It’s a small world, and by probing the hinterlands we only make it smaller
charlie's angels cast - cheryl ladd
Photo: ABC Television

As we stumble down the sporting road, we never know what hidden doors we may be opening, what unimagined connections and confluences our pursuits with rod and gun are making possible.

It’s a small world, as they say, and by probing the hinterlands we only make it smaller.

This was brought home to me recently when, at a dinner party in honor of a friend’s birthday, I found myself seated across from an attractive woman I hadn’t met before. She appeared to be 60-ish—my age. As usual at these affairs there were a number of conversations going on at once, and at some point I overheard her tell another guest that she’d grown up in South Dakota.

My antennae went up at that—most years I make one and sometimes two trips to South Dakota to chase pheasants and prairie grouse—and when I had an opportunity to engage her directly I said, “I heard you say that you’re from South Dakota. Whereabouts?”

“Huron?” she said, inflecting it more like a question than an answer.

“Oh, sure,” I said. “I’ve been there.”

“You have?” she said, clearly incredulous. “What on earth for?”

“A number of reasons,” I said, “but mostly pheasant hunting.”

“Oh, that makes sense,” she said, nodding. “If you’re a pheasant hunter you’d know Huron.”

“Yeah, I’ve hunted all around there,” I continued. “Wolsey, Woonsocket, Carthage, Desmet …”

She laughed at that. “Wow, do those names bring back memories. All those little farm towns …”

She paused thoughtfully before adding, “A lot of corn, a lot of pheasants, and not much else.”

“Hey,” I said, “don’t sell your hometown short. Cheryl Ladd’s from Huron, isn’t she?”

A sly, bemused smile crossed her face. “Yes, she is,” she said. “My claim to fame, as a matter of fact, is that when Cheryl Ladd graduated from high school I was the next girl to wear her cheerleading uniform.”

What?!?” I sputtered, nearly choking on my Zinfandel. “Did you just say what I think you said?”

“I did,” she acknowledged, laughing again. “Whenever a cheerleader graduated, her uniform was passed down to a new member of the squad. I got Cheryl Ladd’s.”

Cheryl Ladd! The quintessentially wholesome, natural, minty-fresh girl-next-door—if the girl-next-door happened to be a ravishing blonde whose appearance in a bikini was grounds for arrest on a charge of disturbing the peace. The star of dozens of made-for-TV movies, she’s still best-known as Farrah Fawcett’s replacement on Charlie’s Angels, the iconic (if supremely silly) television series about a trio of sexy private eyes.

And now I’d met a woman who’d worn the same cheerleading uniform in which Cheryl Ladd had once shaken her pom-poms. Without putting too fine a point on it, I found this a lot more interesting than I probably should have. But then, I’ve always said that I’m really just a teenager in the body of a middle-aged man …


personally, I always liked her better than Farah...