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When I was a kid, I was madly in love with David Cassidy from The Partridge Family. Some childhood crushes never die and in some cases they are referred to as obsession – or stalking as you get older. I was pretty busy pursuing stardom in Hollywood back in the eighties, but not so busy that I could not became diverted by a picture that I saw of David Cassidy in The “Star” magazine in 1987. I had not thought about David Cassidy in years but he looked incredible in his blue silk suit and I decided it was finally time to meet this man. I went down to The Screen Actors Guild and got his manager’s address and sent him my two best seductive head shots that would almost assure me a date with anyone. I made up some lame story about how I was looking for a producer for my band since he was producing now. I pretty much just mailed it and went on to something else not really expecting a response. About two months later, to my surprise, David Cassidy called me. One of his first questions was asking me how tall I was. I told him 5’5” and he was very pleased as I later found out so I would not be taller than him. We made small talk and he said that he wanted to meet me. One slight problem was that between the time I mailed my letter to him and the present time, I had become engaged. I really went back and forth about it whether I should go out with him but I finally decided I would and told my fiancé that he might help produce our band. I just had to do it. I felt like I would always regret it and would have always wondered what would have happened if I didn’t go. I knew I would not sleep with him and I never kiss on the first date so I felt good knowing nothing would happen and I could still be faithful to my boyfriend.

As I prepared for my date with destiny, to this day, I can still see my fiancé fuming as he sat in my ‘Lazyboy’ chair as I was getting dressed to meet David, snarling: “You just watch, he’s going to try to make a move on you! He’s probably going to make you try on some skimpy costume!”  I just laughed and said he was being ridiculous and that it wasall just business… even though deep down inside I could barely contain my excitement to meet my teen idol.


David picked me up next door at The Copper Penny Restaurant since I did not feel it was appropriate that my fiancé answer the door. David pulled up in his silver Porsche and we drove to a Mexican restaurant there in Toluca Lake. He immediately became disappointed when he tried to order some wine and found out I did not drink. He went on to tell me how amazing it was that he received my letter since he gets thousands of letters through his fan club all over the world. (I guess the pictures with my measurements helped!) After he had some wine, he showed me the movie lot where ‘The Partridge Family’ house was located and then we went to another bar in Encino near his house. It seemed like he wanted people to recognize him. Whenever we entered a room, he would start jerking his head swiftly around to cause attention until people would notice his erratic movements and then recognize him. After kicking back a few more drinks and  trying again in vain to get me to indulge in alcohol, we finally left the bar and drove up a long, winding road through some gates to a driveway where his big white house sat on top of the hill. We went in and then sat in the kitchen and he played some of his new music and he told me he had lost almost everything he owned to drug use some years back. He told me that guys play guitar because it is like having a big “Dick” they can play with. He talked about his love for his family and that is when I asked him if it was true about him being engaged to someone named Susan (it was). “No, she’s just a pal I write music with,” he replied. We then proceeded up the staircase to an all-white room, complete with white fur on the walls and white shag carpeting. That’s where he then whipped out the skimpy costume complete with 6” red stiletto heels. He asked me to try it on to get some ideas for my career. I politely declined and said I could never part with my cowboy boots when I perform onstage. (What can I say; it was the 80’s Bon Jovi era!) Things were just not progressing with his plans of seduction for the night so we went back downstairs. I went and sat on his couch in the living room. He sat on the floor facing me and started talking to me. All of a sudden, he started getting closer… then a little closer, then he took my hand in his… closer he came with my heart beating erratically inside my throat with every movement of his in my direction… “I’m very attracted to you, Sally,” he said as he moved in, even closer. I was really starting to panic; I was confused, nervous, my mind raced wildly. Here was David Cassidy, the fantasy of my childhood dreams, on his knees, holding my hand, telling me he was attracted to me. His lips were now within inches of mine right in front of me so at the last second, I did the only logical thing any insane person would do before our lips met: I quickly reached into my purse and whipped out my pack of Dentyne gum. “Do you want a piece of gum?” I asked. “No thanks,” David replied as he backed down. He was clearly irritated now. It was obvious he was never going to get anywhere with me so he finally gave up and took me home. It was a quiet ride home. I must admit that my image of him was a little shattered. He drank a little too much and seemed a little bit too conceited. But that did not stop me from having the nerve to ask him if we were going to go out again as I was getting out of the car. I think he said “sure” but it was obvious he just wanted me to hurry up and get out of the car. I can’t really blame him. I wasted the guy’s whole night just to satisfy my curiosity with a date with my former teen idol.


When I got back to my apartment, it was really late but my fiancé was waiting at the door. The conversation went something like this: “So, did you play dress up with David Cassidy?” he smirked. “Yes – I mean no, I mean I could have, but I didn’t,” I replied. “What?!? You mean he actually asked you?!?” “Well, sort of, but we just talked.” I replied. “Yeah, sure you did!” he went on. “Well, you told me to go!” I defended. “Well, I didn’t think you would!” he shot back. I was interrogated the rest of the night until things finally cooled down but never really did reveal the truth that David actually did pull out the skimpy lingerie.


I heard some time after that David had married his ‘pal’ Susan. I often wonder if my frustrating date was what finally helped him make up his mind to get married. I probably pushed him to it!

As time passed, my fiancé left me for some girl at his office anyway so I was glad I went out with David Cassidy.

I was always one to follow my dreams. And in this case, my dream date with my childhood heart throb, teen idol of millions… Keith Partridge.  R.I.P David Cassidy – I will miss you!

-Sally Steele


DSC00228I went on vacation in Catalina Island for three days and as luck would have it, The Catalina Film Festival had just started the day I arrived. Being a new film maker myself, I was very intrigued to cover this event and perhaps learn some new rules to the game. So early in the morning of Thursday September 28th, I hiked up to City Hall to find out more information on the festival. Upon arriving, I met Eric sitting in a Golf cart. Eric was an actor and was a volunteer for the festival. Eric drove me to the office to find out about getting press credentials so I waited for JP Petrini to arrive from Modern PR. JP Petrini took care of granting me a one day pass to cover the festival so I was off and running!

I went down to rent a bicycle as planned to get around the island that day and got started for the day’s excitement!

The day before I signed up for the festival, I saw a man turning the corner of the street:  He looked like a rugged version of Brad Pitt with big blue eyes, carrying a well worn brown bag for a suit case. He came around the corner like a suave debonair Steve McQueen straight out of a western. I thought this guy was uncommonly good looking and thought he must either be an actor or a gigolo!

Adding to the interest of the festival, there was a media summit the day I was covering the event called; “Getting Scene: The Art of Promoting and Selling Your Film/ TV Pilot.” – Now here was something I was anxious to attend! So upon arriving to City Hall for the summit, I was met with my rugged Brad Pitt/ Steve McQueen figure from the day before. His name was Geoff Boucher and he was the moderator for the panel. Geoff was a journalist/ author and entertainment reporter. He had a great sense of humor and I could not believe for the life of me, why this guy was not a movie star! On the media summit panel joining him was Stuart Alson from ITN Distribution, Roland Rojas from BidSlate and Hand in Hand Entertainment, Alan Brewer a Film Producer and Kathryn, a photographer and media journalist. Stuart Alson was definitely a man who had all the answers!  A great looking panel if I would say so and very informative!

The film screenings took place later that night and I started off with films at the ACC Theatre. I just wasn’t getting these films. They were slow and depressing and kind of dark. So I made my way up to the Lancer Theatre and found myself thoroughly entertained by all the films up on the big screen. I was disappointed I had not made my way up there earlier for the start of what seemed to be epic short films. Many of the directors and cast were there in attendance and I was able to grab some photos of them on the Red Carpet when they exited the theatre just before the Wes Craven Horror-Thriller Block of films took place.DSC00231

And did I mention I was riding a bicycle for the first time in 20 years?!? What fun it was with the wind in my hair and exploring the island on two wheels!

The Catalina Film Festival was in its 7th year this year and  the festival in such a beautiful place made this one of the most memorable experiences of my life! I hope to see both Catalina and The Catalina Film Festival again next year! Thank you for making the trip with me Rocky Burnette!

– Sally Steele






The scene of the most horrific night in Las Vegas sits empty like a ghost town more than a month after the Las Vegas shootings.  But the memories of that night still haunt me every time I go to The Strip and where I was that night. I arrived at the Luxor which is right beside the Mandalay Bay at 10:20 pm the night of October 1st, 2017. I was right there when it all started and just didn’t understand what was going on at first. I was parked at a stop light across the street from the festival and the  Las Vegas Strip was deserted. There was a man and woman running really fast across the street and I thought they were just in a hurry to get out of the festival before the traffic jam. I assumed the concert had just finished since the Las Vegas Strip was empty and there was only my car, a bus and another car sitting beside me at the light. But I could hear sirens everywhere from every direction. I saw a lot of police lights over at the festival so when the light changed, I turned left on the Strip thinking I didn’t want to go and get in a traffic jam from the festival. It was at that moment I stopped in the street deciding which way to go because it looked like the intersection up ahead was completely blocked with ambulances and police cars. I was getting ready to turn right towards the festival but then I saw a cab squeeze through the corner of the intersection. I proceeded to where hundreds of ambulance and police were in the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana. I thought:” This must be some hell of an accident” but when I passed the intersection there were no wrecked cars and just hundreds of more sirens surrounding me. I then pulled into the Tropicana parking lot where complete chaos was taking place. A woman asked me if I could put someone in my car who had just been shot and take them to the hospital. I just looked at her like she was crazy and said; “What?” Then she started yelling at me saying “Some people are just so unhelpful!” I thought it was just a civil matter between a husband and wife or something so I didn’t want to get involved and could not understand why people were in such a hurry and running from the festival. But just then, a fire /paramedic truck pulled up in front of me and told me to park it and loaded the injured person who I was asked to take into the back of the truck and assisted her. There were guys with cowboy hats waving groups of people to hurry and cross the street yelling: “GO! GO!” but they weren’t stopping the cars coming from the other direction and they were directing them right into on-coming cars and everyone almost got mowed down. One of the men started yelling at me to move but I just listened to the paramedic and did what he told me to do and directed me around the other way around the fire truck after a few minutes. I called Rocky Burnette and said: “Rocky, turn on the TV – there’s something going on here”. Rocky turned on the television and said there was nothing on there but then he said “….Wait – it just came on – shooting in Las Vegas, one person dead.” Cars were driving crazy and people were leaping into pick-up trucks and trying to get away as fast as they could. A car darted out of the MGM like it was on fire right into on coming cars. I let some girls who were hysterical jump in my car and I asked them what was going on. “Lock the car doors! Drive!” they said.They were terrified and told me that they thought there were fireworks going off at the show at first before they started running and lost their friends. We found their friends running on the street with the crowd and they got in my car and they all hugged and cried and I drove them to Planet Hollywood. They told me to go home and lock the door. I said “No way” and said people needed rides.  I was very afraid. I took some scared kid home but I made him put his backpack in the front seat because early reports said there were terrorists on the loose. We were both on the phone to our mothers during the drive. My daughter kept texting and calling me that there was a bomb and they were shooting up Circus Circus and that I needed to come home. But I had people in the car so I just kept driving. I picked up a man and a woman at the I Hop and I told them to get in but I might have to pick other people up along the way. They were watching television at the restaurant and were really scared and begged me not to pick up anyone else. The man said if I drove them straight to their hotel he would give me all the money in his wallet which he said was about $45. I spent the rest of the night until 5am driving displaced people from the Thomas and Mack. The Thomas and Mack acted as a temporary triage center for the injured and all the hotels on the Strip were on lock down and no one had anywhere to go. Shuttle buses were bringing hundreds of people there and every time I pulled into the parking lot I would be surrounded by people and the police would ask: “Are you open?” and I would load up. There were hardly any cars to help anyone there. I drove one guy to his friend’s house and he said that he got on the elevator at the Mandalay Bay to come down and see what was going on. When the elevator doors opened, he had rifles in his face from the SWAT team who ordered him: “Get down on the ground!” as they padded him down for weapons before sending him out of the hotel on to a shuttle bus. So many stories, so upsetting.

I woke up the next day and I turned on the television to see the horror and number of deaths and injured in full scale – then it hit me all at once. I started crying and feeling so helpless and upset. I felt the immense grief from the victims of families.I felt such guilt I didn’t do more. A week after the massacre, I drove around to the back street where the concert had taken place. Fences were torn up and bent down that desperate people tried to get over to get out of the festival. There was a parking  lot that had a sign that read “Festival Check In”. In that lot there were about 15 cars: A few pickup trucks, one with a horse trailer and some other cars. It occurred to me that these were the cars of victims who would never be returning to them. People who had parked their cars in excitement of a night of music and fun instead of being murdered and wounded. I became guilt ridden for weeks that I didn’t go right towards the festival and put every bloody injured person in the car and rush them to the hospital. I felt such hopelessness and emptiness that I didn’t do more. The car radio just kept saying stay out of the area but I wish I would not have listened to them….I  wish I could have done more…so much more… – Sally Steele #vegasstrong #lasvegasshooting