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MEETING JOSH IN WICHITA 2004!

Eskimo2's picture
on March 6, 2008 - 3:38pm

Well guess my connection with Josh was lost while writing my last journal entry. Sat here all afternoon describing our meeting with Josh in Wichita, but it flew into Never, Neverland. The computer is smarter than me! So without further ado, I'll continue.

On night of the concert, we gathered together the bouquet of roses and cards and proceeded to the venue. We hobnobbed with radio station personnel, a security guard, and concert attendees in the VIP room before the concert, but no important guest appeared.

My sister is very personable, persuasive, and assertive so she approached the hostess from one of the radio stations who checked us in. She told her that we were from SLC, had roses and cards for Josh, and wondered how we could get them to him. The hostess said that we would need to ask his record representative, but she was out to dinner and would later return. We waited as long as we could for her return, but finally entered the arena to look for our seats before start of the concert at 7:30pm. Our seats were pretty good and located on the arena floor, Row 11, Seats 9 and 10 on the aisle. My sister spied two security guards left of the stage, guarding a backstage entrance. She approached them to relate our story of driving from SLC, yada, yada, yada, and how could we get the roses and cards backstage to Josh? Her charm must have worked on them because she motioned me forward with our gifts, while they sent for someone from Josh's production staff. A lady appeared in a black shirt and pants, no smile or friendliness, and reluctantly took the items and said she would assure that Josh received them. We thanked them and returned to our seats.

Once again the concert was fantastic and Josh showed his sense of humor and passion. He sang all the songs from his 'CLOSER' album with two encores. During the concert, a little boy gave him a bouquet of yellow roses. Afterwards we had no idea how to exit the arena so we walked to the right towards a door which we thought went outside. However, we found ourselves still within the building, in a large concrete area, backstage with about 20 other people. The security guard from the VIP room recognized us and said that Josh was "showering off the sweat". He continued to say that our wristbands for the VIP room didn't allow us to go backstage. We said we knew and understood, but asked if we could stay. He said "yes". My sister saw the record rep so while I stood near a pole, she cordially talked to her. The rep asked how many people were in our party as they both looked in my direction and we replied two. To our surprise and excitement, she removed two BSPs from her purse and handed them to us. We were told to stand in line, against the wall as if waiting for a firing squad to wait for someone to appear from a locked door. A young lady asked me if we were waiting to go backstage and how. I explained yes, but she would need a pass. Her crestfallen face clearly showed her disappointment. Soon a security guard peeked from the locked door to say they were ready for us, but it was a false alarm. A few minutes later we were escorted behind the door, and again told to wait against the wall.

An excited exclamation arose from the people as Josh appeared from the shower room, dragging his suitcase. He was surprised we were all standing there, but said he would return. He wore bluejeans, tennis shoes, and salmon colored t-shirt with writing about a marathon in a year well before he was born. The record rep asked for my camera so to take our picture with Josh and said no autographs were allowed. She explained that Josh is frightened in crowds and becomes jittery. She reiterated not to tell him how we obtained the BSPs.

In a little while the Road Manager Jimmy Johnson and Josh appeared carrying a bottle of orange Gatorade, and asked what he was suppose to do. He didn't look 6' tall, wasn't in charge, and appeared nervous. He was a shy, pale, and VERY thin young Man. He proceeded along the line, shaking hands, introducing himself, and politely thanking everyone for compliments of his concert. As he edged closer and closer to me, I became nervous. Then he was before me.

There stood the most beautiful Man I have ever seen with a perfect complexion, delicate features, big brown eyes, long eyelashes, perfectly shaped lips, and brown tousled curls. He held out his hand and said "hi, I'm Josh" and my nervousness melted away. I extended my hand to shake and asked if I could give him a hug? I remember his hands were very soft. My sister was shocked because I'm shy and had never done such a thing in my life. I didn't realize then that Josh likes to receive and give hugs, nor why I felt compelled to do so. He graciously said "of course". I excitedly put both arms around his neck, hugged as hard as I dared so not to hurt him, patted him on the back, and said "you're wonderful". My sister said Josh wrapped both arms around me, closed his eyes, and gave that big smile that we know and love. I don't remember details, but do know he smelled great. He took precious time to talk with us as we told him we drove from SLC and he exclaimed "wow". I asked if he received the rose bouquet and cards for his Mom, and he gently touched my arm and said "yes, thank you very much". He appeared nervous and fidgeted with his fingers so my sister laid her hands on his with words that calmed him. She and I stood together for the picture when Josh asked if he could stand in the middle. I replied "you bet" as he jumped as a little boy between us and put his arms around our shoulders. I put my arm around his tiny waist and squeezed, and could feel his warmth through his shirt. Josh had been ill the week before and cancelled his Phoenix and San Diego concerts so I asked if he felt better. He replied, "yes, I'm drinking lots of water and Gatorade". We thanked each other, the record rep returned my camera, and Josh went to the next person. Another lady asked for a hug and since Josh was taller than her, his head laid on her shoulder and we made eye contact. She asked if she could touch his hair; he laughed and commented "it's your picture". As the picture was taken, she reached up to touch a curl above his right ear. Someone asked him for his autograph and he said "I don't think I'm suppose to do this", but signed anyway. He received gifts and cards along the way and put them into a Hallmark gift bag which Jimmy held. What a sight he was holding that bag and wearing Bermuda shorts, suit coat, shoes, and white socks pulled halfway up his legs. We had to laugh. Josh finished with radio station personnel and Jimmy began to escort him away to his bus. As he did, he stood between me and Josh as Josh looked at me again with his big smile. I touched his shoulder and said "take care". He said "thank you" and disappeared around the corner to his bus. We could hear the buses and semi-trucks running while they loaded equipment and prepared to drive to his next concert stop. We were escorted through the door, went to my car, and returned to the hotel on a 'Josh high'.

As we stood in the hotel lobby, two women burst through the doors to scream how they caught a rose bouquet as it was thrown from one of Josh's buses. Coincidently, the little boy and his Mother who had presented the yellow roses during the concert were standing there and recognized the bouquet that the two women held. The women apologized, but the Mother said it was okay. We didn't tell them that we had just met Josh.

I realize many members haven't had the honor of meeting Josh and vicariously dreams of the day through our encounters and stories. If you ever have a chance to meet him, DO NOT pass the opportunity? Please treat Josh with the love and respect that he deserves. I've never heard an unkind word or comment from him about anyone.

He appears larger than life on stage, and an articulate, intelligent, and confident individual in interviews. However, his image in my mind is still the shy, nervous, and quiet 23-year old that we first met. Yes, he's a big boy now and can take care of himself, but a scared, lost, questionable Man-child hides within.

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