Meeting Vanna Makes 94-Year-Old Man's Wish Come True
Byline: Jamie Sotonoff
With a smile that exuded pure joy, Percy Swanson bragged to his friends.
"I had her right here!" he said, pointing to the inside of his arm.
Friday night - as a surprise to Swanson - the 94-year-old Woodstock resident got to meet, hug and briefly chat with his dream girl, "Wheel of Fortune" letter-turner Vanna White.
Slightly flustered by the surprise and the swarm of cameras that followed him onto the "Wheel of Fortune" set at Navy Pier, where they're taping 15 new shows this weekend, Swanson suddenly found himself face-to-face with the woman he religiously watches on television every weeknight.
"I've watched you for 25 years," Swanson said to Vanna.
"Well, I appreciate that!" she beamed back.
After a little nervous chit-chat and photo ops, Swanson returned to his seat with an expression of both shock and happiness.
"That was pretty good," he said with a chuckle.
The meeting took place during a break, and is not expected to air as part of the show.
Swanson's surprise was arranged through the Twilight Wish Foundation, a non-profit group that makes seniors' wishes come true, whether it involves meeting celebrities or getting a new set of dentures.
The jig was to let Swanson think he was only going sit in the live studio audience with a group from his nursing home, Hearthstone Manor in Woodstock.
Even before he met Vanna, Swanson was clearly having the time of his life. …