Victoria fan travels to Chicago to meet her 80s idol
Aug. 17, 2011 at 3:17 a.m.
Updated Aug. 18, 2011 at 3:18 a.m.
Rosemary Pena Watts flew solo to Chicago to meet her longtime idol Debbie Gibson last Friday.
It's been a 26-year-old dream in the making.
"It's either now or never. I'm going to take this chance," said the 35-year-old Victoria native.
Watts' friends and family were concerned about her traveling to the big, Windy City by herself. But, the mother of four didn't let fear get in her way.
The devoted fan stood in line for seven hours outside the House of Blues. She wanted the best seat for the concert.
In her fourth hour of waiting, the Crossroads fan approached the superstar in passing. She was afraid to meet Gibson - who now goes by Deborah Gibson - at first because she didn't want to be disappointed.
The 80's star exceeded Watts' expectations.
"She comforted me, gave me a hug, and told me to enjoy the show," Watts said. "It was totally unexpected."
Watts gave Gibson a poster she made. The Brooklyn-born singer used the Texas-made sign as a prop during the performance.
The two women took pictures together and even shared a microphone for a song.
"It worked out better than I thought it would," she said. "Mission completed."
Now Watts' next goal is to be mentioned on Gibson's website.
The website has a page dedicated to her fans. Admirers can share their close encounters with their beloved performer.
Gibson's website states:
"This is your chance to showcase your favorite moment of getting to meet Deborah ... share with all of us the behind-the-scenes adventures."
And Watts plans to do just that.
" I can't wait to show Rosemary's moment with Deborah."
The Stroman High School graduate has evolved since her pre-teen days.
Her room was once filled with Gibson's posters and magazines. The song "Foolish Beat" stayed on repeat. Watts even dressed like her role model.
Throughout the years, her interest in Gibson has not faded.
Watts fulfilled a lifelong dream meeting Gibson, and the lesson she learned meant even more.
"Experience makes anything I face in the world a lot easier," Watts said.