Posted by: simplyelizabeth | January 30, 2009

Flashback Friday!

And here we are again.  Yay!  Today’s edition may not be a memory for you, but it’s a huge one for me.

Lately on Facebook there has been a join along exercise called 25 Random Things.  It’s kinda fun to see what others write.  I did mine and then remembered other things I could have put down that are fun, little known facts. 

Thus, the inspiration for today’s Flashback Friday! (said with a booming, deep, echo voice)

Are you ready?  I’ve got one word for you.

Menudo!  (you should now be hearing little teenage girl screams in the background)

What do you mean you don’t know about Menudo?  I think everyone should know or have known about Menudo.

See, I grew up raising and showing dogs.  My family and I traveled all over the midwest on weekends going to dog shows from late March through October or so.  While showing dogs, I participated in Jr. Showmanship.  This was/is a competition for kids and teens where you are judged on your ability to show your dog in a professional manner.  If you get a certain number of  wins (1st place) in one year, you qualify to show at Westminster Dog Show in their Jr. Showmanship competition.  At the time it was a great honor.  (I’m going to assume it still is, but I’ve been out of that loop for so long I won’t bet the farm on it.)

Yours truly qualified when she was in the 7th grade.  The kennel club we belonged to had never had a jr. showman qualify before so they decided to celebrate by buying my plane ticket.  I was soooooo excited.  I was going to New York City to show at the Westminster Dog Show!  WooHoo!

It takes place in February (in fact it’s coming up soon) so it meant I had to miss a few days of school.  The experience was worth it.  My mom and both of my grandmas went with me.  We had never been before, but were traveling with friends who went every year.  We stayed in the same hotel they did.  I remember it was called The Roosevelt.  It sounds a lot more ritzy than it was.  The hotel had been around for a long, long time because there were instructions on the walls in the hallways on what to do in case of an air raid – no joke.  They had not changed the wall paper since WWII.  It was clean though. 

So now we’re coming to Menudo. 

When the taxi pulled up in front of our hotel, there were hundreds of teenage girls camped out in the front.  Most of them looked Hispanic.  We asked the cabbie what was going on and he said that Menudo was staying at this hotel and they were playing at Carnegie Hall within a couple of days or so.  None of us knew about Menudo, so he told us it was an all boy band from Puerto Rico and they had a huge following – thus the teenage girls all around. 

We stayed there for 3 or 4 days and I became increasingly interested in Menudo.  One morning I was downstairs eating breakfast with one of my grandmas and a girl approached me to ask if I was staying in the hotel.  I told her I was and she wanted to know if I had seen “them”.  I told her I hadn’t.  She knew what floor they were staying on and told me.  I was immediately on a mission.  I mean, with all this excitement going on around me and the girls literally camped out on the sidewalks in front, I HAD to find out about these guys.  I was determined  to do so when we got back from the show later that night. 

Aside – The room we stayed in was the floor above and one over from where the Menudo boys were staying.  We would frequently hear screams of girls because the boys would lean out their windows to wave to the adoring fans below.  One evening one of my fellow jr. showmanship friends was with us because her mom had an event to attend in the evening.   Her name was Christa (I often wonder what happened to her) and we liked to be silly together.  We thought it would be great fun to lean out our hotel window and see if we too could get some screams.  We did and we did.  It was a hoot.  It took the girls below a little bit to figure out we we waving from the wrong floor.  We laughed about that for a long time.

OK – so we’re back from the show and I have run my mother into the ground with “let’s go to the floor that Menudo’s on – please, please, please”.  She had no choice other than to succumb to my wishes.  She was sure that the elevator would probably not even stop at that floor and if it did, we probably wouldn’t be able to get off. 

We got on the elevator and went down a floor.  The doors opened and I’ll be gosh darn if they weren’t all sitting in front of the elevators ordering pizza to be delivered. Really.  My eyes fell upon these totally hunky (well, now come on, I was not quite 13) well tanned Puerto Rican teenage gods.  I stepped out of the elevator and in a very meek voice said, “Can I have your autograph, please?”  Ricky Melendez (I found out later that was his name) said, “Yes, of course.”  I had to be grinning from ear to ear and I was holding my legs tightly together so as not to have an accident in all the excitement.  He got up and walked away, which confused me, but came back with their American debut album.  They all signed it, I almost fainted, we got back on the elevator and went back to our room and I didn’t sleep that night at all.

Oh yeah!  Why do we get so much satisfaction out of our mother’s being wrong?  Is that in itself wrong?  No – it’s like sweet necter.  🙂  I’m pretty sure my kids feel the same way.

At that time in the group there was Ricky Melendez, a Charlie, a Roy, a Ray and a Robby.  The group is constantly rotating boys in and out.  They have to leave the group when they turn 16 or their voice changes.  Charlie was the first to leave the group I met.  He was replaced with, well, you may know this next one.  His name was Ricky Martin.  Truly, truly I tell you my friends. 

That was my brush with greatness and Menudo.  I was so turned on by the experience that I bought some of their Spanish speaking albums.  That’s right, I said albums, vintage vinyl.

Have any of you ever heard of Menudo?  Do you remember that in between Saturday morning cartoons there was Menudo on ABC?  Ahhhh.  I sure liked looking at them.

Robby is in this video.  My bestest buddy at home, Jodi, fell in love with Robby.  I think she even bought an album in Spanish too. 🙂 

If you’re not here, I cry too. 

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

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Responses

  1. WOW! I don’t believe I have ever come into contact with real celebrities!! How exciting for a teenager – then or now!

  2. What an exciting story!!! I barley remember them. But I to took great joy in proving my mother wrong, oh I still do!! 🙂

  3. I have a really good friend who grew up in Puerto Rico and then lived in Miami. He actually TRIED OUT for Menudo!! He has the looks, can sing like a mad person and from what I hear, his moves aren’t half bad either. 🙂

    His biggest mistake was confessing that to me. I “spilled” his little secret during choir practice on time and he’s yet to live it down!!!

  4. I SOOOO remember when that happened! Once again, proving that you were the bless granddaughter I was destined to be the normal kid that never got to do anything.

    ;^)
    -d


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