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THE DAY I MET TINA... JUNE 2ND, 2000,

WAS THE HAPPIEST AND MOST MEMORABLE DAY OF MY LIFE. MORE THAN A DREAM COME TRUE, IT WAS A MIRACLE COME TRUE! IT ALL BEGAN IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, IN THE STRANGEST OF WAYS, BUT ENDED UP TAKING ME BACK TO MY HOMETOWN DETROIT, MICHIGAN. HERE'S HOW IT STARTED....

THE DAY BEGAN AS ORDINARILY AS ANY OTHER DAY. I WAS WORKING IN RADIO AND BROADCASTING FOR A COMPANY CALLED CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS. BEING IN RADIO ALLOWED ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET A LOT OF REALLY GREAT PEOPLE AND MANY OF THEM WERE IN THE RECORD INDUSTRY. I MADE MANY FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY, AND WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR KINDNESS.

ON THIS DAY, I RECEIVED A CALL FROM ONE OF THE TOP RECORD REPRESENTATIVES AT VIRGIN. HE WAS NOT ONE OF THE USUAL GUYS THAT I SPOKE WITH AND IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD SPOKEN WITH HIM. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BUSINESS AND THEN THE CONVERSATION BECAME MORE PERSONAL. HE TOLD ME THAT HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE COMING TO FLORIDA AND WANTED TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD. HE WAS LOOKING FOR TICKETS. WELL, AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, ONE OF OUR STATIONS WAS GIVING AWAY TICKETS TO DISNEY AND I ASKED HIM IF I COULD SEND HIM 6 TICKETS. HE WAS SO EXCITED, AND IT FELT SO GOOD TO GIVE SOMEONE SOMETHING THAT MADE THEM SO HAPPY.

THEN, TO MY SURPRISE, HE CALLED BACK TO TELL ME HE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR ME. I SAID IT REALLY WASN'T NECESSARY, AND THAT I WAS GLAD TO SEND THE TICKETS, BUT HE INSISTED. I SAID 'WELL, OK...I WOULD LOVE MORE THAN ANYTHING TO MEET TINA TURNER". HE SAID 'DONE'. HE WAS GOING TO FIND OUT WHERE TINA WOULD BE HOLDING THE NEXT MEET AND GREET AND HE WOULD INCLUDE ME ON THE LIST. I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! I KEPT SAYING 'ARE YOU SURE? ARE YOU SURE? HE SAID HE WAS SURE. I WAS BARELY ABLE TO WORK THE REST OF THE DAY...AND THE FOLLOWING WEEKS AFTER THAT.

WELL, AS PROMISED, I SENT HIM THE DISNEY TICKETS AND HE CALLED ME ABOUT 3 DAYS LATER TO LET ME KNOW THAT TINA WOULD BE HAVING A MEET AND GREET IN GRAND RAPIDS, MI. I SAID 'OH! THAT IS RIGHT NEXT TO MY HOMETOWN DETROIT'!! HE SAID ALL I HAD TO DO WAS MEET ANOTHER RECORD REPRESENTATIVE AT THE ARENA, THE NIGHT OF THE SHOW, AND I WOULD BE TAKEN BACKSTAGE. WORDS COULD NEVER EXPRESS HOW HAPPY AND EXCITED I WAS, AND AT THE SAME TIME, A LITTLE BIT MISTIFIED AT HOW EASILY THINGS WERE FALLING INTO PLACE. IT WAS SURREAL BECAUSE IT WAS ALL JUST HAPPENING IN THE STRANGEST OF WAYS. ALMOST TOO EASY.

I IMMEDIATELY CALLED A FRIEND IN DETROIT AND ASKED HER IF SHE WOULD LIKE TO ACCOMPANY ME TO THE SHOW. WE MADE ARRANGEMENTS AND I FLEW UP A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE SHOW, VISITED MY FRIENDS, AND WAITED TILL THE BIG NIGHT. FINALLY, IT ARRIVED. JUNE 2ND 2000.

I WOKE UP THAT DAY FEELING ESPECIALLY ENERGETIC. THE DRIVE FROM DETROIT TO GRAND RAPIDS WAS ABOUT 2 HOURS SO WE LEFT AT 4:30 TO GIVE US PLENTY OF TIME. WHEN WE ARRIVED AT THE ARENA, I WENT IN TO LOOK FOR JOE...A PERSON WHO I'D NEVER MET BUT HAD SPOKEN TO VIA PHONE AND EMAIL. I WAS NERVOUS AND HOPED HE WOULD BE THERE. BUT HE WASN'T.

MY FRIEND AND I WENT ACROSS THE STREET TO THE CUTEST LITTLE BAR. IT WAS PACKED! THEY WERE HAVING A TINA TURNER LOOKALIKE CONTEST AND WE MET THE WINNER. SHE WAS SO NICE AND REALLY DID A GREAT JOB IMPERSONATING TINA. WE HAD ONE STRAWBERRY MARGARITA AND WENT BACK TO THE ARENA TO LOOK FOR JOE AGAIN.

STILL NO JOE. IT WAS GETTING CLOSE TO 6:45, THE TIME WE WERE TO GO BACKSTAGE AND I WAS BECOMING WORRIED. I KEPT GOING UP TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO I THOUGHT MIGHT BE JOE, AND SAYING 'ARE YOU JOE'? PEOPLE PROBABLY THOUGHT I WAS A WEIRDO, BUT OH WELL. ONE GUY EVEN SAID "I'M NOT JOE, I'M DAVID, BUT I'LL BE JOE IF YOU WANT ME TO BE'. IT MADE ME LAUGH. FINALLY, A NICE LOOKING GUY CAME WALKING DOWN THE HALL AND WHEN WE LOOKED AT EACHOTHER I SAID 'THAT MUST BE JOE'. HE CAME UP TO MY FRIEND AND I AND SAID 'ARE YOU TAMMY'? I SAID 'YES' AND YOU MUST BE JOE"!! THEN WE ALL WENT BACKSTAGE TO MEET TINA!

THERE WERE LOTS OF OTHER CONTEST WINNERS BACKSTAGE AND WE WERE ALL TOLD TO GO IN AS GROUPS OF 4. WHEN THEY CALLED OUR GROUP, I STARTED TO WALK BACK BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE. THERE SHE WAS!! JUST STANDING THERE...NO THRONE OR ANYTHING, JUST STANDING ALONE. I WENT RIGHT UP TO HER MORE NERVOUS THAN I HAD EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE. SHE SHOOK MY HAND AND I SAID 'IT'S SO NICE TO MEET YOU'. SHE SMILED AND IT WAS OVER SO SOON. SHE DID THE SAME FOR THE OTHER PEOPLE BUT I WAS SO EXCITED THAT I WAS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER!
I FELT LIKE I WAS HAVING AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE. I WAS THERE, BUT I WASN'T THERE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE.

JOE WAS PREPARING TO TAKE THE PICTURE, AND TINA HAD HER ARM AROUND BOTH ME, AND THE OTHER PEOPLE ON HER LEFT, AND IT WAS THE STRANGEST FEELING I HAD EVER HAD. IT WAS SO COOL, AND SO SURREAL I JUST COULDN'T EVEN BEGIN TO EXPLAIN IT. THEN JOE TOOK THE PICTURE, AND EVERYONE WAS WALKING AWAY, BUT I WAITED AND WAS THE LAST ONE OUT. I WANTED TO TELL TINA GOOD BYE AND THANK HER FOR BEING SO WONDERFUL. I WAS ABLE TO THANK HER AND SHE WAS SO GRATIOUS. THEN IT WAS OVER.

THE CONCERT STARTED AND WE WERE IN THE FRONT ROW. TINA SAW US AND CAME RIGHT OVER AND SMILED AT ME. SHE KEPT COMING BACK OVER TO WHERE WE WERE STANDING AND SMILING IT WAS REALLY THE BEST MOMENT IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

SOMETIMES IT IS HARD FOR ME TO RELIVE IT, BECAUSE I GET A LITTLE BIT SAD. IT WAS OVER SO QUICKLY. MUCH TOO SOON. THAT'S WHY IT WAS LIKE AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE. KIND OF LIKE A DREAM. SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED, BUT DIDN'T HAPPEN. THANKFULLY, I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF TINA THAT SHOW THAT IT REALLY DID HAPPEN.

ALL THE STRANGE SYNCRONICITIES AND COINCIDENCES HAPPENED DURING THAT TIME THAT MADE IT ALL COME TOGETHER SO SMOOTHLY. SHORTLY AFTER THE CONCERT, ANOTHER STRANGE THING HAPPENED. I MET AND BECAME FRIENDS WITH TINA'S GOOD FRIENDS CAROL AND IVAN. WE MET AND I FELT AS THOUGH I HAD KNOWN THEM FOREVER. CAROL SAID THAT SHE FELT THE SAME WAY ABOUT ME. WE BECAME THE BEST OF FRIENDS AND HAVE REMAINED VERY CLOSE EVER SINCE. CAROL TELLS ME ALL ABOUT TINA, AND THE MANY STORYS AND FUN TIMES THAT THEY SHARED IN YEARS GONE BY. I ENJOY GOING OUT TO LOS ANGELES AND VISITING THEM AND I TRY TO GET OUT THERE ONCE A YEAR.

THEY SAY THAT THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES, AND I NOW BELIEVE THAT. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. JUST LIKE EVERYTHING CAME TOGETHER IN THE WEEKS LEADING UP TO MY MEETING TINA. IT WAS SOMETHING I PRAYED FOR FOR A VERY LONG TIME, AND FINALLY IT HAPPENED. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYBODY WHO HELPED MAKE IT COME TRUE, AND ESPECIALLY TO TINA, WHO MADE MY WISH COME TRUE.

NEVER GIVE UP, YOU CAN ALL MEET TINA TOO!


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