Sunday, July 20, 2008
Frost Amphitheater, Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA
Great weather and a perfect venue greeted us as we came through the gates for this year's Summer Symphony, an annual fundraiser for the Children's Health Council. Once the Summer Symphony completed the opening act, a group of children from the Health Council gave a heart wrenching choral performance directed by their Music Therapist. Then Kenny appeared, but the Symphony did not leave the stage. They stayed the entire concert and played with the band! I have never heard Kenny's music sound more beautiful! Kenny himself commented on what a rush it was to have the musicians behind him. The ballads were especially lovely..."One Last Goodbye Song" had me in tears.
One of the things I love about this charismatic performer is how he speaks to the audience. You feel like you are sitting in his living room having a chat with him, instead of being one of 5,000 people in the crowd. The crowd...I kept looking around at it's diversity. The grandmas shaking their buns in the aisle, the toddlers sitting high on their dad's shoulders ... no boundaries of age or ethnicity...all were represented, a testimony to the huge population Kenny reaches. For that one evening we were a close community of strangers, connected by his universal language of music. No talk of war, politics, or gas prices here! Only strong messages of peace, love, and hope for the future.
Three encores later it was finally time for the Meet & Greet! My daughter and I made our way to the courtyard where it was being held and waited anxiously. When he came out Michelle said, "Mom! He is so handsome in person! His pictures don't do him justice." I was in full agreement. It was obvious he was tired, but he selflessly continued to greet everyone.
Our turn came for the handshakes, autographs, and a photo that I have since titled "True Bliss." I was too tongued tied to say what I had practiced over and over in my head. I wanted to tell him in the past two years my hell had finally frozen over too. I wanted to thank him for helping me put on my skates.
On the way back to the car Michelle said, "He's hot." It was really nice to have the endorsement of a 15-year-old while I myself was feeling like a giddy 15-year-old. Kenny is truly an amazing human being and it was such an honor to meet him. It has been a day of making treasured memories. - Kathleen M
Sunday, July 20, 2008