I have read concert reviews, this is a lot more personal. In this article, Lisa Wisnoski Robbins expresses why Kris Kristofferson fans are so dedicated to the legendary songwriter and loving human being.
One Kristofferson fan’s journey, written by our Lisa on 17 May, 2011 at 00.33
Moment of Forever
Was it wonderful for you? Was it holy as it was for me?
Did you feel the hand of destiny
That was guiding us together?
You were young enough to dream
I was old enough to learn something new
I’m so glad I got to dance with you
For a moment of forever……
My “Moment of Forever” came on Sunday, May 15, 2011 when I got to meet my idol and hero, the wonderful Mr. Kris Kristofferson.
The Journey Begins
My journey with Kris began in the early 1970’s when I remember hearing Sunday Morning Coming Down. I hadn’t even really experienced life yet (I was in my early teens), had never taken a drink, and had no idea what a hangover felt like. But something in that song resonated with my soul and I “got it” and have followed him faithfully for close to 40 years now.
I found out that Kris was going to be coming to Stuart, Florida. I waited patiently for the tickets to go on sale to the general public. I had not seen Kris since 1983 and was looking forward to seeing him. I figured he was getting older, and the opportunities to see him would may not be there in the future, so I bought two tickets for May 15th. I asked my sister-in-law, Ellen, to come with me since it is her birthday this month AND I knew she loved Kris, too. She also would give me the courage to try to meet Kris. I knew if I had a fighting chance of seeing him – she would be the one I needed by my side!
Kristofferson at the Lyric
We drove up to Stuart (a small town on the east coast of Florida, about 90 miles north of where I live now) on Sunday afternoon. I have a black convertible and so we put the top down, had Kris tunes blaring from the speakers, and was enjoying the sunny, south Florida weather! The first thing we decided to do was to go see where this “Lyric Theatre” was in downtown, historic part of Stuart. We programmed my phone to give us directions and took a few wrong turns trying to find our destination. And there it was . . . . . this beautiful, historical building, painted a pale yellow with quaint country stores… with The Lyric chiseled into the stone.
Lots of Parking Lots
And there in front of the building was a shiny, new black and bronzed tour bus! Kris was here!! He was already here! I am driving and I started to scream with delight. We parked the car and walked around the bus and took a few pictures. I thought about knocking on the bus door, but I figured that would be a bit too intrusive – even for a Kris fan like me. We thought about walking around (there was a craft fair going on) to see if we could spot him out somewhere, but decided, we better head back to my parents place since my mom had lunch waiting for us.
So we scouted out where we would park before the concert (which was to start at 7 pm) and had our game plan down. We would return around 5 pm to pick up our tickets from Will Call and then go grab a little something to eat and drink before the show. As we drove up, I could see a scurry of activity outside near the tour bus. I saw Kris’ body guard and my heart sunk. Kris was outside and I was still in my car. I had missed my chance.
We got out of the car and made our way over the railroad tracks and towards the theatre to retrieve our tickets. Kris was nowhere to be seen, but there was about 6 men (all dressed in black) standing outside of his bus with fan memorabilia in hand. One of the men said that Kris had just been there, and only signed one thing, but said he would come back out. Well, that was good enough for me!!!! We decided we would just stay put and take our chances…. that maybe, just maybe we would get lucky. I figured I had a fighting chance, since Ellen and I were the ONLY women standing around, and I figured that had to count for Something!!
Stage & Stages
Then the stage door flew open and out came Kris and his body-guard. I melted into my 12-year-old self, and started squealing with delight. I was shaking so badly that I couldn’t even take pictures. This is where Ellen came in handy. Though excited, she stayed amazingly calmed and started maneuvering me towards him and taking pics. The body guards were holding everyone back, but the big body-guard (with the pony tail) saw me and Ellen, and mouthed that “we would get our autographs….to just wait.” I was leaning against another fan trying to peer over his shoulder, when the man exclaimed, “Hey, Kris! I have this woman squishing her breasts against me trying to get closer to you, but I bet she rather be squishing them against you! Not that I’m complaining…..” Kris looked up and right at me — and said, “I wouldn’t be complaining either…” (or something close to that!) I thought I would faint. He saw ME… Kris saw ME. He noticed ME.
I patiently waited my turn while watching Kris just sign his name to dozens of pictures, etc., that these men put before him. (Before the concert I heard them talking about how they weren’t even going to the concert… they just needed their pics signed). I finally got my turn and I gave him my album. I told him that I loved him since I was 12 and had won the album in a contest when I wrote an essay about him. He took the album, and I was just exuding just pure joy, and he started to sign just his name, and I asked him to sign it for me personally. Kris then asked me my name. And I said, “Lisa…” and he goes, “Well, that’s my wife’s name…” and I said, “I know….” And then he chuckled at me with that, “why am I not surprised???”
He signed another picture for Ellen. I asked him then if I could hug him. And he just immediately turned to me and gave me a great big bear hug. While he was hugging me, I whispered into his ear (I can still feel his hair against my cheek…) “Thank you so much. I have been a fan for 40 years and your music has changed my life. I get it.. I get your music.” He then said, as he was releasing my hold, “Well, I hope for the better!” …Then Ellen said to him, “Kris, you look exactly the same… you are still so hot!” and he said, “Well, now I don’t know about that!” He then turned his attention to a woman that came up from behind him, and was taking pictures with her when I realized that I forgot to get his picture. So when he was done taking his pic with her, I said, “I’m so sorry — I totally forgot to get a picture with you. Can we please take a pic?” And he said, “Sure…” and put his arm around me while Ellen fiddled with my phone to get the camera to work (all the while I am standing there with Kris’ arm around me….)
Pick a Pic
We took our pic and then I told him I was going to post it to the I Love Kris Kristofferson Facebook page and that he had many fans from all over the world. He just smiled at me, and chuckled. I got the impression that he has never gotten comfortable or used to this “star” status. And that he really is a shy and unassuming man. And he probably didn’t understand a thing I said to him…..
He is smaller in build than I expected, but in very good shape. You can tell he still works out and takes pride in his appearance. His hair was loose and blowing in the wind. His blue eyes sparkled and he said volumes through his expressions. His skin, yes, his skin was soft. I did not see Lisa anywhere, though a woman came out of the stage door a few minutes later and said to me, “You were very lucky to have that time with him. He doesn’t usually come out and socialize with his fans like that… that was very rare.” But she didn’t look like any of the pictures I had seen of Lisa. But she had gone in and out of the stage door a few times, so I’m not quite sure who she was.
Considering the Concert
I floated away, knowing in that moment, that the night could not get any better. And I still had the concert to attend! My dream had come true. It was more than I could ever have hoped for.. more than I ever allowed myself to dream about…. more than I thought was even possible. And in that moment, I thanked God. I thanked Him for giving me this moment in time with someone who has been a spiritual guide to me in so many ways.
Ellen and I went and had a few drinks and an appetizer at Duffy’s. Nothing could bring me down from cloud I was on. I was showing everyone I met the pic of me and Kris. You would have literally thought I was teeny bopper who just met Elvis!
Kris on Stage
We made our way back to the venue at The Lyric Theatre. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house. This was a very small venue (seats 500), but it was completely filled. Our seats were in the balcony (but it was not a high balcony) and Kris was in my direct vision. He came out – just him and his guitar and harmonica. I wish I could tell you what songs he sang and in what order, but my mind has failed me at this time. I knew all his songs and quietly sang along. Ellen called out, “We Love you, Kris” and he answered with “What was that???” And she repeated it… and he smiled and laughed and said he loved us back. I started clapping during Me and Bobby McGee and the audience caught on and clapped with me. During the song, …”and there’s still a lot of lonely girls…” I hollered, “and there still are…” and the audience and he chuckled with that…. It was a very intimate venue – though the audience didn’t “get into it” like I had hoped. Yet at one point, a gentleman asked him to sing “If you don’t like Hank Williams” and he couldn’t remember the words. So the audience began it for him, and then he went right into it, and we all sang along! But his voice was perfect. He did not miss one note, did not miss playing a single chord, and it was right on. He sounded as good as I have ever heard him on tv, cd, or movie! Of course, he had his usual anecdotal stories about his son not liking the Silver Tongue Devil, and writing songs for his 8 children, and 8 grandchildren… and their mommas! It just went to fast. He sang for an hour and 40 minutes, and it seemed like it was only for 15. I could have listened all night.
AFter the show, the crowds began forming at his bus again. I had determined I was not going to ask for an autograph again because there were others that needed that time with him. But I did take pictures. And videos. While waiting next to his bus, the door open and Johnny, his son, came out. I was standing face to face with him (he had a girl with him….and she was carrying drinks…). I told him, “We love your dad!” and he responded with “me, too!” He stood watch over his dad as people were swarming around him.
When Kris was making his way back to the bus, and started to climb back onto the bus, he looked right at me, and then at my sister-in-law. He gave us a big smile, and pointed quickly… and then the bus doors closed behind him. The crowds dissipated, and I was still standing there, talking to a few other fans who were lucky enough to get their pictures taken. Then I saw the body-guard standing outside the bus door. I thanked him for having my back – for getting my moment with Kris. He smiled back at me, and said I was welcomed. Then I asked him if there was any chance I could get inside that bus…. He then laughed, and said, “I don’t have that much power!” [then some woman walking by goes, “he’s a married man!” – I didn’t want to sleep with him, I just wanted to talk to him! As if I could have talked….).
All Good Things
Reluctantly, we had to say good-bye to Kris and his entourage. As I was walking back to my car, I saw his bus door open again, and I wanted to run back. But my more reasonable self (and my sister-in-law!) told me to let things be. That I had my moment in time.
That I had my Moment of Forever.
And come whatever happens now
Aint’ it nice to know that dreams still come true?
I’m so glad that I was close to you
For a Moment of Forever
All rights reserved. Copyright remains with the author, Lisa Wisnoski Robbins