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MIchael at JFK International

by Lynn Eppler (07/04/2000)


On July 3rd after a very busy day at work for Lisa and me we left for a very long 10 hour drive to New Jersey.  A while out we picked up Belinda.  We had so much fun driving up!! I can't believe I was sooo awake to drive that far!! We laughed , talked and listen to Michael's CD's the whole way!! We were just to wound up to sleep at all!!  Can't imagine why?????  Belinda, Lisa and I made it to the hotel at 2:00am the 4th.  Just enough time to shower and get ready to go to JFK with the hopes of meeting Michael!!  Our chancy trip paid off big time!! (that all comes later!!) 

At 4:30 am Lila and Claudia arrived at our hotel and we all piled in my car to start our trip to JFK!!  What should have taken 45 min took us  1 1/2 hours!! After stopping in Queens (not the best area for 5 women alone at 5:00 am!!) We needed directions.... so you do what you have to do!! The fire in our eyes would have kept anyone away !!  LOL!!     We were on our "Michael Mission"  Finally arriving at JFK a little before 6:00am. We were afraid he may have gotten there early and was already down at the gate and we would have missed him!! Luckily Gale arrived and said he was at the first check-in!!  Needless to say excitement soared along with a big sigh of relief!!

Time passed and nothing!!  So We started trying to find Michael. After talking to a security guard (convincing him is more like it!!) He said he would take one of us down to the American Airline Lounge to see if Michael was there. Belinda was the one!!  If this didn't work we were going to have him paged as we were pretty certain he wanted to meet any fans there.

After waiting a while longer I decided to see how Belinda was making out.  Heading down concourse I first spotted Belinda and as I got closer I saw her just "strolling along" with a man in a baseball cap!!!  I think my jaw was temporarily dislocated from the drop to the floor it took when I realized it was Michael she was walking with!! She literally caught him by the coattails when he was going the wrong way after coming out of the AA lounge!!  Would believe he said he was "LOOKING FOR US!"  They met, hugged and a kiss and chatted!! She was born in England and they spoke of that and she gave him a beautiful cross stitch she made for him and Cathy. She had some well deserved private time with him!! Lucky girl!!!  After reaching them I introduced myself and got a hug and kiss!!

We walked arm and arm down to meet the others that were waiting!! The three of us gabbing the whole way!!  It was like meeting an old friend at the airport!! Unbelievable!!   He was so sweet!!  He remembered our phone (radio) conversation while he was in Sydney, and  my "big Birthday box" as he put it and even remembered some of the contents!!  I wish I had half the memory capabilities he has!!  Amazing with all the people he is in contact with and hears from! By this time we had reached the others with the biggest smiles on their faces you have ever seen!! More hugs and kisses a lot of talking, picture taking and many autographs signed!! He was just wonderful to everyone and seemed so interested in what ever we had to say!! He even let me tape a message from him for our ROC video being put together for ROC, The Screening Center, and of course Michael also with there permission to be shown at Ballfest!! 

These are the only places it will be shown. He seemed very happy to do it. He also did another favor for me! he said he would be very pleased to talk to Carolyn and give her more encouragement (like he has in the past) So I called her on my cell Phone and she had the surprise of her life!!!! He was so kind to her  and said he was sending her "very strong vibes!!" I have it all on video for her!!

In between the other things going on we gave Michael his gifts, he seemed so tickled with everything!! Like Lisa, Belinda and me, Michael had been up all night also!! Sure couldn't tell from his mental sharpness and great mood!! So patient!! He was finally able to take the lunch I had packed for him, James and other man with them! (I had the maid at the Marriott bring up a fridge to re-freeze the ice packs and keep it all cold til the airport!!) At first they didn't think they could take it but after leaving us for a while to go through customs and return to us, American Airlines gave permission to take it on with him!! In a "Blue" carry cooler,  I packed him 3lbs. of corned beef (the best in the USA!!) homemade potato salad & coleslaw, swiss cheese, rye brd, and dill pickles!! With all the condiments!! It was all from the famous Deli Lisa and I work at in Cleveland ,Ohio. Had to make sure he left the states with a full tummy!! LOL!!  Hope they were able to eat it!!

The last site of Michael was going to the departing gate with all his gifts and lunch in hand!! Poor guy was really loaded down!! What a trail of wonderful memories he left behind!! The ride home was shortened by 2 hours as we floated there!! Reminiscing the whole way!! WE still couldn't sleep from all the excitement!! I even made it to work the next morning on time (4:30 am) With the biggest smile on my face!! They all knew our Michael adventure was a big success!!!! All I have heard about meeting Michael is true and then some!! He is one fantastic person!! I hope those of you that haven't had the pleasure of his personal company, will someday have the wonderful experience!! It's the best ever and so is Michael!!!!! Love, Lynn 

04/09/2004 14:32

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