Rhonda, Carol Burnett, Brian, after the show
For most of my childhood and into my teen years, Carol Burnett "visited" my home each and every Saturday night via television. As welcome as she was in my house and in my life, I never could have guessed that all these years later, she would have a vital role in giving me a brand new sister and a new name in my family tree.
One evening in early April, I received an unexpected telephone call from my brother, Brian, telling me he had something exciting to tell me. He explained that he and his beloved, Rhonda had purchased tickets to see Carol Burnett in her personal appearance at Indiana University. As if that was not big enough news, he went on to tell me that he had had a brilliant idea. He was going to use the occasion to propose to Rhonda and he had managed to include Miss Burnett in his "sneaky" plan. He had spoken to a contact at the university who in turn put him in touch with some of Carol's staff and to them made his request. After several phone calls, he received the news that Miss Burnett was thrilled to be a part of the event.. So, the evening was carefully coordinated. They were to be seated close to the front. When the "audience questions" portion of the show began, he was to be called upon, at which time he was to "pop the question". He had to come up with an explanation as to why they suddenly had seats in the front row, rather than their original places, but he told Rhonda that he had found these much better seats on an online auction website. On the 18th of April, when the appointed question time came during the show, Brian raised his hand and Carol inquired as to whether or not he had a question. His answer was "Yes, I do have a question, but not for you." At that time he asked Rhonda to stand up and he dropped down to one knee. Miss Burnett then performed her famous "Tarzan yell" for the crowd as Rhonda joyfully said "Yes" and the crowd cheered. Thankfully, there was a kind person in the crowd who took photographs! Afterward, they were escorted backstage to meet with the lovely and gracious Carol Burnett and they of course, invited her to their wedding! Brian and Rhonda were married on 23 July, 2011 and I gained not only a new sister, but a great new story for "Genealogy and Me". Isn't it cool the way that works?