ROCK FALLS – Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Godin was working in the lobby at McDonald's on Saturday when she recognized a tall, blond guy who walked in the door.
A classmate? Someone from around here?
Nope, it was Australian pop singer Cody Simpson.
His tour bus was outside. He was headed to a concert in Milwaukee.
"I told him I was a big fan," said Godin, a senior at Rock Falls High School. "I was on a break while I was talking with him. That was the only way I could."
She got his autograph and a photo taken with him during his midafternoon visit.
Afterward, Simpson, 17, tweeted, "Stopped the tour bus into a small town McDonald's & served by a huge fan who cried as I ordered a burger. Haha I love those experiences."
He was referring to Godin.
Simpson, wearing a black T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap, was with a girl about his age. Godin said the girl was Simpson's best friend.
Averie Logsdon, another McDonald's employee, took Simpson's order. He got a burger and a milkshake, she said.
"Rebecca walked by me, and she was crying. I asked her what was wrong. She mumbled something," said Logsdon, a 17-year-old Rock Falls High School senior.
Logsdon said she knows who Cody Simpson is, but didn't realize it was him when she was taking his order. She detected his distinct Australian accent.
"I didn't know it was him until he was gone. It went right over my head," Logsdon said.
Godin wrote on Facebook that Simpson let her have his guitar pick. She called his visit the experience of a lifetime.
"I told him that he can look forward to seeing me at one of his concerts, and he loved that idea," she wrote. "As he was walking out the door, I told him that I loved him, and he said, 'Love to you!'"
When Sauk Valley Media posted a Facebook item about Simpson's visit to Rock Falls, many of the newspaper's older readers wondered why it was even news, adding they never heard of the singer. Dozens commented, taking sarcastic aim at Sauk Valley Media.
"Thank you again, Sauk Valley, for wasting my time," one man said.
Another wrote, "This is front-page news. I would like three copies!"
But a mom had a different take.
"Can't wait to tell my girls! Pretty cool for him to be in our area."