Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008 | 2 a.m.
Sherri Henderson, far right, takes a photo of Bette Midler during the VIP red carpet event for “The Showgirl Must Go On” outside Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas earlier this year. Henderson was carrying a purse with Midler’s photo on it that she had made specially for the event.
“The experience was absolutely fabulous. I don’t really fly well, so let’s just say it was worth the trip. The show was magnificent. She was everything I expected her to be and more. ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ — how can you top that?” Henderson said later from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she owns an advertising business. “All the paparazzi were ahead of us on the red carpet, so it was difficult to get pictures of her.
“When she was leaving the party I saw her leave with her bodyguards. So I went after her actually and I said, ‘Hey, Bette, how about a picture with the little people?’ She just froze in her steps and turned around and looked at me and she goes, ‘Yes, get over here with that cute purse!’ Then I handed my camera to one of her escorts or bodyguards. He was going to take our picture and the lens wasn’t open. So Bette said, ‘You need to open it.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to do that.’ So I went over and opened it, and I turned around and said to her, ‘Oh my God, don’t leave. This is the chance of a lifetime!’ And she said, ‘I’m not going anywhere.’ She was just delightful. So then the guy said, ‘Say cheese.’ And I did, like an idiot.
“It was exciting. I’m from Iowa. We just don’t get that kind of stuff here.
“So now I’ve got her pictures hanging downstairs next to my bar. She made it to my wall of fame.” (Other members of the wall include Kenny Loggins, TV reporter Bob Woodruff, the staff of “Good Morning America,” Kelly Ripa, Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold.)
“I’m gonna have Bette on a mouse pad here shortly.”