be connected to this teenage heartthrob. I indeed felt proprietary, and my own crush matured into genuine caring over the years in which my family and I have wondered from time to time about Tobin and what path his career took.

    In a web search I rediscovered Tobin whom I now know as Willie Henson, and I am grateful for the good fortune to be in touch again. The memories remain magical to this day, the connection we share with my uncle indelible, and my heart still recalls the flutters when I remember... Tobin.