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DORIS DAY NETWORKING! By Mary Anne Barothy, Doris Day’s Former Secretary

As we approach the holidays, starting with THANKSGIVING, I just want to look back and thank some of the people in my life who made a big difference.

First, I need to thank my parents, Rose and Charles Barothy.  They had to put up with me as a committed fan of Doris Day from a young age. They lived through all the Day Dreams  I went through in the late 1960s. It had all started with my seeing Doris in Calamity Jane. From then on it was Doris for me!  I discovered there were others just as rabidly supportive as I was. Our home phone bills were high because I was phoning other Doris Day fans I began to know across the country. We seemed to want to talk about our idol and to be together if we could. Now I realize I was networking  before I even knew what networking was. That term might not have been in use then but we were finding each other and supporting and publicizing the movie star of our choice.

Earlier I had learned about the only official Doris Day Fan Club at that time. It was in  London, England.  Needless to say, I eagerly awaited the quarterly journals they sent out to fans around the world.  There were members of this fan club all over the world. That proved Doris Day’s universal appeal to people from sea to shining sea!  I became pen-pals with fans from England to Australia. One fan in particular I grew attached to was Eileen from Canton, Ohio.  I invited Eileen to stay overnight at my home in Indianapolis on one of her many trips to Los Angeles to be in Doris’s neighborhood. Over a few years we became good friends and Eileen, once she finally decided to move to LA, invited me to come for a visit sometime.  It wasn’t until a few years later on August 15, 1965 that I made my maiden voyage to Los Angeles.  I had written to Doris’s secretary requesting a meeting with Doris, but that was not to be on this first trip.  Despite the ominous headline in the Indianapolis STAR “They are Shooting at Planes landing at LAX”….guess where I was headed? All the contacting with other fans was going to have concrete results.

I was going to the home area of my favorite star! Eagerly I boarded the TWA jet for LA not knowing what to expect once I landed in the Golden State. The fans were going to be the answer, making me welcome.  Eileen and her roommate, Hilda, and another DD fan, Mary Kay, met me at the airport.  We became fast friends and on the way to their apartment, we made a trip to drive by Doris Day’s Beverly Hills home, hoping to see her.  No sighting, but thanks to her secretary, Phyllis, whom I had contacted before I left Indianapolis, we enjoyed a private studio tour of the MGM studios where Doris was filming GLASS BOTTOM BOAT. However, on the day we were “fanning” through MGM, Doris was filming in Catalina Island.  The next day we planned to go to Catalina Island in the hope of seeing Doris.  Just our luck, Doris was back on the set at MGM that day. Fans will go anywhere, do anything to see the hero, heroine of their choice.

The old saying, “Third time’s the charm” worked for me.  On my third trip to LA in 1967, I had the pleasure of meeting my idol.  Doris had written me saying she would join us at Bailey’s, bakery/eatery but no date or time was mentioned. The miniature fan club of that day, Eileen, Hilda, Mary Kay and I camped out every morning hoping to see “The Girl Next Door” enter the bakery.  Finally on my last day we were all sitting in Bailey’s enjoying some coffee and sweets. I purposely sat with my back to the door knowing I would probably pass out if I saw her.  The minutes passed quickly.  Finally, the girls saw a bike outside and then in came my idol.  I was in awe and just so thrilled to finally meet the beautiful lady I had admired since I was 9 years old.  Thanks to Eileen,  Hilda and Mary Kay I had the pleasure of finally meeting Doris Day. The power of fans together is strong indeed!

At the time I had no idea about networking.  All I knew was I wanted to meet and get to know the Lady I had admired since age 9 despite driving my parents and some teachers crazy with my “dream.” I did what I could to get to know her and contact with fellow admirers played a strong role in what happened.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think the BEST was yet to come when I finally moved to LA and Doris asked me to be her private secretary.   Now, when I give talks about my time with DORIS DAY, I encourage young people to follow their dream. Then, que sera, sera.

And while I am thanking people, I need to thank the fans who helped me realize my own dream. My photo, shown in this blog, was taken at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where I was kneeling to see the hand and footprints of Doris.

Click back and order Mary Anne’s book Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Doris Day’s Hollywood and Beyond