Years ago, I used to sing the national anthem at sporting events. I sang frequently for the SC Stingrays and the Charleston Riverdogs. It was super stressful, but I always enjoyed doing it. I never forgot the words. (although, one time I came real close)
Over the course of these singing gigs, I became friendly with the marketing director of the Stingrays. She was a young college grad and was seriously as sweet as pie. After her stint with the Stingrays, she moved on to work for the Cincinnati Bengals. She was moving up in the world.
So, I went on the whirlwind of finding something to wear, finding someone to keep Taylor, selecting shoes, makeup, etc. I can still remember the excitement I felt at the opportunity I was being given. It's probably good that I didn't have a lot of time to think about it all. When I think of it now, I do get a little sick to my tummy.
So, off we head for Ohio. It's an all day trip. We rehearse at the stadium, and have dinner with my dad when his team arrives in town. And, then I wake up and it's Sunday. In a few hours, I put myself out there with all sorts of chances to screw up. (forgotten words? trip and fall? hit a bad note?) And, really, it meant so much to me to have the chance to impress my dad. He was not one for compliments or praise. I wanted to move him to feel proud of me.
It went off without a hitch. They put my picture on the Jumbotron. (as one friend said, "your head is the size of a garage door!") I remembered the words, I hit the notes, and I didn't trip. I had a 'standing ovation' from those 55,000 people. Granted, they were already standing when I was singing, but I'm taking it.
If you dare, you can watch it all here. Forgive the camera work--he was trying to take still photos and run the video camera.
***I have to give special thanks to Johnny for transferring this from old fashioned VCR to a digital copy. He's helped me to save and hang on to some very special memories. Thanks Johnny!***