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Overheard at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland


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just a few weeks ago...I was sitting there in my seat at the Q, watching a skater performing to the Adagio from Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, when the woman two seats over from me (who had a British accent) said to her companion "I can never hear this music without thinking of..."

No need to say more!

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I was too far up in the nosebleeds to be seen on TV. But that's OK. I've been down far enough at at least a few shows to end up on TV...still have the video!

I don't recall that the skater in question made it to TV--right now I can't even remember which one it was. But it's pretty much not a skating competition unless someone uses the Rach 2...and music from that famous opera, "Carmen"...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Eric, I'll be happy to pass on the news of your crush...if I should get anywhere near La Peggy...

Funny thing was, I did get close to her husband once. No, not in THAT way, LOL. At the same show where I ended up getting a good chunk of my face on NBC because I was sitting in the first row right in front of a camera, Peggy was in the cast, and I spent some time between show tapings at a picnic bench outside the arena where some of the performers in the show were just hanging out biding their time between performances. No one had a problem with me sitting there; it was actually quite funny. I remember seeing a guy sit there for a while who had a camera with a bag labeled with his name, "Greg Fleming," and an address in Los Gatos, California, so I knew it was him. She didn't come by there then, though.

But I did get to hear Robin Cousins tell some classic "blonde jokes." "How do you know when a blonde has been using your computer? Wite-Out on the screen." "How do you kill a blonde? Put spikes in her shoulder pads."

Have to hand it to Peggy. She still looks pretty good after all these years, and on top of that, she's been married to the same guy since 1970.

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I'm laughing at myself for having a brain lapse here. Greg's last name isn't Fleming, of course, it's Jenkins, and "Greg Jenkins" was the name on that camera case.

It's quite interesting, actually. Of all the Olympic gold medalists in ladies' figure skating from the USA (and there have been seven of them so far), two of them are married to ex-skaters named Jenkins, and both of them are still happily married to those guys. Greg used to skate competitively (it was how he met Peggy), but quit relatively early without becoming a big name in the sport, and became a dermatologist. They're grandparents now.

Then you have Carol Heiss, who married a guy from Akron--Hayes Alan Jenkins, who won the Olympic gold in 1956, four years before she did (his younger brother David won it in 1960, the same year as Carol). Carol lives in the Cleveland area now and has been married to the same guy for almost 50 years.

Maybe they make up for poor Dorothy and her fate. Dorothy has not been able to find Mr. Right yet. Her first marriage was to Dean Paul Martin, and their feeling for each other appears to have been real, but he was just too much of a playboy ever to stay faithful to one woman and that ended after a couple of years. He died in that plane crash a few years later. Then she married a doctor who, sadly, seemed to regard Dorothy as his own personal ATM and a way to secure his own future in something other than medicine. He also had an interest in the ladies that he did not bother to attempt to control.

Poor Dorothy--for all her success and fame, she seems to have had a lot of hard knocks in life, many of them self-inflicted by poor self-esteem. Yet she is beloved to this day by so many people. I went to a pro skating championship about 12 years ago in West Virginia, and when I told the cabdriver what I'd come there for, and that Dorothy was there, he got this big smile on his face. I'll never forget him saying, in his West Virginia accent, "Back when she won that gold medal, she coulda had me fer free!"

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