She was 5 years old in a Travelodge in Iowa the first time she saw him.
Janet Lura, now 43, and her family had just moved to the United States from Japan when she flipped on the TV and caught the “Donny & Marie” variety show. It was her first dose of American television, and the show – especially its male co-host – didn’t disappoint.
“I just thought he was it,” she said. “Probably the coolest guy ever.”
And so began Lura’s fascination with former teen idol Donny Osmond. She bought his records and memorized every lyric, lip-syncing them to family and friends.
So this last year has been all the more special for Lura, who has crossed paths with her childhood crush more than once.
Last year, Lura, a buyer at Nebraska Furniture Mart, received a video message from a friend who was attending a furniture market in Las Vegas. It was Osmond, there representing his Donny Osmond Home furniture collection, saying hello.
Then there was another Las Vegas market, and a friend brought back an autographed DVD for Lura:
“Janet, sorry you weren’t in Vegas! Love Donny.”
And then, finally, there was an October 2015 market in High Point, North Carolina. Lura was there. So was Osmond.
“Literally, just seeing him, I started sobbing uncontrollably,” she said.
Osmond showed Lura his furniture collection — describing it as a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll — and chatted with her. They took a photo together. They hugged.
“It was literally the best day of my life,” she said.
The story could have ended there.
But earlier this month, Lura broke her collarbone in a car accident near Nebraska Furniture Mart. She’s still recovering, she said, taking it day by day.
And last week, Lura got a phone call from a sales representative at another furniture market in Las Vegas. Someone wanted to speak with her, the caller said, passing the phone.
“Janet,” a man said. “It’s Donny.”
Osmond asked Lura about the accident and if she was in good spirits. Lura’s fiance, Kirk Snoza, sat nearby and recorded a video as the two chatted on speaker phone.
“I just had to hear your voice and make sure you’re OK,” Osmond said.
“Thank you so much, you totally made my day,” Lura replied.
“You get better fast, OK?”
“I will, thank you so much.”
“OK, see ya Janet.”
Osmond hung up. Lura looked at Snoza.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “That was just Donny Osmond.”