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Gloria Meets a Childhood Idol

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2015-08-06


I never seem to have much money to spend, but I do have to say the concert series that the Three Rivers Festival brings in is definitely worth the cash. Even at $20, itís worth it to see someone I was familiar with when I was a teenager. The thing is, itís general admission.

For those of you unfamiliar with that term, general admission pretty much means, first come, first servedóin terms of where you are sitting (if youíre old) or standing (if youíve got the endurance). I went to the Loverboy concert partly because a group from our high school class was going to get together. I thought I could maybe reconnect with some people. It was, well, weird.

First off, when you sit down far away from the stage, itís hard to connect with the act. I was never a huge fan of Loverboy in the first place. And instead of reconnecting with people, I felt uncomfortable. Out of the 10 people at our table, at least six people at a time were looking at their cellphones. Yes, I was guilty of that too, but eventually gave up. Everyone else had someone to talk to, so I got up and walked around.

Iíve found that I really donít do well with groups of people. One on one, Iím okay, and in front of a class, Iím okay, but mingling and starting conversations just doesnít seem to work for me. The men are alarmed or underwhelmed, the women can be a little friendlier, but sometimes not. It wasnít the best concert experience, and it got worse when my friend had to leave before the most popular Loverboy songs were played. I felt a little lonely and wondered what was wrong with me.

Fast forward a week to the KC and the Sunshine Band concert. Now hip to the drill, I realized KC wouldnít be hitting the stage until about 10 p.m. I hung out with a couple of friends and perused junk food alley. I only took one bite of my friendís pretzel, because even though I love greasy foods, my intestines donít. I knew if I wanted to enjoy the concert, Iíd have to swear off everything except possibly a salad. A vendor was actually offering them, but he was buried across the street in Headwaters West. I didnít feel like crossing the street to buy a salad, so I made do with the pretzel bite and plenty of water.
I caught the last few songs of the Freak Brothers, and I have to say Iíd probably enjoy seeing them again some time. I was afraid I wouldnít be able to get close enough to the stage to see KC and the Sunshine Band, but thankfully, I was able to maneuver my way forward. I was very happy with my spot.

And Iím glad to say throughout his set, I was on my feet and dancing almost the entire time. KC was a staple of my childhood music exposure, and I think I fell in love with him as soon as I heard that guitar riff that kicks off ďGet Down Tonight.Ē KC and his Sunshine Band were about happy, fun times. Thatís how I remember the 1970s. It was the best decade of my life, with the 1990s taking a close second.

I was moving constantly, but I was depressed and alarmed at the faces I saw around me. A lot of them were just standing there. I was right next to a young chick who obviously didnít get it, and her dad was right beside her. They were obviously indulging the woman in front of me, who was dancing around, having a good time. We were slapping palms and singing along like weíd known each other for years. What was her name? I have no idea, but there we were, two fortysomething women dancing around, shake, shake, shaking our booties.

The whole vibe of the concert was great. I didnít have any of the negative feelings Iíd had during the Loverboy concert. KC was obviously older, but we all were. I felt happy that I had the stamina to stand the entire concert and dance.

Towards the end of the concert, I had an idea. I wanted to see if I could meet him. After asking a security person, and then telling another security person (when I almost started to cry) how much it would mean to me if I could meet KC, things started to happen. I hung around where the volunteers had access, and one of them offered me a bottle of water. Iíd been soaking in my own sweat since before KC went on stage, and that bottle of water was the best Iíd ever had. A couple of fan club members looked like they were being escorted back. I asked the guy if I could come with them, but he said it was just a fan club thing. ThenÖhe relented. He said if anyone asked, to tell them my fan club sticker came off. We went in back of the stage, then I was led into a very small trailer where KC, wearing a ďShake Your BootyĒ shirt, was nibbling on veggies. Oh my God! I told him Iíd loved him since I was eight years old, which was the truth. One of the fan club ladies snapped a few pix with my cameraphone. I said thank you, and told KC the show was great, and got out of there.

It was one of the rare moments where an impulsive thought led to meeting one of my childhood idols. He may be 64 years old, but KC still looked pretty good to me. He has the most joyous smile Iíve ever seen on a man. Life rarely offers these moments, but Iíve learned to cherish them when they do happen.

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