First, I want to say "well done!" to the web site designers. My husband and I run a web and graphic design business (nothing on this scale, obviously) and I felt I must say kudos on the excellent design work!
It's 2 am and for some reason I feel the need to ramble, so I thought I'd share with this great group of people I've discovered.
It's strange to think of myself as a newbie here, even though I've been a Vince fan for over 20 years. Fan doesn't even seem like the right word; it's more like an unknown friend you admire. I'm sure you all know what I mean.
I was just a little girl the first time I heard Vince sing. The one major thing my dad and I shared was a great love and respect of country music. We would spend hours driving around back roads listening to the local country station, singing along to the music. One of my first "favorite songs" was Cinderella. Even to this day, when I hear that song, I instantly think back to my dad's white truck with the red interior, my feet barely touching the floor and Dad turning the radio up loud so I could sing even louder. How I loved that song - and still do!!
Though "The Voice" was what hooked me, it was the sincerity and compassion of the man that I really grew up admiring. Many years after "Cinderella", when I was a Junior in high school in 1991, there was a benefit auction for NARAS and one of the items was tickets to see Vince and backstage passes for dinner with Vince before the show. I decided to give it a shot, never expecting in a million years that I would win! Well … I won! I will never EVER forget it. Long story short, my family was going through a rough time then. My parents had gone through a painful, bitter divorce and my little brother (he was 9 at the time) was really troubled. Vince was so kind; he allowed my entire family (my mom, brother and grandmother) to come backstage with me and spent the ENTIRE DAY with us. My grandmother was a mess of tears, she was so happy. My brother…well, for the first time in a long time, he was smiling and happy. Vince will never know what an impact he had on my little brother … my whole family, actually. Even my life changed as a result. Vince encouraged me to check out Belmont University in Nashville as a college option. One year later, I moved to Nashville and attended Belmont. I lived in Nashville for 7 years and met my husband there. How different would my life have been?
Anyway, this post was not intended to be about me. I've just always wanted to say THANK YOU to Vince and the way he has touched people's lives, even without knowing it. I will ALWAYS be one of his admirers and will always consider him a friend in my heart. It honestly moves me to tears. I really hope someday I will be able to thank him face to face. As I sit in the audience at his concerts, I am filled with respect and admiration … but I don't have to explain that to all of you.
Okay...I guess that's the end of my sentimental rambling...but I know you will all understand. I'm so glad to be here!