The Day I Met Jimmie Johnson

Blog Challenge: Open the first photo album you can find — real or virtual, your call — and stop at the first picture of yourself you see there. Tell us the story of that photo. ~ The Daily Post.

I was sitting around Sunday evening after a weekend full of chores contemplating the fact that I had not yet written my Monday post. Guilt set in as I had no clue what to write about. Frankly, my chores from the weekend had zapped any creative energy that I had to begin with so I was figuring on just letting it ride.

But I logged into WordPress and came across this “challenge” and thought it was a really cool idea. So – here goes.

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To start – I’m a HUGE Jimmie Johnson fan – the Nascar driver… make that 6 time Champion Nascar driver. A few years ago, I innocently entered a contest – to be honest one I don’t even remember entering – and a few weeks later I received notice in my email that I had won. I had won tickets to Jimmie Jam which his publicity people put on throughout the country. It always included a “meet and greet” session where he would be interviewed as well as tickets to practice of the race where they were that particular week. The evening of the meet and greet always also had a concert – mostly “B” list singers. I think Eddie Money once did it.

I was so excited! I was going to meet Jimmie Johnson! I’ve never won anything! I promptly opened a new email to tell my husband. I checked to see where it was and when so I could tell him.

Now for the best part – it was being held in Indianapolis. As in Indiana…The STATE of Indiana.

I live in Pennsylania.

There was no travel included in this prize.

Indiana is a 9 hour drive from Pennsylvania.

I obviously hadn’t thought I would ever win this prize, or perhaps even checked to see where it was before I entered, but even if it was in CALIFORNIA – we would have gone. I did not hesitate to tell my husband we were going. It was perhaps my only chance to ever meet Jimmie. How could we NOT go?

So the first picture is when we first entered the event. We each snapped a pic in front of this big screen TV that had photos of Jimmie running on it. We were so excited. We got few drink tickets, free food, the place was pretty cool and teeming with other Jimmie fans. Plus, the drive had been great, our hotel – that we got at a decent cost – was also pretty awesome and now I was minutes away from marrying Jimmie Johnson!

Oh wait… I mean MEETING Jimmie Johnson. I was already married. Ha HA… and so was he… silly me…

Anyway, we got ourselves a drink and promptly positioned ourselves directly in front of the stage. Other people were milling about, checking out the food, wandering around… I could not understand anyone who did not position themselves directly in front of the stage even if it was still a half hour before the set start time. I mean… JIMMIE was going to be on that stage. (And also, it turned out, the country music singer Craig Morgan – which was really gravy on this already terrific evening.)

My face in this first photo does not show my excitement.

About an hour later – this one does:

 

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Can you see that Jimmie is within INCHES of me? Can you see that I am about to pee my pants? (Seriously, I refused to go to the bathroom for fear I would lose my spot by the stage.) I made my husband take this photo and did not feel bad in the slightest that if Jimmie would have proposed to me the next second (after seeing the flash of my camera and the flash of my brilliant and gorgeous smile) I would have left my husband in the dust. And he would have understood. He said later that he had never seen me like that before – so giddy. I don’t do giddy. I did that night.

I was close enough to touch Jimmie’s shoe! I commented this exact thing to my husband.

“I could touch his shoe!” (I think Jimmie actually laughed at this…)

And then I did. I touched his shoe. And here’s proof:

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Why, yes, this is a picture of Jimmie’s shoe. The one I touched.

He’s lucky that’s all I did. Thank God John was there to restraint me. In fact, I’m pretty sure why all the men were there – to restraint their wives and to make sure they remained married.

I was ecstatic. Jimmie was going to sign my badge. He would stand right in front of me, take something from my hand to his, look at me and sign it. I would have it forever – the moment and the signature.

Then, when he was two people from me and I thought I could take the wait no more… Jimmie turned and left the stage.

I’m not kidding. He LEFT. THE. STAGE. DONE signing.

There is unfortunately no picture of me collapsed fully across the stage in my defeat. Weeping into the spot that Jimmie’s shoes had just, minutes ago, trod upon. En mass those of us without signage cried out in our lament as Craig Morgan took the stage to sing his set.

And then Craig, mid song, hearing our mourning, joined in our cries encouraging Jimmie to come back out and keep signing. See, he had left the stage so Craig would have center spotlight. And then Craig gave it up so we could get signatures.

Making Craig Morgan my favorite country singer to date (sorry Garth.)

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Here are our signed badges and a drumstick that Craig tossed into the crowd and I caught (or wrestled from another lady… whatever.) It was by far one of the best nights of my life and I’ll never forget it.

The thing is – I don’t even remember Jimmie signing our badges though. I remember it all up until he walked back out on stage. I think I may have blacked out from the sheer excitement of it all.

But no matter. I have my signature. And my pictures.

And now you know the story.

Who has been the most exciting person you’ve ever met?

 

 

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About suefair48

Writer, Editor, Blogger, Christian - in the pursuit of joy and God's timing through life's simple snippets.
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