Category Archives: Hannah Hylen

Concert 38- Atlanta, Georgia: Be An Angel Day 8-22-09

Concert 38
Atlanta, Georgia
Be An Angel Day, August 22, 2009,
an official holiday founded by Jayne Howard Feldman

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August 22, 2009

Tonight was our 38th concert of the summer. In the morning, when we left my parents house in Florida, I knew that I had $300 in my pocket and a plan to go to the next three concerts. We needed gas, food, shelter, tickets. The question was, “How was I going to stretch this money until a check arrives in a few days?”

The Jonas Brothers tour will not stop for us and wait until more money comes. When we arrived in Atlanta, we had 8 more concerts to go to make it to 45. Were we to continue or to stop? I have asked myself this question over and over all summer long. And here it was again and we decided to move forward one day, one step at a time.

As I said, we left my parents home in Lecanto, Florida around 7:30am and drove to Atlanta. I drove on a tree-lined country road, Route 41, for the first hour before hopping onto Interstate 75 North.

Finding the venue was a little confusing. The highway sign said to exit here for Phillips Arena and then the signs stopped once we were in the city. Lost and needing to go to the bathroom, I found a luxurious hotel with a luxurious bathroom with beautiful, marble counters and floors. The kind of bathroom that has wooden, levered doors, floor to ceiling, on each stall and thick, paper hand towels and hand lotion to rub on your hands after you wash them.

I asked the concierge of the hotel for directions to the arena. As I approached the car, a male version of a meter maid approached my car that was illegally parked. All was well. No ticket, I moved the car in time. Welcome to Atlanta.

After driving in circles for ten minutes, we found the arena next to CNN, paid for parking and made the short walk to the sponsored activity area. I had a bag full of Bop-its, in case I wanted to play with anyone or do any filming.

James, the college rugby captain guy who had been working the Mike and Ike’s booth area all summer was getting ready to leave the tour and fly home to New York. His plan was a quick stop at home to say Hi to his parents, do his laundry, and pack to go back to college in Vermont.
That was the focus of everything for me yesterday. I had taken pictures a few days earlier with James and Sean, the other Mike and Ike guy, because I knew that Atlanta was the last day and James was leaving early to go to the airport.

First I hugged him when I arrived. Next, I checked out the electricity situation at his tent and was able to charge my phone on the power strip. I hugged him again and we talked about the details of his leaving. Once he had the stand set up our routine was to fill each other in on the last 12 hrs since we had seen each other. Things like his tour of the Superdome or playing basketball with the Jonas Brothers that afternoon. I would share things like waking up to find four sheriff vehicles surrounding my car at a rest stop (a story for another day) or getting my cell phone reconnected at the Verizon Store.

Yesterday, James was wrapping up details and I began to walk around the area and do the usual things. I was looking for stories for the blog and ideas that would make this day special.
A group of girls found Hannah, talked with her, and took pictures with her. It is really fun meeting so many wonderful girls every day. Our adventure is richer with meeting and sharing stories with all of you. I really mean that and will continue to say that forever because it is true!

4pm- The Wonder Girls appear to teach the crowd their dance to the song “Nobody,” and I take pictures of them in their outfits for the day. Yesterday a beautiful purple outfit, one of fifty different outfits they wear.

Next, the Honor Roll dance contest for meet and greet passes for the Honor Society. This is my afternoon aerobics and opportunity to demonstrate how a 52 woman who loved to dance from birth, can still dance!

At each moment, I had one eye on James to make sure he didn’t leave without saying goodbye. No worries. James found me to say goodbye, and get a picture of Hannah and me on his camera.
And then, he was gone. It felt like he was the first kid to leave summer camp. Here we had our own lives going on all summer but our paths crossed every day from about 3-6pm. It was a happy-sad moment. I was happy that we could actually develop a relationship of friendship and mutual respect this summer and sad that the summer is coming to a close. He is the first of a handful of people I will be sad to say goodbye to in the next week.

I think back on when I first met James in East Rutherford, New Jersey. I didn’t really remember seeing the Mike and Ike’s booth before then. The sponsors were in a big open parking lot there and I saw him when I arrived at that concert. We began to talk and I asked him how people got Jordin Sparks meet and greet passes. Hannah and I hadn’t seen a contest or a way to enter. Jordin Sparks was on the Mike and Ike’s truck and he was taking pictures of people by a green screen with an inserted Jordin Sparks. He said there was a contest on the website and that sometimes he had passes.

It seemed in the beginning that James was pretty guarded with me. First of all, every day, he had sooooo many people coming up to ask him for meet and greets and tickets. People always wanted things from him. And at the first few times I saw him, he would automatically say that he didn’t have any meet and greets for Jordin. Finally, I let him know that I enjoyed the conversations we had and that if I never got a meet and greet, it was okay. I still wanted to talk with him. (And by the way, he never had tickets for the show to hand out to anyone.)

Maybe I was drawn to him in the beginning because he was born June 13, 1988 and my son who died 17 years ago was born June 12, 1991. Maybe this was an opportunity for me to hang out with a son for the summer. Maybe it was a chance for us both to close a generation gap and just get to know each other as the people we are. And let’s be clear, this is not a “cougar” moment. I truly love who he is as a person and I know that there is a great life ahead of him. He is just getting started and I am on to the next chapter of my life. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed our conversations and already miss him.

After James left, the focus switched to tickets for the evening.. Hannah and I both got tickets. A Jonas fan sent her a tweet that she had an extra ticket and Hannah could have it. The young woman is 20 years old and her twitter name is Emmyjo13 on. A friend of hers had a competition and couldn’t go. Emmyjo13’s Mom thought she would have more fun with another Jonas lover and so they gave the ticket to Hannah. Hannah had a great time with her and this is how it goes!

Burger King connected with the Top 40 radio station and donated a few tickets for upgrades. I received one of the tickets from a JB fan that she no longer needed. It is amazing because there are tickets everyday that are not used because someone is sick or gets another ticket and I wish that there was an easy way to give them to people. The problem is that it is usually something last minute and it is not always easy to get the ticket to someone. Hmmm…still pondering this.

The concert was great, as usual! I loved my seat. It ended up being a front row in the 200 section and I had plenty of room to dance.

I sat next to a woman and her daughter and three girlfriends. We were talking about getting tickets in Cleveland. The challenge with tickets is the time it takes when you hang out for the free ticket, discounted tickets, a better ticket or tickets for a sold out show. Although the woman has a brother and his family in Cleveland, the question was would she want to drive all that way without the guarantee of a ticket.

And that is where I am right now. Beginning to ponder some information from Joseph Campbell, the Hero’s Journey, looking for the guarantee in life and opening to the inspiration of truly being in the moment.

This requires a blog of it’s own. Stay tuned…

Music Memories Part III

In the past ten days, I have driven over 3300 miles in 55+ hrs. I had heat exhaustion in Ft. Lauderdale and decided to skip the Charlotte concert to get a few things done. I have so many things to share with you and they will be coming in Sept and Oct.

For today, I will share some of the music from my first year of college in 1975. My roommate Mary Beth Iezzoni had the most varied taste in music. Living with her was like a music course in itself. I had a turntable/stereo and she had the records.

We walked to classes, studied, played Frisbee on the quad and listened to music…and listened to music and listened to music. I loved it. My world was opening up in so many ways.

I didn’t go to many concerts during that time. No money or transportation. But, I was so in love with the band Renaissance and Annie Haslam, the lead singer that somehow we managed to get to a local college that we hosting the band. And somehow we managed to pay for tickets.

Annie Haslam’s voice was so beautiful. I was in awe of her talent and loved the whole band. Our seats were so far away, but it didn’t matter. It was a live concert. The music vibrated the building and our souls. Thinking back to that concert, I am transported back to 1975. It makes me so happy I could cry with joy.

So, here are a few links to music I played over and over during that first year of college.

The first song is by Renaissance. It is a 10 minute song and the first 3 1/2 minutes are instrumental. Then, Annie Haslam begins to sing.


Pink Floyd

Todd Rundgren

Linda Ronstadt

Emerson, Lake and Palmer

In gratitude,

Honor Society and The Wonder Girls: A Bonus from Jonas

Thanks to ABBIE SLAMAN for her support and sponsorship of the blog today.

For more information about sponsoring the blog go to

The daily quest, of course, is to meet the Jonas Brothers. On the blog comments, on twitter, on Facebook it is one of the most important and frequently asked questions from the fans. How do we meet the Jonas Brothers?

I am approaching the “60 Jonas Brothers concerts in two years” mark. I have never met the Jonas Brothers and at this point, I am not sure what I would say to them. What do you say to three young men who have brought healing, connection and expansion to your life and the life of your daughter and so many others? How do you express that in 30 seconds? Although I would like to think I would be composed and focused, I probably would just stand there and cry in gratitude. So, the point is that I am living in the now of what I am experiencing and I know that I may never be able to truly share this with them.

And for now, something very special has been happening where I can express my gratitude and joy every day. It is with another group of the extended Jonas family.

The surprise gift of the tour this summer has been the opening bands for the Jonas Brothers. They have been a bonus from Jonas and a way for us to connect and expand our experience.

As we travel across the country this summer, Honor Society and The Wonder Girls remind us of what it was like two years ago when we first started to follow the Jonas Brothers. It was easy to get meet and greets during the first three concerts we attended during the summer of 2007. Pre-order a Jonas Brothers CD and get in line for a meet and greet. Pictures or poster signings and you would also get to touch their hands! Hannah pre-ordered two CDs and one time, at Six Flags in Largo, Maryland she was able to go backstage with friends of ours, the Pruchas. The Pruchas were JB fans about six months before Hannah.

Becca Prucha, was one of the lucky girls to be called on-stage during the song Hello Beautiful. They could do that when the venues were small. Here is the link to remember the early days. (The first two minutes are a bit rough and I know that Kim, the Mom, who is was recording this, had tears of joy running down her face.) Look at the early logo on the drum, too.

The band Honor Society and international singing stars the Wonder Girls have been so much fun. The accessibility has been amazing. We have had the opportunity to meet them at Verizon in-store events and enter contests to easily win meet and greet passes. We see The Wonder Girls outside almost every day before the show around 4 or 4:30pm and after the show. In Asia, they are mobbed. Here they are starting over and we are lucky to see them up close.

If the concerts are still coming to your town, look on www.myspace/, for the latest on the Honor Society free events. I know that they have Verizon poster signing events in Houston and Tampa. They have about six more Full Moon Crazy Shows. We have paid $10-$25 per ticket for these great shows. At the Verizon events there are contests for JB tickets, Full Moon Crazy show tickets, Sound checks, shirts, and CDs. Each place is a little different.

Follow the band on twitter and you can see other events. Like yesterday, Honor Society was at a movie theater, played an acoustic version of “Where are you now?” and signed posters or a shirt or one of anything you wanted signed. The movie Bandslam is released around the country today. The Honor Society sings the song, “Where are you now” for the movie.

In LA, there was a Verizon in-store event at 3785 Wilshire Blvd in L.A. and then a PPP- Pinkberry Yogurt event to come and hang out with the band. Twitter is the best way to get the up-to-date location of events.

I also want to draw your attention to all of the free stuff that happens at the concerts. For example, yesterday, you could have paid $8 to park next to the AT&T center in San Antonio, Texas or parked farther away for free or taken a bus and come to the parking lot center.

Mike and Ike’s has a green screen where you can get a free picture to download off of the computer. They put Jordin Sparks in the picture with you.. And lots of free Mike and Ike’s sample packets of Lemonade and regular flavor.

Burger King has crowns to color and free apple fries (apples cut into the shape of fries.)

Verizon Wireless had a recording studio tour on the bus. (they may return at the end of the tour in Ohio but right now they are with Soldier Boy and then Taylor Swift. Possibly there for a few shows in the end. Will update when I know.) and dance contests. You have to have a ticket for most meet and greet and soundcheck passes. But, I just found out that the Jordin Sparks meet and greets are sometimes available even if you don’t have a ticket. Go to the Mike and Ike’s stand and ask.

The Wonder Girls come out to the parking lot and dance at most of the venues. Verizon has a meet and greet contest for Honor Society. Learn the Honor Roll to See U in the Dark and win the meet and greets.

Look for Road dog softball games with the Jonas Brothers in some towns. I know I keep saying Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, but it really is the best and fastest way to get the information. The bands all tweet on the go.

Or follow Hannah and me on Twitter. ( or /AHylen ) We do our best to update the latest news and changes.

Honor Society has The Full Moon Crazy concert as a pre-party or after-party It is always like a nightclub setting. It may not be a place for 10 year olds. New York was a very dark, nightclub scened but in LA there were a lot of families that came and it was a lighter, brighter atmosphere. For older teens and up, it is a great, great show. The guys have incredible energy. They really own the shows at this venue. Jonas Brothers have popped in to sing one song and support them along the way. Check out the local venues and decide if it is a place you want to go. Hannah and I will be at all of them. Come dance with us!

You may like bands other than the Jonas Brothers. Follow the fan sites. Follow the band on twitter. Ask information about the free activites. And maybe you will find other bands to fall in love with the way we have fallen for Honor Society and The Wonder Girls.

As I watch the meteoric rise this summer, I know that next year, I will be waving to Honor Society from the 3rd tier of a venue. I will remember the close connection of shaking their hands, the hugs, and the up close conversations. My life is richer for cheering them on and supporting them as they reach for their dream. They are living it this summer and it is adding to our memories of the summer tour of 2009.

On our way to Houston today. Big, fun day. Verizon store to see Honor Society. Jonas Brothers show this evening. Full Moon Crazy at 11pm.

Concert 31- Los Angeles, California August 9, 2009

April. the Mom from Chicago. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will be in touch in the next few weeks


Concert 31- Los Angeles, California
August 9, 2009

The Jonas Brothers are a back drop for my life. By creating music and concerts they have opened a place for me to experience life. I may go to hundreds of Jonas Brothers concerts in my life and I may never get closer to them than third row in the middle section of the stage. In that seat, I locked eyes with each of them and I sent them joy, love and gratitude. I am complete.

This was never about meeting them. It was about the music and the community and the heart centeredness. It has been a journey of healing, connecting and expanding.

What is most important to me today is the experience I am having with you. Something really amazing happened yesterday. It was a powerful example of what I am talking about here.

First part of story:

It all started with losing my phone on August 8 during the Verizon wireless in-store event for Honor Society and The Wonder Girls. I had so many bags and stuff, it probably flipped out of the bag. Verizon may have even thought it was one of the donations of old cell phones they were collecting on that day.

Second part of the story:

On August 8 in the evening-11pm , there was A Full Moon Crazy concert with Honor Society at Club Nokia. Honor Society put on an amazing show. The Jonas Brothers stopped by to sing, “Close the Book,” with HS and Jordin Sparks popped in, too. It was like hanging out with them in an intimate, high energy environment. If you have a chance to see Honor Society on the tour, you can find the information on

Before the show started, I asked two young women about the logistics of the stage. They didn’t know, but we started a conversation about where we were from and concerts we had attended and more. At one point, there was a connection when we talked about the concerts in Chicago and I told them my daughter and I were going to 45 concerts. They stopped in mid-sentence, got excited, knew the story and called their mom, April over and the other sister. Three sisters who were going to a few concerts this summer with their Mom.

(They sang at a soundcheck and when I find the link I will post in. More details will be added in Sept.)

We had such a great conversation about our daughters and the connecting we can do with them by going to the concerts and sharing this experience. I found another soul sister, in the mom, April, who understood.

They had two tickets to sell for the next day. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but we have reached a point where we are looking for cheap tickets every day. We are not trying to take advantage of anyone. It is just part of our journey right now. April gave me her phone number and we said we would call about the tickets the next morning after looking at our budget.

Third part of the story:

The next morning, Hannah and I looked at the money we had, calculated the gas, food, and tickets for the next two concerts and realized we had $100 total to spend on tickets for the LA show. I called April on Hannah’s phone, let her know our budget and thanked her for the ticket offer, but we didn’t have enough money. April decided that she didn’t have time to sell them to anyone else and would sell them to us for the $100. We agreed to meet at the venue that evening. She had Hannah’s cell phone. Mine was still lost.

Fourth part of the story:

A friend of Hannah’s, Jade, sent her a tweet. She had an extra ticket to the Teen Choice Awards. Jonas Brothers were hosting. Honor Society was presenting an award. And Jordin Sparks and everyone else was there in the audience. It was a crazy night with the Teen Choice Awards and a concert going on, too.

I dropped Hannah off at Universal for the Teen Choice Awards. It is 20 minutes from the Staples Center. She was texting Jade and Rosie and was waiting for them outside of the Awards Show.

In the meantime, I backtracked to see if I could find my phone. Church parking lot, asked the attendant. Coffee shop. Verizon Wireless store. No, no, no. Verizon staff convinced me to turn off my phone so no one can use. it. They turned off the wrong phone. Hannah was at the teen choice awards and her phone service was cut off before connecting with friends. (It took a week for us to find out that Hannah’s phone was cut of instead of mine, not in addition to mine!)

Finally, the point of the story and the lasered details for the ending:

I didn’t have a phone. Hannah’s phone was cut off. But, she had April’s cell phone number because of the ticket conversation. Hannah borrowed someone’s phone. Called April in tears. April reached out to her with nurturing and a solution (offered to pay for a cab and meet her.) Hannah met up with friends 10 minutes later, called April back. All is well.

I heard the a part of the story from April but did not know the whole story until Hannah arrived at the Staples Center a few hours later. April gave us the tickets. I gave her a copy of my book. She gave me a CD of music (more on this in the fall when I highlight some musicians and bands we met this summer.)

I have been a mother for 25 years. When one of my children are hurt or in danger, I get a strong feeling of fear. I did not feel that with Hannah on that day. I felt that April had been placed in our lives as a protector, a safety net, a person who could support Hannah in the moment.

While I waited for Hannah to arrive at the Staples Center my heart was not fully into the music or the dancing or even in the meet and greet I went to for Jordin Sparks. They were all things that occupied my time. I kept breathing and dancing and trusting that she would be okay. And she arrived in time for Jonas. We connected and I hugged the stuffing out of her!!!

Sometimes as a single parent, I have felt that I am all alone. I have felt that there is no one else who can love Hannah enough to support her, nurture her or guide her. In this moment with April, a Mom from Chicago, I am glad that I was wrong. We are all supported Divinely with the perfect person in the perfect timing for everything.

It was also a lesson for me that I am not alone and I can depend on other people to help mentor and nurture my daughter.

Concert 30- Los Angeles, California Aug 8, 2009

A family from Fresno who reads the blog. Fun meeting you all at the Verizon in-store event 3785 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.

Today’s concert really provided me with about a week’s worth of blog topics. There will be more blogs in the fall, when the concerts are over so I can explore all of these ideas. People I met, things I felt and observed, and really appreciating the richness of life when I allow myself to open and observe all of it.

For now, here is yesterday, Aug 8, 2009

After laundry and re-packing my suitcase with clothing for the next week or so, Hannah and I headed over to the Verizon in-store event for Honor Society and the Wonder Girls. It was poster signings and handshakes with the bands.

I found an all day parking lot at a church about six blocks from the store. An easy walk along a tree-lined street. I paid the parking lot attendant, an older hispanic man with wrinkles around his eyes that made a permanent smile. I thanked him and he said, “Thank you for coming.”

When he said those simple words I felt an outpouring of love and gratitude. There was a sincerity behind his words that caused me to pause, breathe in that moment and lock eyes with him. I nodded and smiled. In that simple moment, I was reminded of the impact we can have on one another with something as simple as a few words, a smile, or a wave.

I walked to the store with a spring in my step and joined in the activity that was already in full swing. There was a contest to do the Honor Roll which is a dance to See U in the Dark by the Honor Society. Very few girls were getting up to do the dance so I jumped in and received one of the VIP passes to see the Honor Society. For me, it is such a catchy dance that I “gotta dance” when I hear it.

Hannah won a sound check to the Jonas Brothers for 4 people. In 30 concerts of the summer and 55 concerts in two years, I have never been to a sound check party or met the Jonas Brothers in a meet and greet. Whenever there has been an opportunity, we have had one ticket and I have always given it to Hannah. I was so excited to finally see what the sound check was all about!

I went into the Verizon store when it was my turn to meet the Honor Society band. Of course, they know us now, so it is more of a “hey, how’s it going today,” instead of a first time meeting. I told Andrew, the bass player, that I can really feel him connecting to the audience. I have been sitting in the higher seats for the last few shows and when he looks up there, he sends moon beams of love energy. The audience can really feel it. It is really cool to watch how they are each expanding into more and more of who they are. He was appreciative of the feedback. I was sending moonbeams of love to him.

I was joking with the rest of them about how I think I should have a permanent VIP pass for Verizon store events so I can come in at the head of the line and I should have an open meet and greet pass to come and get a picture every couple of concerts. Mike and Jason were like yeah, cool and Alex was confused. It was really precious. He was slowly talking about how I would need a Jonas backstage pass in order to do that and … I was only messing with them, but I think he was really trying to process how to do that. They are sweethearts and it is there time to shine. Lots of talent in that group.

We met a family from Fresno who had come to LA for the concert today (picture above) and they introduced themselves and we got pictures with them. I love these moments of connecting with all of you. One of the guys had a Hurley shirt on (my husband’s name). It is always fun to see that. Like a “hey, how’s it going,” from him.

We wanted to stay to see the Wonder Girls but there was a delay to get started, my number was 147 in-line and we had to be at the Staples Center by 3pm for Sound Check. I will see them soon. I love, love, love the Wonder Girls.

When we went back to the car, I realized I did not have my phone. Back to the Verizon store. No one had turned in a phone. Another detail!

The Sound Check was really fun. They do a sound check on the equipment and they throw in some fun. This year it is costumes at some of the venues. It was like a Halloween party with turkey, cow, mouse, lots of bears, and dog costumes. Joe was a turkey. Kevin was a mouse. Nick was himself. He does not like to dress up and maintains the right to refuse.

They asked for a volunteer to come up and play guitar with them. She played the guitar and then they autographed it and gave it to her. A group of five people from the audience who were dressed in costume came up to play musical chairs and then it was over. It was fun to be in there with a group of a couple hundred people. It felt intimate in the huge Staples Center. We were all in the section in front of the main center stage. They played BB Good and Video Girl.

When the sound check was over, we were allowed to stay inside the Staples Center in a section of the concourse. I was one of the first people in my seat section when the doors opened. I had a burrito from Comancho kiosk, enough food for two meals.

I was observing the usher in my section. The kindness I felt from the parking lot attendant was continued with the usher throughout the evening. He was attentive and working during the whole show. He talked with the children. He made sure that everyone was comfortable. Once a person was seated, he came back to make sure everything was okay.

He even readjusted a couple of the seats with consent from people. For instance, two girls had seats apart and he asked if people would readjust so the girls could sit together. Another girl was here for her first concert. It was a birthday present from her mother. After a few JB songs, she had her head in her mother’s lap. The usher came over. The lights were in her eyes. The usher arranged things so that two girls a few rows up came down and the girl and her mother went up a few rows.

I have never seen anything like this. He was on-call for our section all night long. It was truly amazing to see this. I am going to see if I can find him tonight to tell him that. It was so loud and confusing when we all left the concert, I never had a chance to find him and tell him how much I appreciated his kindness all night long.

He also loves Michael Jackson and grew up listening to the Jackson Five. He shared how special the Memorial was for Michael. He wears a medallion under his shirt and says that he feels Michael in the Center.

This man is truly a guardian angel of the space he works in every evening. I am grateful and inspired by what I saw and experience last night.

A Day Off- Music Memories Part 3

Thanks once again to the Riley family for sponsoring the blog today. Marlene, Dave, Taylor, Skye (and Chris, a friend of Taylor’s) They are Baltimore friends who are vacationing in Venice Beach, California. Love the timing of this. Thanks for dinner, a place to stay, a place to park and good, yogurt from Sparky’s!

For more information on sponsoring a blog go

A Day Off and Music Memories Part 3

An uneventful morning yesterday. Hannah and Rosie slept most of the way from Fresno to LA. I listened to a variety of radio stations with music from the 60’s up to current Top 40 music.

As I turned towards the ocean and neared LA, I got tears in my eyes. I was so happy. I felt like a little kid before opening presents at a birthday party. The mountains, the sun, and the change of air. I could feel the ocean.

Hannah and I have been talking about moving to the LA area since January. For Hannah it has been almost four years of telling me that we would move here. I didn’t feel it until January. LA has been a place to visit, vacation, but not a place to live.

The feelings of excitement and being ready for a move had subsided. Since January I have been in a mode of selling, donating and recycling most of my stuff. I have been selling a house, saying goodbye to friends, and finding a home for my cats (still need a home for my cats!) I have been following the Jonas Brothers with Hannah for almost two months now. I love our country. It is so beautiful and I have felt content to live in all parts of America. I could live almost anywhere. So many great locations and wonderful people.

I thought that maybe the desire to move to LA was just a moment of wanting to leave the winter weather of Maryland or the feeling of releasing another layer of the loss of my husband. Could I really leave the community that has been my home for 20+ years? How would I exist out in the world without living down the street or across town from them?

As I came through the mountains and began to feel the Pacific Ocean, I felt the spontaneous response of happiness and joy. I felt like I was home.

We dropped off Rosie in Culver City and made our way to Venice Beach to spend the evening with friends. The Riley’s, Marlene, Dave, Taylor and Skye, were all born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. That is their home. They have a lifetime of memories, friends, family, work, school, and a church community. And, for the last six years they have vacationed in California. The time they spend here is anywhere from two weeks to a month. Even Taylor’s boyfriend has come with them for the last two years.

Dave and I were talking about music and California yesterday. He has been coming to here for over 20 years. He has a huge smile on his face and is so relaxed, as he talks about California. One of the things he does while he is here is listen to music. He has created a two hour collection of music on his I-pod. He listens to it while he walks on the beach and looks at the ocean and the mountains. When he walks on his treadmill at home in Baltimore, he listens to this music and it brings back all the feelings of relaxation and happiness of the summer vacation.

Maybe some day they will move here or maybe the infusion of a trip once a year is enough for them all. A respite from the day to day routine. For now, Dave listens to his music, connects with the nature here and takes a piece of California home with him in his iPod.

Hannah and I are planning to move to California in Dec or Jan. It may be for a 6 month infusion of good California energy or it may be a place we will call our home for 20+ years. All that matters is today is the feeling I had when I approached the ocean today.



A few more memories of music and the Youtube links:

Some of the music of middle school (1969-1972)

Monkees, Partridge Family, Bobby Sherman, Cowsills

Posters on my wall. Tigerbeat magazine. Staring for hours at their faces and dreaming of meeting them in person.


Partridge Family:

Bobby Sherman:

The Cowsills:

Concert 28: Fresno, California August 5, 2009 Gotta DANCE!

Thanks to the Riley family for sponsoring the blog today. Marlene, Dave, Taylor, Skye (and Chris, a friend of Taylor’s) They are Baltimore friends who are vacationing in Venice Beach, California. Love the timing of this. Thanks for dinner, a place to stay, a place to park and good, yogurt from Sparky’s!

For more information on sponsoring a blog go
Concert 28: Fresno, California
August 5, 2009
Gotta DANCE!

I was interviewed by ABC news in Fresno last night. It was a spontaneous moment of going up to the reporter telling her a bit of our story and then a fun moment of something I haven’t really shared.

Here is the link:

When I go to the concerts, I feel like I am part of the back up band. No worries. I am not delusional about this. It just brings me back to days of being in musicals in high school. I love to dance. I know you know that by now. I am always talking about the dancing!

I was in three musicals in high school.

Fiddler in the Roof-chorus;
Guys and Dolls-a hot box dancer and a Cuban dancer;
George M- I played George’s sister, Josie and had a solo tap dancing.

Fiddler on the Roof-Matchmaker:

Guys and Dolls: If I were a bell

George M-Give my regards to Broadway

I love to learn the dances at the concerts this summer. The Honor Roll to See U in the Dark by the Honor Society. The Dance to The Wonder Girls song Nobody. All of the dance moves to Jordin Sparks and the Jonas Brothers songs. I call it my gym membership for the summer.

When I meet girls at the concerts this summer, I have been explaining something about dancing. If you like to dance when you are 12, 13, 14…you will still like to dance when you are 52.

Short blog today. Need sleep to get ready for the next three days of dancing!

Music Memories Part II

There has been so much going on for the last few days. Very little time to write and post a blog. Here are a few more music memories. I will share more in a few days from LA.

High school was a mixture of incredible expansive music in so many genres.

When I think of feeling sad in high school, I think of how I would walk to the park, swing on the swings and sing My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music. I would cry and sing and I always felt better when I walked home. The Sound of Music was the first movie I saw in a movie theater as a child. I have always loved musicals. Even though it was not a cool thing to do, this was a very healing song for me.

High school was Carole King, Jethro Tull, Jesus Christ Superstar-the musical, Stevie Wonder, Rolling Stones and yes, The Beatles!

All for now…On to Fresno, CA

Concert 25-Las Vegas, Nevada: Feeling Nostalgic

Concert 25-Las Vegas, Nevada: Feeling Nostalgic
August 1, 2009

I was feeling a little nostalgic today. This was the 25th concert of the summer and my 50th Jonas Brothers concert since 2007. It has been a week of nostalgia with the anniversary of the death of my husband, the anniversary of our journey with the Jonas Brothers and then tonight a landmark reached with the number of concerts I have attended in the last two years.

Here are some details of the day yesterday and the concert. Keep reading down the page to listen to the beginning of a “Memories of music section” with youtube links. I will keep adding more over the next two weeks.

If you have been reading the blog, you may remember a blog about a woman named Lauren, who e-mailed a dinner invitation before the Portland concert. I felt an instant connection with Lauren and had a great time at the Jonas Brothers party in her home a month ago.

Today she was in Las Vegas with her husband, Jim. He had a high school reunion with students from an International school he attended for high school in Belgium. They invited Hannah and me to breakfast at the Hash House A Go Go. (Hannah and I both agreed we needed a break from each other so I went alone.) Jim and Lauren picked me up at the hotel and off we went on a breakfast adventure. It was a huge, delicious breakfast of eggs and potatoes and assorted goodies. . Really, really, good food. Our waiter was Eric who is an up and coming musician with a band. I will post info about his band when I do some band segments in the fall.

Tonight’s concert was at Mandalay Bay. It was like old home week. We hadn’t been to a concert since July 30. Two days of driving and a day in Vegas, I was looking forward to seeing everyone. (I know this sounds crazy that we would miss them, but when you see people almost every day and then it stops…well…I missed them!)

I saw Jesse and Mikie from the Verizon Wireless Recording Studio. High fives for this being my 50th concert and 25th of the summer. Owen from Raised by Radio, also joined in. The high fives were creating a musical resonance in the area of the building. We wanted to keep doing more high fives just for the music it was creating.

We did the Honor Roll, a dance to See U in the Dark, an Honor Society song to see if we could win meet and greets but they never give a prize to me. Do I never win because it is age discrimination or maybe they recognize me and are looking for new people? I know the dance and I am good at it!! I want to actually win a meet and greet, but am grateful for all of the gifts I have received.

Lauren and I went to the concert together tonight. Two vibrant, alive women, dancing, singing and rocking to the music. I loved having a girlfriend to hang out with last night.

There was a sweet moment tonight during the Jonas Brothers concert when the mother of a little girl, held her up to Joe for a hand touching moment. Joe reached down and picked up the little girl, carrying her around the stage during a song. Many hearts melted during this tenderness.

A crazy moment was when a fan jumped on the stage and ran up to Joe for a hug. Well, I am glad she had her moment but now the security will be increased for the rest of the concerts. It always happens and it creates more of a barrier. Safety for the guys is important. We don’t want to read about one of the Jonas Brothers being loved to death by a love attack!

As I was listening to all of the music tonight, I could feel so much emotion and feelings of gratitude welling up inside of me. I was thinking about the songs by the Jonas Brothers and how there are certain songs that will always have special meaning for me, a meaning that came in the beginning. They were songs that helped me to remember parts of my self that I had forgotten.

Take a minute now and think about the songs that have impacted your life or carry a special memory. It could be a song that your mother sang to you as you fell asleep as a child, or the song you played over and over one summer. A song connected to your first kiss, first dance, a wedding, a birth, a death, or another moment in time.

I could probably list thousands of songs. I love music and I love words. The power of both has impacted my life with joy, healing, forgiveness, insight and on and on Below is the beginning of some memories of music with links on Youtube.

When I think of my grandfather, Phil, I think of the songs Mairzy Doats and There’s a Hole in the Bucket. Both are songs that have a play on words or limerick type energy which were a reflection of his passions.

From my early childhood it was Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, the Beatles, and dancing with my Dad, his arm around me and my feet on top of his as we glided across the floor.

When I was 12, Mama Cass, The Supremes, the Beatles, and Spiral Staircase. Hearing “I love you more today than yesterday,” still brings my hand to my ear like I am listening to a transistor radio, in a bikini in the back yard and dancing back and forth dreaming of someone singing the words to me.

More in a few days. I will move into high school, college, various decade songs and then the Jonas Brothers and more.

Concert 24-Kansas City, Missouri Another Anniversary

Concert 24-Kansas City, Missouri
July 29, 2009

Another anniversary: Two years ago today Hannah and I went to our first Jonas Brothers concert. We stayed at a hotel outside of Philadelphia the night before. It was only two hours from our home but I needed sleep. The idea of getting up at 4 am to drive 2 hours, to sit in line in the sun, waiting to go to a concert was not my idea of fun. I wanted a good night’s sleep.

I have to laugh now when I think about how many times I have driven through the night or slept for 4 hours or less before driving 22 hours to the next town for a concert. It is amazing how your perspective can change about something.

We were up at 6am, sat in line, saw the concert and started an adventure I could never have imagined. But, that is how life is, isn’t it? When we open to inspiration and allow the unfolding of events, it is always greater, more powerful and brilliant and amazing. I have a saying that when I get out of the way, God steps in and the real adventure begins.

I have been thinking about some of the pivotal moments in my life. When I worked at the University of Maryland, many years ago, I was a research assistant on an epidemiological study involving elderly women and hip fractures.

I had a curiosity about a thing called a “computer.” It was 1984. Most people were not using computers. My boss encouraged me to take some classes. I learned that I was not good at programming, but I was very good at understanding the potential and communicating with the computer programmers. That led to my getting a job as a Project Director at Johns Hopkins University on an amateur boxing study and then my next job was working as a computer software trainer at a pharmaceutical company. It was good money and I loved the work and the freedom I had at the company. It happened because I was curious, interested, willing to work hard, learn and make mistakes. I took one step at a time that led me to discover something I was really good at. I was laid off from that job and a few years later began to home school my children. Each step led me to more joy, passion and expression of myself and my inner gifts.

I think about how the willingness to take my daughter to one concert two years ago led us to an adventure of travel, writing, growing together, healing our hearts, and meeting you. My heart overflows with gratitude. And the journey is still opening to more and more. I appreciate you the reader who is sharing in this journey. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.


In Kansas City, we attended the concert with the wife of one of my best friend’s ex-husband. Isn’t that confusing? My friend, Karen, is divorced from her husband, Kevin and he, now using his first name, Vince, is remarried to Meghan. Karen and Kevin’s (Vince’s) kids are in Kansas City for six weeks. So, we have driven half way across the country to go to a Jonas Brothers concert with Sophie, age 9.

I love describing these connections here. I have a friend, Susan, who can tell amazing stories about her family. She makes connections in her stories like the friend’s cousin’s wife’s sister’s dog. How can she remember that? It is so much fun to hear her stories.

Anyway, Meghan, the step mom, bought four tickets on Stub Hub for Hannah and Sophie and me and for herself. As the day approached, one of Meghan’s friend’s daughters (here I go again) was in town. I gave up my ticket and bought a single ticket at the box office. I found a great group of girls to dance with in another part of the venue.

Meghan drove to the venue and found the best parking spot of the summer! Yeah, Meghan!

I saw Sean from the vendor company, Mike and Ike’s, and yelled out to him. He doesn’t really know me so he was totally confused and I pulled a “you know we are watching your every move,” type of conversation. He got all wide-eyed and friendly but nervous. Then I introduced myself, to give the guy a break, and asked where James was today.

I found James, also from Mike and Ike’s and thanked him for the Jordin Sparks meet and greet passes from the night before. We talked about how nice and talented she is and how gracious with all of the fans. Then, he gave me an autographed picture of Jordin. He had an extra one from another event. I was so surprised! Here I was coming to thank him and the gifts just keep coming!!

We were able to get meet and greet passes for Honor Society again. Yeah! It happens sometimes when the band is in a town that doesn’t know them well. Kat was able to squeeze us in for a picutre moment. We saw them two nights in a row and I wished them well on their travels.

I was a little confused about where they were going next. Was it to the Bahamas and Mexico or just the Bahamas. No Mexico shows for them this time! Gio, the security guard and much more, said hello and gave me a high five.

I settled into my seat with a bag of Kettle Corn and a bottle of water and ready to dance! I was in the front row looking over the edge. Luckily there was a plexi-glass wall next to me and I held onto that until I got the rhythm of jumping in one place and reducing the risk of falling over the edge. Not sure if the people in the box seats next to me appreciated my hand placement, but I think it was better than watching me fall over the edge and plummet to my death in front of several small children.

Hannah and I were in different parts of the venue tonight. She had floor seats and I was in the balcony. I was in the first row in the farthest seat. As I was leaving the venue, I moved past 15 seats, climbed 21 rows, came halfway around the venue to a long escalator, waited in line for the escalator and then headed towards the outside door. A hand touched my shoulder and I looked around to see Hannah. Meghan and Sophie and Maddie went back to the car a few songs earlier. Out of all the different routes out of the building, how did we end up at the same place at the same time?

It was the perfect ending to a perfect day, as we walked to the car chatting back and forth about the adventures of the evening. All is well.

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