MIchael at JFK International

by Lila Lindemann

After several days of unbearable waiting, the BIG DAY arrived! - We were going to meet our 'MR. WONDERFUL' at JFK airport. With practically no sleep at all, Claudia, Stefanie, Ann & Marie arrived at my home in Hackensack, NJ, right across the river from NYC. We took off in a hired van at 8:30AM & arrived at JFK an hour & a half later. We were all so excited, we could hardly think, for most of us this was our first meeting with Michael!! After checking the posted arrivals, we settled down to wait for Michael at a restaurant in a food court, all of us displaying our special Michael t-shirts. Soon we saw some more Michael t-shirts coming along, and
Rose-Marie, Kathy, Rebecca, Gayle & LindaZ joined us in the wait! Then along came Linda from PA with her daughter.

We then moved up to the waiting area, where the arrivals came in. More waiting. Michael's plane was 45 minutes late. There were only about 13 of us, but we spread out & made it look like more, plus we had a welcome banner to display!! And much enthusiasm!!

All of a sudden, we looked towards the glass doors of the luggage/customs area, and THERE WAS MICHAEL!! Pushing his own luggage cart with James Sharkey walking behind him, (but I never saw him, I just saw MICHAEL)!! He had a big beautiful smile on that gorgeous face - Yes, he was 'chuffed' to see us all welcoming him to the USA!! He came over to us & recognized Marie, who got a kiss, & Rebecca, who he had met at PBS a year ago. Michael had to walk around a fenced area to where we were waiting, and came over to greet us all, amid much screams & excitement! I could not believe it was really HIM -- MICHAEL, AT LAST!! He looked great!! His hair looked fantastic, really nice length! He had on brown pants, white shirt over a lt. gray t-shirt, & navy linen jacket. He wore black clog-type shoes. I couldn't believe how young he looked, years younger than the TTIP video. Slim, trim & just GORGEOUS!! He 'takes your breath away', to quote a well-loved singer we all know!! So of course, ever smiling & accommodating, he took a call from Jackie of Ballfest, while trying to sign autographs, answer questions, & talk to people, all at once.

Cameras were flashing all over, as we all took many pictures of THE MOST HANDSOME MAN IN THE WORLD!! I think everyone had a camera!! Michael autographed all sorts of pictures, etc., while keeping up a conversation at all times. We each had our little visit with Michael, he made time for everybody! I was afraid I would not be able to say a word to him, but after the shock of seeing Michael LIVE, I controlled myself enough to get 3 autographs. When he went to sign one, he asked me what my name was & when I told him, he said "Oh, thats lovely!". That made me feel good, since he didn't say "hello, Darlin'" - which I was hoping to hear! I also managed to give him a kiss on the cheek! Also found myself rubbing my hand on his back several times before I even realized that I was doing it!! (honest!) Michael was totally at ease, charming, sweet, considerate & gorgeous - and obviously enjoyed himself!! Someone asked Michael if he had any plans to come to the USA for a concert tour (or whatever) & he said "We are working on something!" & winked. FINGERS CROSSED, its soon!

All too soon, James came over & reminded Michael that they had to leave. Michael said "Okay but we have to take a group picture first",
which we did, with Michael right in the middle of all of us, with our banner displayed in front!!  Everyone in that part of the airport knew who Michael Ball was, by this time - many even took pictures & hung around to watch what was going on. One young man, watching, came over after Michael left to ask us who that was, that got so much attention!! He said he wondered what he was doing wrong, that he didn't get a reception like that, joking!!

As usual, Michael put on a great "show" for his loyal fans! We hated to see him go, but as he was walking away, he stopped & turned to us to thank us all for coming!!

Definitely OUR pleasure, Michael!!! It was definitely as other fans have said, Michael is so much MORE than all of us think he is!! You will never forget your first meeting with Michael, & you will want to see him more than you EVER did before!! I can tell you that I certainly feel like that!! Michael is just "Larger than Life" - and he is completely UNFORGETTABLE!! It was a MAGICAL TIME!!

See you Wednesday, Michael, we will be there to say farewell, for now!

Thanks for the memories, Michael!!!

04/09/2004 14:32

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