- Our award arrived!! -


Witness is a further lucky Vixen, who met him. And since she is a sweetie, she shares her adventure with us; on here and now:

I’d like to offer my journey to Utah for your readers. It may not seem like it all makes sense but it does come together in the end. This was a real adventure and I needed to bring it to you in its entirety. Please stay awake and you will be rewarded!

Three days off from work Wednesday - Friday. Wednesday was spent shopping and last minute internet arrangements. Replaced camera, got son a coat, Pricelined hotel, ordered certificates for Rib City from TV studio, searched off-beat music stores for CDs by guitarist “Buckethead”, figured out which Robert E. Howard book I wanted to be the “special” one.

Wednesday - 9:30 PM
departure - Tempe, AZ. Interesting ride - huge hole in the ground that needed navigated (Grand Canyon). A series of ever-increasing switch-backs through Northern Arizona native land. Spent the driving time listening to the four “Buckethead” CDs I found. His work varies so much and I had to find the right one. If you have heard the new “Guns and Roses” CD he is responsible for the awesome guitar! His own CDs, entirely instrumental (yep - no words), are very difficult to find. More unconventional than the average rock n roller (wears a KFC bucket on his head and a white mask when he performs). Most people may never listen to him if they see his CD covers, web site, or stage persona before giving his work a try. Here are a couple clips that are free from the internet site that promotes his records. These clips are both from Axiology one of the CDs I bought. Ah, found it the perfect gift for the actor's actor would be something by the guitarist's guitarist especially since someone told me the VDO plays the guitar a little himself.

Street sign advertised cow in the road appeared at about 2:30AM, followed by Bambi and his mother at about 4:00AM. Final arrival time to Salt Lake area - 8:30AM and yes I drove it all myself. Not tired and didn’t need coffee - adrenalin in full force. Took some pics at the side of the road.

Waited for the TV station to open to pick up certificates. Talked to the sweetest receptionist who told me my certificates were mailed - to Arizona. Explained that as my certificate request stated I came in for the show from Arizona. She talked to someone who gave me new certificates and both made a big fuss about me coming all the way from Arizona for the show. More about that later..

Time enough to check into hotel, call the American Fork Rib City location to see what time VDO would be there, unpack, shower, change, and head off to find the location. Did not want to risk taking a nap since I had now been up about 28 consecutive hours and if I slept I might miss something! Got to the restaurant early, waited outside for awhile - watching - more police cars than I had seen during my entire drive were now in the parking lot. I wondered why he need that much protection and how much of a zoo it would be. Had a photo of the police cars but you already have that.

Upon entering the restaurant I recognized one of the wait staff guys from the video and let him know how much I enjoyed the video. Our waitress Jill was great and the food was very good! My son and I were seated at the back of the restaurant with me having my back to and my son having full view of the door. I could however see in my peripheral vision that VDO was now seated in the booth right next to our table. My son kept moving his eyes to the booth, flashing his sly grin and saying under his breath “look who it is”. He didn’t need to tell me; I saw HIM and it was all I could do to sit there try and “act casual” and engage my son in conversation as Vincent was being interviewed by someone. Shortly afterward he got up and went outside to sign autographs, take pictures with people or whatever and I though I missed my chance to speak with him.

I then noticed Toni and started up a conversation with her. She thought she recognized my son from somewhere, and I told her we were from Arizona. We got to talking about the youtube video and how nice it was that she got the word out to the right people so some of us would be able to make it there that day. She said she would bring Vincent by the table and make sure we got to meet him since we had come such a long way. She went off outside, about that time so did my son to put our leftovers in the car. I took my son’s seat so I could get a good view of the door. After a while Toni and Vincent came back in and they started to make their way to each and every table at the restaurant. What class from both of them to personally acknowledge everyone in the restaurant. This is where I give props to mama D'Onofrio - she brought them up right!

Our turn and by this time my son was back; Toni told Vincent that we had come all the way from Arizona “really” he said and smiled. I asked him if he would be so kind as to autograph my “Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard” book. I let him know that it was because of him in the “The Whole Wide World” that I became a huge Howard reader. Told him that between Howard’s work and his own I have been provided with countless hours of enjoyment. Ladies, I think you will really appreciate the wording of the autograph and the double entendre that probably only I would get out of it: “To Marsha, I’m so glad I could turn you on to Robert. My Best Always, [his signature].”

Ok, now you tell me - how many of you ladies did VDO “turn on to Robert”? Don’t answer that - if you were turned on to Robert and just haven’t picked up the books yet you are really missing something. I have spent countless hours searching second had book stores for Howard’s out of print stuff. If you don’t particularly like the Sword and Sorcery thing there is always poetry, westerns, horror, countless genres it seems. The list goes on because the man wrote it all in his short lifetime. And if you are wondering if the writings are “full of sex” as stated in the movie the answer is that full of sex in the mid-1930s is very different than full of sex in 2008. I have read the fan fiction on the USA site and some of that has WAY more than you will find in Howard’s writings and that's not even in the 18+ section.

Anyway here is the photo that Vincent was gracious enough to allow my son to take (and yes that's Toni's - also very polite - husband in the background.


At this point of Coyote's report I - Jazzy - asked her the important question:
"What does he smell like? We sooo need an answer!!

Coyote: "Ok Jazzy; just for you I will resort to some creepy behavior. I have not done my laundry yet so I will check out everything I was wearing during the photos I took with him. Somehow I think that is a little less creepy than sniffing him like a hound dog in person - but not much!

Ok best I can tell from my pick sweater and purple blouse there is something that is not related to my cotton candy body spray. Perhaps a cologne with a slight musk undertone? *Rolling Eyes* I really have no idea. Perhaps I can send the garments to the local crime lab for analysis".


7:30PM Thursday
back at the hotel and ready to sleep. Total of 36 hours since I last slept and worried that if I didn’t sleep soon I’d be late and not be able to get into the “Good Things Utah” production. Up by 5:30AM and hung out at the hotel until we decided to go hang out at the studio even though we could not get in until about 9:40AM.

We saw VDO and Toni arrive and go inside and car loads of women arriving constantly. I decided to make the most of my time by calling and checking in with my husband. As I am walking up and down the sidewalk talking to my husband I look up

and VDO comes out of the door!!!

He tries to figure out which way to walk to perhaps gather his composure for the show and not be mobbed. He came in my direction since I was the only one on that side of the building. I looked up, said good morning and we both kept walking in opposite directions while I continued my phone conversation with my husband. Everyone started gathering around the door so VDO went back inside after saying hello to everyone and taking a photo with a group of girls. Then came the chatter of all the women of the various age groups that were there. One group of GenY girls was discussing what show he was on, CSI, no Law & Order, but which one. I let them go on for a moment because I thought it was rather funny and that surely one of them would come up with the answer. Well they never did so I poked my head in the door way and told them for which they thanked me. One of the other ladies my age just shook her head and I followed jokingly with “and if you don’t know the name of the show just why are you here” to which I was met with a lot of giggling.

Once inside I got some photos of the station and the crew getting everything ready.

I am sure you have seen the show via the link that was posted so I won’t go into the details of the show itself other than to say many women kept yelling out

“I love you Vincent”

throughout the taping and off air as well and he dealt with it very graciously. Also if you watch the show clip when they first start to pan the crowd the incredibly bored looking young man with the fur collared jacket is my son. He was just trying to hide out from all the estrogen floating around the room he really did enjoy himself and meeting VDO in person as you can tell by the photo of them together in this post.

Anyway after the cooking segment with Toni the moderator of the show mentioned how busy VDO and Toni were that day and said he could not promise that they would stick around for photos or autographs but they would see what he had time for. I have to tell you that the behind the scenes folks at “Good Things Utah” are a class act as well. The lady that you see with the headphones on in the photo directing the action came out into the crowd and asked “who is here from Arizona?” my son shot up his hand and pointed to us and she asked us to come with her. Well I think some of ladies figured out what was about to happen even though I was clueless because one of them pointed to her friend and said “she’s from Tennessee” to which the director replied “but she came all the way from Arizona just for the show” and escorted us off to outside one of the offices where we could hear Vincent talking.

She motioned to him and he came out into the hall and we all kind of laughed that we had already met at the restaurant the day before. He asked if we wanted another picture and of course we said yes. I took one with him, he then said to my son to come over because they hadn’t taken one together, and then very sweetly asked the director if she could take one with all three of us.

He thanked us for coming all that way and then said he had to be off to the restaurant to which I replied that we would see him there because “I had something for him” to which he replied something like “oh, ok” I’m not really sure because it was hard for me to concentrate. You can probably tell because in my photo with him my eyes were closed. What the heck - I’ll post it anyway.

Here you go:




Oh well, all good adventures come to an end. I have no more photos just some additional text about going to the Sandy restaurant after the show. My son and I left the TV studio and checked out of the hotel because it was rumored that the Salt Lake City area was going to get a good bit of snow over the next five days. Driving one way for 11 hours in the middle of the night is tough enough without snow. VDO was due on whatever set at 6AM on Saturday so the opportunity for further stalking (JUST KIDDING - I would never) was coming to a close anyway. Plus I had to be back in Arizona to actually work at another charity event serving food on Saturday.

We arrived at the Sandy restaurant and found a line waiting for autographs (which Phillipo was probably in but we did not meet). I went inside to give my name for a table because, after all, the proceeds were for charity. Since I was already BBQd out from the day before I went for the fish sandwich. My son is a sucker for any fries with cheese on them, even though he had just eaten his left over chocolate mousse cake from the American Fork Rib City Grill for breakfast, he could still choke down some cheese fries.

This restaurant was busier than the one in American Fork and VDO was out front signing autographs for quite some time. He came in and went into the kitchen just as I was about to go out and talk to him. I finally remembered, after forgetting at the other encounters, that I had something for him and had forgotten it in the car yet again! I went to the car and came back in and he was still in the kitchen with Toni. I spotted Toni’s husband, went over and introduced myself, and asked if I could speak with Toni for a moment. I heard that Vincent was probably getting ready to leave for his flight and I really had to get this to him. Even if he never listens to it!

A few moments later Vincent walked out and up to me while Toni was getting ready to come out of the kitchen. I tried to explain what I had for him but I don’t think I did it rather clearly. What I wanted to say was that since he had given me Robert E. Howard and I heard that he likes the guitar and plays (not sure how much) I though I would give him something that would maybe provide some enjoyment for him. I asked him if he had ever heard of a guitarist name Buckethead he said he had not. I told him that Buckethead’s CDs are really hard to find and I had to listen to the four I bought to find the one I though he might like the most (slower more like jazz than his other harder high end and pitch guitar rifts).

He took it in his hand and then asked “are you giving this to me?” to which I replied “yes”, and he looked at me turned his head a little to the side, smiled, slipped it in his suit jacket pocket and said “thank you”.

Toni had come out and my attention was turned to her as he was walking away to the front and I told her that I really appreciated her getting the word out to Vincent’s fans by allowing the blogs to post the event info and for putting the youtube video of the restaurant up. I thought it was clever and asked if it would be going back up to which she replied no and I told her I understood about the PC thing. I wished her good luck with the restaurants (at least I think I did).

She asked me how she would go about getting the info out that it was received.

Since I don’t keep blog addresses in my head I told her I would let everyone know that

the award was received and how much it was appreciated
She complemented his fans and that we are very nice and respectful.

I told her that is because we can tell that she and Vincent are nice and not self-absorbed people.
She wished me a safe trip home. Again, thanks for the good upbringing mama D’Onofrio - you raised kind, classy, respectful children!

So if any of you are ever in the Salt Lake City area you must stop in to either the Sandy or the American Fork Rib City Grill restaurants for lunch or dinner. Even if Vincent won’t be there you can see some of his movie posters and other items Toni has hanging on the walls and pretend!

It was a joy to travel to Utah to try to give VDO a little something in exchange for his gifts of Robert E. Howard (character and writer), Robert Goren, and the multitude of other characters he has given me. Sometimes we don’t have a full understanding of the impact we may have on others by simply doing our job.

It was also fun to share this with you and hopefully you enjoyed it a little as well. I will use the phrase my Italian grandfather used to say to people to describe the entire experience. It is usually used as a “nice to meet you” greeting. I however mean it in the literal translation a lot of pleasure.

Molto piacere!


  1. Thank you, Thank you!!!! He truly sounds like a lovely man. I'm so happy for you and for you sharing the experience with us... :-)

  2. So exciting, it almost like being there. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences & pictures with us and thanks to Team 13 for putting it all together for us to read.

  3. ~wibble, wibble and thrice wibble~

    And great heaps of gratitude for sharing your experiences with us all!

  4. Thank you so very much. I'm glad it was a wonderful experience and that Vincent turned out to be as gracious and sweet as we all believed, so many stars don't.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  5. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Thanks to Coyote for sharing her wonderful story and pictures. Everything I hear only makes me love him more (which I didn't think was possible).

  6. I've taken the liberty of adding a link to an MP3 by Buckethead for fans who might, like me, be curious to hear him play!

  7. ahem, i've already insert a link to that song! thanks though!

  8. Sorry Jazzy - I don't know why I didn't see that before.

  9. Thanks Coyote :)

  10. Thank You so much for sharing your experience with us..everything you said about meeting the man himself confirms what I always thought about him :-)

    Now, having turned a fetching shade of green I'm going to go and dream for a while LOL

  11. Coyote, I cannot thank you enough for your tremendous storytelling capability! This was truly an amazing and detailed account of your short, but exciting trip! The pictures turned out great! Thanks again for sharing all the wonderful details!

  12. Vincent's portrayal of REH got me seeking out his poetry and I've managed to acquire a couple of limited edition poetry books which are prized possessions of mine.

    It's cool he signed your REH book and that was a great idea of yours

    a great post... thank you

  13. What a wonderful trip to see a wonderful man. You are very lucky - and very generous to share with us.

  14. *silly grining..wiping drool and happy tears..*I can't say ENAF THANK YOUSSS to this jem!!THNAKKK YOUUU!!
    As I thought ALL women LOVEEE Vincent like CRAZY;and more prove that Vincent is one AWSOME SWEET MAN!!

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  16. Thank you! This was a great post. I still have a dorky smile plastered on my face. It was wonderful of her to hsare and thank you too Jazzy and Team 13 for sharing it with us.

    I am still bit green with envy....

    Howard books..that is most of my Christmas wish list! =)


    Dear folks;

    Apparently Phillipo's laptop has developed some serious tech. problem; so he assigned me to the mission of investigating "The Mystery Woman in Sandy Rib City"...!!

    Here's what he had to say about her:

    ..." I'd like to know if anyone was around to see the mystery woman who refused to take a picture with Vince. She handed him a bag that looked like it had flowers in it. I think she made a donation or something she was talking to Ron and another lady and she just walked away, they said "hey don't U want to take a picture" and she said "no thanks, I just wanted to drop this stuff off" and she hopped in a cab and went away.....

    I sure would like to know what her story was. Vince took the big bag and handed it to a military guy who hid it behind a chair or something.

    Can U post the question for me?... I sure would like to know if anyones else saw this womam."...

    We don't intend any -God forbid !- intrusion, let alone invasion of privacy; the whole incident is somehow just "dramatic" -just like one of Vincent's indi films...

    Did anyone see this mystery lady in Rib City, on Friday, Dec. 12 ?

    Have a great weekend;


  18. Coyoteondrake said "My goal in taking that trip was really to cure the obsession that I have seemed to developed for all things VDO. I thought I would come back and think what a waste of vacation to drive 11 hours each way to spend 15 minutes talking to the man and get a few pics. I could not have been more wrong. What a girl gotta do to get a guy out of her head?"

    I found this really, really touching. It means a lot to me, for a whole host of different reasons.