Last night was surreal. One of the few times in my life where I was in the presence of someone who to me, is larger than life. Randy Travis – one of 2 voices on the planet that can melt me into a puddle by singing one note, one word, it doesn’t even have to be a real song. He could hum and I would be smitten (the other one is Bing Crosby if you’re wondering). Last night I was happy to hear that he sounded just as wonderful as he ever did.
I first stalked Randy – I mean, met Randy several years ago in Lincoln, NE when he did a radio interview on a local station. I waited for hours in a parking lot across the street from the building where I had a view of all the exits. In hand was my “Storms of Life” record, a sharpie, and a disposable camera. I knew he would have to come out eventually and when he did, I got an autograph and a picture. Yesterday I bought a poster board, blew up that old picture of the 2 of us, and wrote in huge block letters, “Randy, I’ll love you forever and ever amen!” I was hoping he would autograph it before or after the show, however all my craftiness and hard work was in vain when security wouldn’t even allow the sign inside.
Aside from that initial disappointment, the rest of the night was a magical success. I couldn’t control myself as I sang along with the lyrics and bounced up and down in my seat (the older couple sitting next to me probably didn’t appreciate that too much). I thought maybe if the main spot light lifted from Randy’s eyes for a moment, he would be able to see me, his most excited fan, unable to take my eyes off him for a second.
I used to play many of his songs on the out of tune upright piano at Lee’s Chicken years ago. Once after playing, “On the Other Hand,” and honky-tonkin it up a little more than usual, a small, polite, older lady walked up to the piano and said, “That song made me order a beer!” Randy sang through his other all time favorite hits. When he sang “No Hands,” I actually remembered when that song came out on the radio. I was probably 7, but I was entranced by that man’s voice. And last night as he sang in his signature low, baritone, practically un-human octaves, I thought how lucky I was to be there in person.
Although I didn’t get my second autograph from Randy, I’m sure I’ll get one in the future. After all, if I’m one of the few who care enough to stalk – I mean, come see him twice, then certainly a third and fourth time is bound to happen in the future.