I can't believe it!! I was just contacted by a #1 local news station Channel 7 KABC and it's handsome award winning man Mr. George Pennacchio to do the story on Harold, Ann-Margret and I. On the trip and how it came about :-) I can't begin to tell you how excited I am!!
George Pennacchio called me and told me that the story would probably be canned due to no reunion photos with Ann-Margret. I kind of new that was going to happen.
***JUST IN, NEWS FLASH***
Listed below is his letter to me and why:
4 YEARS LATER!!!! IT HAPPENS!!!! THE PHOTO WITH THE GREATEST STAR THAT HAS EVER LIVED!! MY MOTHER IN "ONCE A THIEF" ANN-MARGRET!! This was taken Friday, April 24th, 2015.
J Harold Watson October 21 at 12:01am
My name is Harold Watson, a fourth generation native of Washington, DC, and an employee of the Federal Communications Commission for almost 39 years.
I am an avid fan of Facebook and just happened to come across the name Tammy Locke a couple of months ago. I remembered the name from a short lived TV western back in the 1960's entitled "The Monroes" about 5 orphaned siblings trying to survive in 19th Century Wyoming. The youngest sibling was little Amy Monroe, played by Tammy Locke.
For an introverted teenager from a broken home with an alchoholic mother, that show became an oasis in the desert for me. Every Wednesday night at 8PM I tuned in and became one of the Monroe's! I was raised an only child and longed for the type of super close knit relationship those five siblings had. The show and its characters helped with a healing process for me.
When I emailed Tammy Locke and asked her if she was one in the same person who starred in that show, she responded yes, and from that I sent her a friend request on Facebook.
A couple of weeks ago Tammy put a notice on Facebook saying that she wanted to go to New Jersey over the Halloween Weekend and see Ann Margaret perform. She had played in a series with Ann Margaret back in the 60's and it was her dream to see her once again, but due to financial hardship it appeared that dream would remain only a dream.
Tammy half jokingly posted an email on Facebook asking if anyone out there had any frequent flyer miles they didn't need. Well, it so happened I had a ton of frequent flyer miles, some of which would probably end up expiring in time. I emailed Tammy telling her I would be very happy to transfer them to her if we could work out a shedule and then see what United Mileage Plus could do for us. As it turned out we ran into a super efficient customer service rep who was able to schedule Tammy's trip to see Ann Margaret with the miles I would donate, thus making her dream come true.
I can't begin to tell you how overjoyed I was that I was able to be the one to come through for Tammy Locke and make this dream happen. I believe in seizing the moment when an opportunity come around to do something special for someoe and Tammy is certainly that special person.
Never did I imagine when watching little Amy Monroe and her siblings, played by Michael Anderson, Jr., Barbara Hershey and Keith and Kevin Schultz as the twins, that 43 years later I would be able to return the kindness to one of the cast members for the joy that show brought me.
Tammy, I hope this trip is all you hope for and more and that this will be just the beginning of many more good things to come.
Tammy Locke October 22 at 7:09am
You are so wonderful for totally sharing your story and if you don't mind I plan on showing the world my "Hero". You truly are a Hero Harold! In this day and age with the economy the way that it is, it sure would be a great inspiration story for possibly other people sharing just a little bit of themselves without thinking twice and enjoying that they are making a "Difference" in someone's life. You sir, certainly did that! I love you my friend. Always and Forever, Tammy Locke
J Harold Watson October 22 at 10:29am
Tammy, Thank You so much for your kind words. Please feel free to share this with whomever you like. Before I forget, any luck on reaching the Schultz Bros. as far as getting a photographer?
Here is the outcome of the story:
On Thursday, October 30th at around 8:00pm Kayla the interviewer and John the cameraman of Channel 7 ABC came over and filmed The Facebook Story for about an hour. I had so much fun it was awesome!!! I truly felt like a somebody. Below you will see the photos of them being here in my home.
Friday early morning we took off to New Jersey and due to the stop over didn't arrive til 10 pm.. As soon as I heard that they were still signing autographs I tried to get into see Ann-Margret but there were sooooooooooooooooooooooooo many fans there they had to say no to be able to get them all through to go home.
So early Saturday morning I called Eddie Mika, he is the Guest Relations man for the Chiller Theatre. He met us outside of Ann-Margret’s autograph signing room and gave us VIP passes. Wow that was so awesome.. The passes were to go straight to the front of anyone’s line that was signing at the show. He then escorted us into Ann-Margret's room. It was a huge room and there were about 35-40 people in the room roped off waiting to be allowed to approach her for her autograph. Then the fan line went out the door down the hallway and out of the building and wrapped around the Hilton hotel. I would say 300 loving and adoring fans at least there to see her.
I was standing at the door when she looked over and saw me.. I started to waive at her while smiling. She talked out by saying with joy... "There's my daughter,, there's my daughter Tammy" Then she stood up and waived her hands in the air as to attract attention from her fans while saying "Hey Everyone, I want you all to meet my daughter Tammy from my movie Once a Thief" She left me breathless with admiration. Then she came around the table and walked over to me and put her arms around me and gave me the warmest hug and embrace.. I did too... I looked at her and told her "You are soooooooooo sooooooo beautiful" and she replied "Thank you honey and soooo are you... after all you're my daughter"... I was so overwhelmed at her kindness she truly is the greatest lady in show business that has ever lived.
She then went over to my husband Tom and gave him a big warm hug and asked him his name and how many years that we’ve been married? Tom, beaming with admiration and replied 13 years. They laughed together for a moment or two jokingly talking about the names Tom and Tammy as “TnT”.
Sadly her manager put a NO PHOTO OPPS FOR ANYONE..... So I wasn't aloud to take a photo with her.. I begged him knowing that ABC would need the photos to finish the story.. but they wouldn't budge... It was devastating.. I didn't know what to do.. I told her manager if I didn’t take any photos then ABC’s George Pennacchio wouldn’t believe that I was even here. He said that if ABC would have contacted them prior to maybe something could have been worked out... But beings that this whole story was rushed that didn’t happen.
He allowed me to get a couple of photos signed for myself and included one for George.
The manager’s reasoning behind the NO photo opps was that if he let me take a photo with her after he put the no photo opps out then a tabloid would get a hold of the story and smear her name showing favoritism...
Now being back here in California I have my great memory of being able to go on a whirlwind journey which included seeing the greatest star in the entire world and how Tom and I were able to see her and visit with her for 20 minutes... and that was worth the whole total trip.
March 21, 2017 J Harold Watson is continuing to say: I was 16 years old when The Monroe's debuted. For a lonely teenager from a divorced home, no siblings, and a very sick mother, I waited anxiously for Wednesday evenings at 8PM when I could transport myself into that wonderful family and become "Harold Monroe" for 1 hour each week, a brother in between Kathy and the twins! At age almost 67 know and in poor health, I honestly believe this show literally SAVED MY LIFE back then. I don't know how much time I have left on this planet, but I take the beautiful memories which The Monroe's gave me, with me wherever I go! May God Bless each and every one of you: Michael Anderson, Jr. (Clayt), Barbara Hershey (Kathy), Keith and Kevin Schultz (Big and Little Twin) and, of course, the beautiful Tammy Locke (little Amy)
Below is a photo of J Harold Watson otherwise now known as Harold Monroe :-)
None the less, that doesn’t stray from the fact that a man to whom I never knew before just a month ago and that is not in good health at all and that is in and out of the hospital more than you or I can imagine and experiencing his own hard times, got in touch with me through Facebook to tell me that no matter what, my dream was gonna come true regardless. That I was going to go see my on screen mother Ann-Margret. And I did. What a wonderful memory.
Dear Lord in Heaven, Please watch out over my friend Harold. He so graciously reached into his heart with kindness and generosity to make someone’s dream come true. I ask you this in Jesus name, Amen…..
My name is Tammy Locke and I as you all know as a little girl I was a Former Child TV and Movie Star. I want to tell you about a man that I met on Facebook. His name is J Harold Watson. Before just a week ago I had never even known his name or who he was until now. I am humbled and amazed at the incredible generosity that this man extended without a blink of the eye even in these terrible economic times as they are right now. You hear horrible stories on the news all of the time on how desperate people get and the things that they do that makes one think to themself "How did it get so bad that there were no other choices that life had to offer other than that!
You see I too am a product of these hard economic times. I’ve been personally out of work for over 2 years and believe me it’s been pretty challenging. But we pray! We pray that the Lord will find it in his good grace to help us and guide us in the right direction. And give us unending courage to say we can beat this! We CAN do this!! We never give up hope that things "Will" get better!! You must have “Faith” because without it, life would be much much harder.
Over a couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend of mine by the name of Wayne Schulman. He is a huge fan of Ann-Margret. He mentioned that she would be signing for her very first celebrity autograph show ever. You see, when I was 6 years old I was blessed to have had the honor to have played Kathy Pedak daughter of Kristine and Eddie from the movie “Once a Thief” Kristine was played by Ann-Margret and Eddie was played by Alain Delon. So I’m sure you probably know just how much I wanted to go see Ann-Margret when Wayne told me. More than you’ll ever know! But I knew that deep down in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to go due to the financial downfall that our family has experienced these past couple of years.
My father just recently passed this past April but as a little girl he always taught me (2) very important things and they were “Can’t got stuck in the mud and its still there” Meaning “I can do anything I set my mind to” and “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know” I value these words, these powerful statements, meanings, codes that I hold dear to my heart and in my life.
I knew it was a long shot but why not I said? After all my dad said if you don’t ask you’ll never know. I joined Facebook some time back and people from all over America have been keeping in touch, lending an ear and sending big hugs when you need it at times, even in their current situations of life. And Praise God these were always things that you needed at one time or another.
On everyone’s Facebook webpage there’s a place that says “What are you feeling?” And that is where you enter your current thoughts of whatever’s going on. And let me tell you, they do!!
It has been a dream of mine to reunite with Ann Margret, my movie mother even if it was for a minute or two for a simple hello, how are you and hug with photo. Not just for me but for my 12 year old son Robby too. Because someday when he’s grown up and able to appreciate more of life he will look back on this and say “My mother was a somebody in the great world of show business” And he will look at all of my photos and reflect back, maybe even say an “Aaaahhhh or two” possibly even share them with his close friends. That’s the reason why, along with my own selfish reasons, why I want this time to mean something.
And if this happens to turn out to be her only appearance I knew that this would probably be my only chance to go. So I chose this opportunity with Facebook’s “What are you feeling” box…. And half jokingly entered the question “Does anyone have freequent flyer miles to give away? “. I am humbled and amazed that even in these economic times there was. His name is J Harold Watson of Washington DC. He responded to me with “How many do you need and for which airline?
I was overwhelmed with his question but with an open mind and hopeful heart I checked into it. It was a minimum of 25,000 on up to 50,000. So I sent that information back to him. That very day he sent another message saying “If you and your husband want to give me a call I would like to suggest something to you. I mean no harm no foul and I am completely honorable.”
Well long story short, he has made my dream come true. And I am going to see Ann-Margret in Parsippany, NJ at the Hilton’s Chiller Theatre on October 31, 2009…
What a wonderful man!!! I love you J Harold Watson!!