Pattirae’s Recap From Mentor’s Gala
Posted by pattirae4dja on Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Back in mid-summer, when I saw a post on a fansite of a charitable concert and dinner for Mentor’s International my heart started pounding and I began to cry because I felt so blessed. Please allow me share my story with you. I live near Ogden Utah, just north of Salt Lake City. Several weeks ago, my husband’s brother and his wife came to visit us from Arizona. That Sunday they wanted to go to SLC to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing in their weekly broadcast, “The Spoken Word” at the conference center. My husband has a cousin, Ron, who not only sings in the Choir but is the Choir’s Special Projects PR person. Ron knew we were coming that morning and when he came into the audience to visit with us before the performance, he mentioned that he had just arrived home from India. When we asked why he had been to India he said that he was involved with a charity called Rising Star Outreach. When I could start breathing once again, and felt like I could utter an intelligent sentence, I calmly asked, “Isn’t that the charity that David Archuleta is involved with?” He smiled warmly and said “Yes, in fact, David and I will be going to India sometime together early next year.” He could “read” my interest and began talking with me about David. Among other things, he mentioned that he had been to Honduras with David—to which I rudely broke in and said, “Last January, with his mom, right?” Again with a smile, he said yes. Then he mentioned that David was going to be performing in SLC on October 8th, and would we like tickets? Gasp! Faint! Stutter! Oh, for sure, I said. Well, I didn’t hear from him after that and didn’t know whether to call him or not. It was July, after all, and I felt like I had some time. But I did feel a little in limbo just hoping he would call and let me know about tickets and when they would be going on sale.
Now for the fun part!!! My husband is a dentist, and Ron’s wife brought one of their daughters up to see him for a checkup. My “angel” husband (also a David fan) brought up the subject of David to her because of our conversation with her husband Ron a few weeks earlier. My husband proceeded to tell her all about my love and admiration for David, about all the concerts, the VIP’s, the fan parties, the hours spent on fan sites, how I still listen to his Christmas album, the numerous book signings, watching his videos, over and over, etc. He told me that she just kept smiling and saying “really!!!” every time he would mention something else. Then, the most beautiful words ever spoken, spilled from her lips, “I think that Ron and I should make sure that you and Patti sit at our table with David and his mother when he performs at a special dinner and concert here in Salt Lake on Oct. 8th. In fact, I am going to call Ron right now.” When she mentioned to Ron what her call was about, he said to her, “that’s funny, I am with David’s mother right now!” So, you can imagine my tears when I saw the post for the first time about the Mentors International event and realized that not only will I be there, but I will be sitting at or near the table with precious, adorable, humble, loving, talented, special human being, David Archuleta.
I awoke the morning of October 8th with “butterflies” in my tummy, and “stars” in my eyes. My special day with David was finally here. The day seemed to drag at first and then all of a sudden it was time for my husband and me to head for Salt Lake City. On the way, hubby was describing every golf shot he had made that day and I was sooo pretending to listen to him. My stomach was in such a state, and my mind was racing with so many thoughts—how many songs, what songs, how close to the stage? How close to David will I sit? How many David friends will I get to see and hug? Will Ron introduce us to David? And will I get some pictures with him?Arriving at the Marriott we immediately ran into so many excited David fans. I couldn’t possibly name them all but we took pictures and everyone looked beautiful and happy. Being with so many of the friends that I’ve met because of David was a major highlight of the evening for me. Janey from Snarky’s told us that she had been in the ballroom for sound check earlier and asked if we wanted to know which songs he would be singing. I was dying and said yes, of course. She listed them off for me and I about fainted when she said “Dream Sky High.” We then picked up our seat assignment for table #20. Since they told us that David would be sitting at table#19, we guessed correctly that Ron (also a board member of Mentor’s) had reserved two tables and we would be sitting at the table next to David. The seat that David chose at his table was directly across from me, so I basically stared at him the whole evening (I was pretty stealth though and don’t think he noticed.) Shortly after David and Lupe sat down, Ron signaled for us to come meet David. I took David’s hand to shake it (not realizing until after our entire conversation that I was still holding his hand—but he was still holding on to mine too!!) haha. Among other things, I mentioned to David that I had been to the CD release party in Murray and thanked him for calling in to say hello to everyone. He smiled his wonderful smile and seemed really happy about it. I also told him that several fans knew I would be sitting close to him and gave me letters and gifts to give to him. After my conversation with him, I turned to talk with Lupe (she is breathtakingly beautiful in person) and mentioned to her how special David is to so many people. My husband talked with David and told him how much he admires him, his talent, his ideals and example. We both then talked to David and Lupe and told them how thrilled we were that he would be performing with the Choir. I told him that last year while watching Natalie Cole performing with the Choir, I said to myself that I can’t wait until David is up here someday singing with them. (I didn’t dream it would be the very next year.) David and Lupe both seemed thrilled that he had been invited to sing with the Choir, Lupe even looked a little teary-eyed. I then realized that this was my chance to get pictures. My husband and I were able to have one taken with David and Lupe, and then Ron and his wife joined in for another one.
The concert began with “Angels” on the keyboard, followed by “Things Are Gonna Get Better.” His mother then came on the stage and performed two Spanish songs. The first one was very tender, about family, and when she stepped off the platform and came to our table and reached for her father who was sitting close to me, she started to cry. They stood together with their arms around each other for several minutes before she stepped back up and finished the song. Her next song, “Mi Tierra,” was so much fun when she went out into the audience and pulled several people up on stage to dance with her during the song. David then returned to the stage to sing “Contigo En La Distancia” to which I burst into tears, just couldn’t help myself. His mother returned to sing a duet with him “A Puro Dolor” with the two of them dancing—you heard me, dancing! He then brought the house down with his closing remarks and song “Dream Sky High.”
When the concert was over, a huge crowd instantly surrounded David. Ron was trying to get him out fast, so I quickly gave Ron a bag with all the gifts and letters in it (I had given him notice beforehand) to which he assured me that he personally would give them to David. Lupe turned around and gave me a hug. It felt like a warm gratitude hug. I will never forget how I felt at that moment. Wow, it was over. They were quickly gone and the crowd dissipated. I had waited for this evening since July 25th and it was more glorious than I could have ever imagined.
When we returned home and my husband was downloading the pictures we’d taken, he called me into the room and proceeded to show me the videos he had taken. WHAT!!!! I didn’t know he had even taken them! I didn’t even dream!!! He said he perched our small camera on a glass and let it roll. So the angle is not the best…and some are just snippets, but best of all is the full recording of “Dream Sky High.” I still have to pinch myself that all of this really happened. But you can well “imagine” I will never forget it.
Videos hubby took. 😉 Enjoy!
Two more snippets