|Banks County Opinions...||
JULY 30, 2003
By: Angela Gary
Last week, I spent an afternoon in an Atlanta area Wal-Mart. I was in the store for more than four hours which surely must be a record. I know a lot of people out there love the store, but four hours is a bit much for even a seasoned shopper.
I wasnt actually shopping although I did buy a CD, a soft drink, some snacks and a magazine. I was in the store to get Brad Paisley to autograph his new CD, Mud on the Tires. Yes, I had seen Brad in June at his fan club party and got a photo and autograph there. And, yes, I had ordered an autographed copy of the new CD from the fan club. I just thought it would be a fun thing to do.
When I called my sister from the line inside the store, she screamed, Youre doing what!!! He wont be there until seven oclock and youre already in line (at 3 p.m.). Yes, I was and no, Im not a teenager, as she kept laughingly accusing me.
As I slowly walked out of the door with stiff muscles and cramps in my legs, I realized that Im not a teenager. Spending hours standing in line and sitting in the floor are obviously more exhausting than I had thought. I felt like I had run a marathon as I stiffly walked through the parking lot.
Kelli Hogan, who went with me, said her legs were sore too. Since shes only 18, I doubt that she felt like I did. I think she was trying to make me feel better as I moaned about how out of shape I am.
There were probably more than 500 people crammed into the boys department at Wal-Mart waiting for a few seconds with Brad. He performed two songs and then got busy autographing. I cant imagine how stiff and tired he felt after smiling and signing his name hundreds of times. He remained smiling and pleasant as the hours passed by. He thanked those who came by and purchased a CD.
I was so stiff and tired by the time I got to the front of the line, that I didnt even care that the batteries in my camera were dead and I didnt get a photo. I was even too tired to consider the irony that I had been sitting in a store surrounded by batteries for hours and could have easily bought some and put them in my camera. It was still an adventure and fun to meet fellow country music fans.
The night after my adventure at Wal-Mart, I headed back to Atlanta for the Brooks-Dunn Neon Circus show. Brad was one of the acts featured in the five-hour show. I sat beside of a nice lady from Ringgold and her granddaughter, Megan, who is a big Brad fan. The granddaughter has many physical difficulties and was in a wheelchair. They had backstage passes to see Brad and left shortly after the first act hit the stage.
Brad usually meets with 20 fan club members, who are selected by a lottery system, before each of his shows. The grandmother said she and her granddaughter are long-time fan club members and had met Brad many times. She said he always remembers her granddaughter and spends time visiting with her.
When they returned to their seats at the show, the grandmother said Brad had asked them to return back stage after his set to meet his wife. Its touching to see big stars take such time and care for their fans.
Ive always been a big fan of Brad, who is multi-talented as a singer, song-writer and guitarist. He is also special to me because of his values and the comments he makes about being a Christian. My experiences over the past week, seeing Brad with hundreds of fans and hearing of his time with a handicapped little girl, only added to my admiration. It is special stars like Brad who make country music so wonderful.
Be sure and get Brads new CD. It is filled with the traditional country music that has made him a celebrity. He has also written more humorous songs that will make you laugh out loud.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.
By: Rochelle Beckstine
Fish for your health
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