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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Louis Bia recently met one of his idols, Barbara Eden

  • Louis Bia, Lawrence, formerly of  Pittsburg, had a dream come true Nov. 3 when he attended a performance at the New Theater Restaurant in Overland Park and saw “Social Security,” a show starring actress Barbara Eden.

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  • Louis Bia, Lawrence, formerly of  Pittsburg, had a dream come true Nov. 3 when he attended a performance at the New Theater Restaurant in Overland Park and saw “Social Security,” a show starring actress Barbara Eden.
    A devoted fan of  country stars such as Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, Bia has also been a fan of Eden, who starred in the classic TV comedy “I Dream of Jeannie.”
    An artist as well as a singer, Bia created many original sketches of his idols, which he had the pleasure of presenting to them. For this occasion, he made an 18-by-20-inch sketch portrait of Eden, and asked a waiter at the theater if he could take it  to the actress.
    “The waiter thought the gift was awesome and went and got the manager,” Bia said. “She was impressed by it, too, and she said that as soon as the play was over, she could escort us to Barbara’s dressing room area if I wanted. Well, of course I said that would be just fine.”
    Though Eden is now 78, Bia reported that she is still lovely and looks much the way she did on TV.
    “I almost called her Jeannie,” he said. “She really liked the sketch I did and  was very sweet and gracious to us, signed our theater programs and then took pictures with us. I told her that if I had known I was going to get to meet her, I would have brought her new autobiography, ‘Jeannie Out of the Bottle,’ and she said she would have been glad to sign it. Before leaving, she invited me to come back the next day to her final performance of the play.”
    A Girard native who attended Girard High School and Pittsburg State University, Bia launched a singing career in 1986, when he received a video audition for the “You Can Be a Star” TV program. He was chosen as one of 150 people to participate in the show’s 1992 season.
    He loves country music, and in 1999 recorded his first album, “ Nearness of You,” a collection of country songs. He later switched to songs like those Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin did in the 1950s and 1960s and recorded another album, titled “Yesteryear.”
    He also performed around the Pittsburg area, while working his day job as a hair stylist/cosmetologist.
    Bia moved to Lawrence around 2001.
    “I still sing on stage every now and then, but hardly very often,” he said. “There really aren’t any venues in this area, actually. It is too much a college town and they are geared to that type of music which I do not like nor sing.”
    The good news for his fans is that he still sells his recordings out of the Hairport Salon where he works in Lawrence.
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