Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanks for the Memories, Barry

This is the last week of shows at the Hilton. And while I can't claim to have been there "from the beginning", or had the privilege to be there when it ends, I have spent a good deal of time the last few years in Vegas. That time has been littered with memories, highs and lows, and some incredibly life-altering moments. It is all too common to hear in the Manilow world, that Barry brought people together. But it's the truth. I can honestly say that the friends I have met and made attending Manilow shows have come to be my closest confidants and those I now share my life with. It transcends trips to Vegas and nights spent together after the shows. We've traveled across oceans and across continents to be together, spent birthdays together, visited each others homes, and some have even attended my daughter's wedding. I'm always saying "it's ALL about the music", and it is. But it's so much more. It's about the relationships that have remained because of the love for his music.

It's true that Barry is moving on to Paris (which is by far my favorite hotel in Vegas), but it's with a tinge of sadness and a little bit of melancholy that we bid goodbye to the Hilton. It's not the glitziest hotel in Vegas, but for many of us it's where we first met him and first met our friends. It was at the Hilton that I met my very first Barry friend, Mandy and my adventure into fandom began. It's where I sat in Tempo with Karen Roach (who has since passed away) and talked about our escapades on the left stage with a drunk and the dance that Barry and Mandy had together. The Hilton is where "the three musketeers" first bonded, introduced the dance floor idea, and had some fabulous times in Tempo and Shimmer. It's there that I first heard Sandra and Talk to Me, I Am Your Child, Memory, Lay Me Down, I've Never Been So Low on Love, Open Arms, Islands in the Stream, and all the wonderful Mayflower songs. It's also there that I had an up close and personal encounter with Barry who in just a few moments was able to take away the grief I felt over my father's death with his hug.

I will always have a fondness for Fortuna and watching human theater while sipping a cappuccino. I'll even fondly remember "the screamers" at Shimmer and the Pizza Hut at the end of the hall (although I'm not a pizza fan). I will remember breakfasts at the buffet, and meals at the Paradise Cafe, the table at the steakhouse with Barry's picture above it, group dinners at Bennihanna's and sitting by the pool for hours at a time talking. I will have the fondest of memories about early morning coffee in the room and staying up all night after the shows.

My memory bank is full of moments like these at the Hilton. And if it were not for Barry, they would not be there. My life has changed drastically because of Barry Manilow and his music. And although I have no idea what the future holds for me and any trips to the Paris, I am blessed and grateful for the times I have had and the friendships I have been so fortunate to gain because of the common bond we all share, the music.

So Barry, if you ever read this, thanks for the memories and for the times of my life!
Texas Fan


Jill said...

Bob Hope's "Thanks for the Memories" couldn't have done it any better! Now-onward and upward...

Survivor said...

Beautifully said...thank you!

you begin again.... said...

Simply beautiful, S.
Amazing how most of us have a story similar to yours, but you put it into words the best.
Yes, "all about the music" - same here.
But that's what makes Barry and his career special: the long-term effects keep going after the show ends.
Just like in "Pay It Forward"

texas_fan said...

Some of my BEST memories include you :>)

texas_fan said...

What would I ever do without my favorite Brit?

texas_fan said...

Thanks Jill, that song keeps going around in my head today.

Tammy_Lou said...

You put it so well. These things are exactly what we discussed this week while at the Hilton and at the airport before we went our separate ways. So many memories, good times, good friends, and good music. Thanks to Barry all these were made possible.

Anonymous said...

Hi, these words are wonderful. Here in Germany we are far away from all "Barry-adventures", but these words say all about our feelings we have, when we here the music or see the videos. Thank you and have a great and healthy new year! Andrea

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