Monday, September 27, 2010

Been There, Done That – Strait Talk

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, with Marie Osmond to work at her booth at Fan Fair. One of the extra perks of that trip was attending a series of concerts by my favorite country singers, and an evening spent backstage at the Grand ole Opry!

Marie was co-hosting a music awards show, and the group of us tagged along to enjoy the atmosphere, even though we didn’t see anything of the actual show.

When we arrived in Marie’s oversized “green room,” we found the room “decorated” with used whiskey bottles, beer cans, and empty snack packages on every surface. There were no chairs, and the place smelled like a brewery.

“Who was in this room?” Marie asked the person in charge of getting the celebrities where they were supposed to be.

“Bocephus, himself,” the woman said. “Hank Williams, Jr.”

Figures, I thought.

We tried to move a few of the items into a nearby garbage can, but our efforts didn’t seem to do us much good.

“I’ll send someone in for all that,” the woman said.

“We’ll just wait outside,” one of the other girls with me said.

Marie said she needed to go change into her wardrobe for the show, so the woman took her away, and the rest of us went into the waiting area not far from backstage.

Somehow I ended up holding Marie’s son, Stephen, who was fast asleep. I think he was around two years old. (See, I told you it was a long time ago!) I was sort of rocking him and bouncing him, surprised the child could sleep through the noise and confusion of being backstage during a show. I guess he was used to it after being with his mother constantly on the road.

After several minutes, I heard a sweet-voiced lady say, “What’s you name, honey?”

At first I didn’t know she was talking to me because she was somewhere over my right shoulder. When the woman repeated her question, I turned around to look. I recognized her right away, and I was certain she couldn’t be talking to me.

“Me?” I asked. “Oh, I’m nobody.” I wasn’t a celebrity, and all I was doing was rocking Marie’s baby, so I knew this woman didn’t care to meet me.

“Now, honey, everybody’s somebody,” she said. “I’m June Carter Cash, now who are you?”
I had known she was June Carter Cash without her telling me, and I was stunned that she thought she had to, but I managed to spit out my name. “Umm, I’m. . . I’m Lu Ann Brobst.”

“Well, Lu Ann Brobst,” she said. “It’s nice to meet you.” She stuck out her hand and I gave her mine for a shake. “You have a good time here tonight, okay?”

“Thank you,” I said. “I will.”

She cocked her head and looked at Stephen. “Cute baby,” she said, and before I could say anything more she was gone on stage.

The other girls who were with me sort of huddle around a minute, all of us surprised at home nice June Carter Cash had been to me. A few minutes later, the others had spread back out, sort of making the rounds, trying to see who else they could see.

Soon I realized someone else was standing halfway behind be, head cocked, looking at little Stephen sleeping.

“Why, that’s Marie Osmond’s little boy!” the cowboy drawled.

“Yes, it is,” I said as I turned around and looked right into the face, and hat, of George Strait.

Now, I was thrilled to meet June Carter Cash because she’s a legend, but I was ecstatic to meet George Strait because I was a HUGE fan!

He tipped his hat and introduced himself to me. I gave him my name and shook his hand, trying hard not to wake Stephen in the process. I know I tried to say something that sounded intelligent, but I doubt I was able to succeed.

He reached out and brushed his hand again Stephen’s hair, and said, “See you around,” then he was gone.

It’s a good thing for me, that wasn’t the only time I met George Strait. The next couple of times, I was able to actually say something that made sense, proving that once I got over my stage fright at meeting a big name celebrity, I actually could talk strait!

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