The death of Mickey Rooney Sunday led me to pull out a piece of my own Girl Scout history, a scrapbook from my Wider Opportunity.

Kentuckiana Girl Scout Council sent a group of Senior scouts to Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, Philadelphia, and New York City in August 1982. We stayed at the International Youth Hostel in Washington, enjoyed home hospitality with Colonial Coast Girl Scouts in Virginia Beach, bunked at the Girl Scout Program Center in Great Neck, Long Island, and met other troops at the Nassau Council office.

, Girl Scout History Project
Mickey Rooney and my Wider Opp group. I’m on the far right. Yes, I’m even shorter than Mickey Rooney, and I think I was even wearing heels.

In New York, I saw my first Broadway show: Sugar Babies, an old-time vaudeville review starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller.  We attended the 2 pm Wednesday matinee (seat H107, according to my ticket stub), then went across the street to Luchow’s restaurant for dinner., Girl Scout History Project

There in the restaurant, having dinner, was none other than Mickey Rooney and his lovely wife, Jan. Our leader sent a note to his table, explaining who we were, that we’d just seen his show, and could we get an autograph. When a waiter delivered the note, Mickey waved it over his head and shouted, “You bet!”  He was warm, friendly, absolutely gracious, and gave no hint that he had to get back for another show that night.

That little brush with star power sure made an impression on a girl from Paducah, Kentucky.



2 responses to “Mickey and Me”

  1. Very nice! I, too, went on a Wider Op. After 9th grade. A 3-week trip via Winnebago from Florida to Girl Scout Camp Center West in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Sad that the camp was sold…. Trish ps: sounds like you, too, were fortunate to have adventurous leaders >


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