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A long journey

*Sigh* I can remember this like it was yesterday and I still talk about this to anyone who would listen about the time I went to see Janet Jackson in concert.  Tell me, why on God’s green earth did I have to travel thousands of miles away just to see her? People I live in northeast Texas!

Well, let me start from the beginning.  I received my first computer on September 1, 2000.  That was a Friday.  I was happy as a clam.  And the first place I went to was Janet Jackson chat room where I met the most wonderful Janet fans in the U.S.A.  Each time someone new came into the room, I would greet them with a “hello, nice to met you. . .welcome”  The group made me feel welcomed as well.

Throughout this process, there was one I became extremely close to; we spoke every night.

This young lady lived in Maryland.  Almost a year came around and by August, I was asked to come for a visit and that Janet would be in town, at the time called the Metroplex, I do believe in DC.  So, I called my aunt to make plans to come to Bossier City, Louisiana to catch the plane out to Baltimore, Maryland.  I was extremely excited.  The day before leaving, my friend called and said, “Guess what? I won tickets to an extra show.”  My mouth dropped so it meant going to two shows of Janet Jackson.

Let me back up a bit.  In my writing endeavors, I would write a list of things that I wanted to accomplish within a certain period of time.  And one of those things were to meet Ms. Jackson.  {I was then 15 years old}.  Along with that, I wrote other things down that I wanted to accomplish. . .okay so fast forward to catching the plane.  I was told that Ms. Jackson had booked an extra show on August 16, 2001.  I was a bit sad about it that day because I was on the plane, in the air, on my way to Maryland to meet my friend and enjoy my night of fun.  I became friends with a guy who lived in Maryland as well, but he wasn’t able to make it.  The flight was wonderful and I stayed awake the whole time.

People were looking at me like I was crazy because I had on a Janet Jackson Velvet Rope t~shirt.

Once the plane touched down, I called my friend to let her know that I had made it to the airport safely, and she said that she would be on her way.  We greeted each other with smiles and hugs.  We didn’t want to be late so we drove to DC where she stopped to pick me up some items on the way to the concert.  Inside the concert hall, we stopped at the counter to purchase t~shirts, banners, books and caps.  For the occasion, I made bandanas for the both of us to wear.  I had a green one with rhinestones that read “Janet” in her hand writing that was on the cover of the “All For You” album.  My friend had simply “J.D.J.” on hers which was blue.  I felt like a superstar being there because the friends in the chat room wanted to meet me.

Everyone wanted to know, “where did we get the bandanas?”  My friend told them that I made them special for that night.  The lights went down and the concert began. . .first night, we were seated in the second row where we were visual to the dancers.  I had written to few of the dancers and become friends with them.  Nick Florez {a.k.a. Baby} was dancing and ended up on my side where I was sitting, I pointed at him and didn’t realize he seen me point and he pointed back!  That was the first time I had screamed in the whole night about something.

Ms. Jackson also ended up on that end of the stage~while holding up my sign with my chat room name, she smiled that bright smile, and I snapped a picture.

That was the only picture that didn’t come out.  🙁  Between me and my friend taking pictures, there were 200 pictures taken between us.  The pictures she didn’t have and vice versa, we traded.  The next night of the concert, August 18th, my friend and I were in the third row.  Oh! Did I mention both nights were floor seats?!  Yes. . .they were.  Intermission came and this time we both had airbrushed t~shirts done.  Our other friends asked where did we get the shirts from and my friend responded “We had these made.” with a smile on her face.  The band was gearing up to play the next song and out steps David Berry, the guitar player.  A hush came over the crowd; so quiet you could hear a pin drop.  I whispered to my friend to ask her what was his name?  At the time, I couldn’t remember it.  I said, “Watch this.”  I yelled his name as loud as I could and the whole arena went wild. I gave him thumbs up as his face turned beet red and nodded his head to acknowledge that he heard and saw me.

My night was awesome while playing my tambourine along with the band.

On this night I met the man who ended up on stage with Janet at New York’s “The Velvet Rope” tour.  His name is Robert and we took a picture together.  I had also taken a picture of another friend who is a mutual friend of Robert’s, and in the background of that picture was a man who I was later told was Ms. Jackson’s make up artist.  My friend on the second night ended up on stage being strapped down to a mechanical bed.

As the night began to wind down and Janet sang her last song “Together Again,” and the dancers danced off stage, during the whole show the security guard stared at me trying to get me to play the tambourine but, some songs you just simply can’t play to while Janet is singing.  The song I played to was “Someone To Call My Lover.”  After the show was over, the guy who was pulled up onstage walked out with me and I asked him what did she smell like?  His response, “Like Roses.”  I hope they didn’t mind me enjoying myself the way only I know how to. Four years later, my first book came out and I was able to send her one so, I feel like she knows “of” me.

Stacey Barlow is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.


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