He's the one that she wants
HOOPESTON – Since she was 12 years old, Shelly Snyder has been hopelessly devoted to John Travolta.
So when the actor asked her for a kiss during a taping of the "Oprah Show," Snyder went into a state of shock.
"I about died," said Snyder, a Hoopeston native and pharmacy technician at Hoopeston Community Memorial Hospital. "I was shaking so badly."
The show was taped last week and aired Tuesday, featuring Travolta and three other film stars, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, who star in the new movie, "Wild Hogs," to be released March 2.
Snyder's friend, Megan Braden of Hoopeston, has been to the Oprah show several times. On Oprah's Web site, she noticed a call for Travolta fans. Braden e-mailed producers about Snyder being a big fan of the actor. The show responded, asking for pictures.
And pictures she sent. One was of Snyder and her husband, Stan Snyder, dressed for Halloween as John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the movie, "Grease."
"They wrote back and told us they have tickets for us," Snyder said.
The day of the show, Snyder and Braden went to a private screening of "Hog Wild" in a Chicago movie theater with the rest of that day's Oprah audience, and then were bused back to the show's studio.
"I figured we would just be in the audience," Snyder said, but the two were elated to learn their seats were in the front row.
"I was so excited about that. I knew I'd start crying," said Snyder, thinking about how close she'd get to Travolta. "I was all nervous."
Show staff prepped them about questions they might be asked by Oprah, and then put a microphone on Snyder.
"Then I got real nervous," she said.
Staff then whisked her and two other audience members backstage for makeup.
"They didn't want us shiny on camera," she said.
Travolta was the first of the four film stars to come out, and within the first five minutes of the show, Oprah recognized Snyder as one of Travolta's biggest fans. Oprah asked Snyder about the Halloween costumes of Travolta and Newton-John.
"He was Danny, and I was Sandy," Snyder told Travolta from her seat in the front row.
Snyder will never forget what happened next.
"Can I have a kiss?" Travolta asked Snyder.
"Then I about died," she said.
Travolta walked over to Snyder, kissed her on the cheek, hugged her and then had to ask if she was OK.
"I was shaking so badly," Snyder said. "I could hear someone in the back row say, 'Look how bad she's shaking.'"
Snyder said she knew then that she could die a happy woman.
"That was my whole five seconds of fame," said Snyder, who first fell for Travolta in the television show, "Welcome Back Kotter."
But she became a huge fan after she saw "Grease."
"I have loved him forever," Snyder said.
Her husband has been a good sport about it, and Snyder said not only did her husband agree to dress up as Travolta for Halloween, but also he always buys her Travolta stuff.
"He (Travolta) makes it easy for me to buy gifts for her," Stan Snyder said.
He was shocked that his wife actually got to meet and kiss Travolta. It was her lifelong dream to meet the star, he said.
"I think it's really great for her to experience that, but it really didn't do much for me," he joked.