Two weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of meeting
R A Y L A M O N T A G N E.
My colleague and I took select students on an field trip downtown last Thursday.
(where we had some student work being exhibited),
and ended at Gheens Academy
(where we had more student work on display).
At our first stop, I was moseying in the lobby of 21C,
admiring the beautiful artwork of Gina Phillips,
when Ray casually walked past me.
I was paralyzed at first.
I literally could not breathe.
I have been a HUGE fan of his music for over ten years.
When I finally was able to move again,
I rant to a group of students and asked them,
"Did you all see Ray?"
They looked at me like I was nuts!
So, my follow up question was,
"Do you know who Ray Lamontagne is?"
Again, they looked at me like I was nuts!
My heart sank.
I spent the next five minutes explaining to a group of students
my adoration of all things Ray Lamontagne.
I emphatically described my Forecastle experience
where I waited hours upon hours at his stage
just so I could be in the front row.
After a number of students heard my excited proclamation of love,
they started peer pressuring me to introduce myself.
After a few minutes of persuading,
they convinced me to peek my head around the corner
into to the hotel restaurant, Proof.
I was so giddy just to see him again,
that I took this blurry picture so fast and ran back into the hotel lobby.
At this point more students were catching wind of what was going down.
I had a circle of students surrounding me.
They started hounding me to go take a picture with him.
Finally, one of my students said,
"Mrs. Norton, we have three minutes until we are leaving.
Are you really going to let this chance pass you by?"
With that probing question, I mustered up my courage and said,
"Okay, Paige, but only if you go with me."
So, Paige and I walked into Proof and headed directly toward Ray.
She led the way and politely interrupted Ray and his guest by saying,
"Excuse me. I hate to bother you, but my teacher is … "
And before she could finish her sentence, I exclaimed,
"I'M A HUGE FAN!"
with the giddiest of grins.
I can hardly believe the next words came out of my mouth,
but my celebrity crush adrenaline kicked in and my filter dissipated.
I asked, "CAN I TAKE A PICTURE WITH YOU?"
To which he answered, "You are so kind. I would, but I am really, very camera shy."
He said no.
But there was no way I was going to leave without his picture.
So I responded in my sweetest begging voice, "PLEEEEEEEASE!?"
And he said, "Okay, but I cannot look at the camera. I am really, very camera shy."
And then out blurted the single most genius line to have ever left my mouth…
I said, "That's okay, YOU CAN JUST LOOK AT ME!"
So, there we are, gazing at each other.
He is clinging to me out of pure fear (of the camera).
Our conversation continued…
He said the following to me…
"You have made my day."
"You are so lovely."
"I am so embarrassed. I just woke up and feel so disheveled."
"Hi, I am Ray."
To which I responded,
"YOU have made MY day."
"You are PERFECT."
"No, seriously, YOU ARE PERFECT."
"I KNOW. I am Taylor."
Then my student, Paige, walked me back around the corner to return to 21C
and I literally melted to the ground.