Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Top 12 Moments of the Reunion (Thus Far): Part One

I warned you that even though the cruise is over, I was bound to blog from time to time, and don't you know that the time has arrived?

We don't know what's coming next, and I look forward to making more memories, but for now I wanted to capture what I consider my top 12 reunion memories. It was going to be a top 10, but 10 just wasn't enough.

Let's start with 12-7. 6-1 will come in the next post.

12. Long Island DVD Screening: Somewhere on my list of childhood daydreams had to have been going to the movies with NKOTB, and in January 2010, I got to. Better yet, the movie we were watching was about them and I got to see it a week before it hit store shelves.

There was also a thrill in the buildup to the screenings, although I probably appreciate it more now than I did then. I was convinced the closest screening to me would be in West Virginia (read: not in a place I had a hope of getting to) and had resigned myself to waiting for my copy in the mail to watch at home in my New Kids-free living room. When I saw that one of the theaters that had been selected was only 45 minutes away, I could hardly believe it, and when I got the email saying I could attend I was giddy. Being part of such a lucky select group made it even more special.
11. Holmdel Let's Get This Book Drive: June 2009 was a rough month. My mother was very very ill and I was going from Connecticut to Pennsylvania as much as I could. Originally, I was supposed to attend the Mohegan show on June 18 with my friend Myka, who I would be meeting for the first time. But I made a last minute decision to buy a ticket for the Holmdel show the weekend before too, even though I'd have to go by myself. It turned out to be the only Full Service show I saw, as I was called home to PA on June 17.

A week or so before the Holmdel show I was sitting in my mother's hospital room wondering if I would be lucky enough to be chosen as a LGT volunteer, and no sooner did the thought cross my mind than I received the invitation email. (One of my small thrills in life: seeing "Joe McIntyre" in my email inbox.) The day of the show was cold and the rain came down hard, but my co-volunteers and I became fast friends. Holmdel is especially notable because it's the closest I've ever come to having a sensible conversation with Joe, despite the fact that said conversation included me mentioning Shoshanna Bean.

10. Atlantic City Casi-NO tour: Last minute decisions are always the best, aren't they? It never occurred to me to buy tickets for AC when the tour went on sale. I had Miami. I had Radio City. I didn't need to fight Jersey shore traffic on Memorial Day weekend for another show, right? So I thought until the Wednesday before the Saturday show, when Elizabeth, Kim, and I decided to meet in exotic Atlantic CIty for one extra show. We met up with Jo there, and while the concert was good, the after party was better. It was the best show after party I've been to, which may have had something to do with seeing this guy.

9. May 16, 2008 Today Show: Yup, this is really #9. I double checked. They actually get better from here.

I had wanted to go to the very first Today Show on April 4, but I couldn't miss work because I had to teach a class that day. I decided then I wasn't going to miss the next one. Remember when we didn't know BHs were champion queuers? My friend and I had this idea that we were going to take the 5:30 a.m. train FRIDAY morning of the show and get there just before 7. Wednesday of that week I turned on the Today Show and found out people were already lining up. And then my friend had to go away for a family emergency and I was left going by myself, just as I decided Friday morning wasn't going to cut it.

The first Today Show taught me a lot. Like
  1. I could tell my husband I was going to go camp on the streets of New York and he would not think I was crazy.
  2. BHs are instant friends. While I was on the train to the city I saw two girls with camp chairs, introduced myself, and they adopted me immediately.
  3. New Kids attract rain.
This was also the day I opened my Twitter account so I could send updates to other fans.

The enormity of the moment didn't hit me until we were finally allowed into the plaza around 6:15 Friday. I walked around the building and saw all of NKOTB on stage together. It was like someone physically pushed me backwards. All my breath went out of me and it became real.
ktsummer Oh and when I came around the corner & saw them all, I almost fell over. It just hit me - WOW  via txt
Even though it was cold and wet and I could see very little through all of the flags, signs, and umbrellas, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. 

8. The Today Show That Wasn't. By the time the second Today Show rolled around, we all knew better than to show up the morning of. So for the September 1, 2008 show, I went in the afternoon before. At first, everything was going great. I was with a group of 4 friends. The sun was out. My husband still did not think sleeping on the street was crazy. We were golden. And then, a guy from NBC came out and told us the show had been canceled.

At first we thought he was a heckler. But as he explained Hurricane Gustav was worsening and the show was devoting all its time to news from the area, we knew he was serious. At the time, there were about 100 girls in line. Some had already been there two days. Others had come in by bus or plane and hadn't booked a place to stay, so there was a fair bit of panic in the crowd. (We were also disappointed, but everyone there understood the reason for the cancelation and agreed that story took priority.)

Within 10 minutes of telling us the show was canceled, NBC and the Plaza security started telling us to get out. Guards were removing the barriers and shooing us off the sidewalk. We said, "We can't leave. The New Kids are going to come here and see us." Every non-fan there thought we were bonkers, but personally, it never occurred to me that they wouldn't come. One guy said we had to leave or he was going to call and have us arrested. The NBC rep kept saying, "Girls, they're not coming. They're not coming." But we were insistent that no, the New Kids really were going to come there and see us. Finally the girls who needed time to make hotel or travel arrangements convinced NBC to allow us to stay for an hour while they made alternate plans.

Around 45 minutes later, a murmur rippled down the line that we were right, and that NKs really were on their way. I have never seen such fierce primping in my life. Makeup appeared as if by magic. After my last Today Show experience of being half drowned, I hadn't bothered doing a thing with myself, but I did change my pants in the middle of the street.

Danny, Jon, and Joe walked down the line, hugging, taking pics, and signing autographs with each girl. Later, after they had left, a Today Show employee told us that when they had picked the guys up from the airport, they insisted on coming straight down to the line, even before they checked in to their hotels.

"Your fans said you would come and none of us believed them," she said to them. "Our fans know us," she said they responded. "They know we're going to be there."

7. Hearing The Block for the First Time: Do you remember (or should I rewind)? I bet you can picture your first listen through The Block clear as day, just like I can. Diving into each track like it was a piece of chocolate cake and you hadn't eaten in weeks. Squeezing your eyes shut so you could hear each voice, each note. Gasping a little when you heard how the lyrics had changed since the "oh oh oh oh" days. Being overcome when you realized this was real. It was 2008 and you were experiencing a brand new NKOTB album. They were together. It was happening. And it was just beginning.


  1. Wow Katie, #7 gave me goosebumps! Especially when I recall that we were "listening together" weren't we? If you can call chatting through I'm as we listened "together"! LOL. Can't wait for your next blog!

  2. Wow...this totally just made me cry! I wish everyone could understand the love we share with these 5 amazing men! They have no idea what they are missing!

  3. #8 = tears. I love these kids. They never cease to amaze me.

    I can't wait for 1-6!

  4. I got goosebumps too when I read #7! Thank you so much for sharing and looking forward to the next post!

  5. You've just inspired me to write my own top favorite moments. What a great way to reflect on everything we have been lucky enough to experiance in the last couple years!

  6. I dont know what your job is but I hope it involves writing because you are so good with it.
    I actually have a memory of my BFF calling me & saying "They just said NKOTB are coming back". I ran home and ck'd the site and it was "under construction"! Then little by little everything kept coming up :) I still didnt want to get my hopes up--then the Today show happened & it's been pure bliss since haha

  7. Love this blog! I thought I was done with the tears....but apparently not. Looking forward to reading the rest! :-)

  8. If 12-7 make me cry like this....then what will happen with 6-1??? #8 has me crying the hardest. It's not us and them. It's we. 5 brothers and a million sisters in a single family.

  9. These gave me some serious goosebumps... so I'm positive 6-1 will have me in tears :*)
    Long live the Block!!

  10. Regarding #7, I also remember how pleasantly surprised not just at hearing the new CD but how amazing it actually was!!

    And #8, I love that the guys came. I can't believe that story. It gives me chills.

  11. I have happy tears and goosebumps. Great job. Anxious to read #1-6.

  12. Amazing Katie! You are a talented writer and really great girl :) I know we have never met but it feels like Ive known you for years! Cant wait to read the second part!!!

  13. @kimmiek thanks Kim! I do some writing at work. Not very fun stuff though. I was a professional writing major at school. It was my first love.

  14. *tears* - especially #8. Great list.

    (p.s. I was the one who was sitting in your row Friday @ RCMH and told you I loved your blog! I really do hope you continue it!)

  15. You were so nice on the cruise! You just walked up to my friend and I at Half Moon Cay and asked if we wanted a picture together and you took it. I saw you several times on cruise and you always were nice. Thanks for the blog. Makes me smile. Thanks.

  16. It's an amazing thing when 12-7 moments can make me cry! I'm going to be a mess for moments 6-1...I can't wait! Thank you Katie!!!

  17. Alright Katie, you had me smiling though all of them, then teary by #7. I remember thinking it couldn't get any better then the Today Show but it did!! It just keeps getting better and better! Doesn't it? You know what the great thing about us BH's? We are all from different walks of life, different tastes and different styles. We have our Joe girls, Donnie girls, Jordan, Danny & Jon girls. Despite that we all have one thing in common, our love for The Block!!! We all feel the same joy, the same love and the same giddy feelings as our childhood dreams have become reality. We all understand those feeling that only a BH could and that is what bonds us all together. As I look back I am thankful for all that we have gained from this reunion in both experiences and friends. Thanks for the blogs, I always enjoy reading them! :)

  18. I know it's crazy but I love you like one of my oldest friends and some day we have to erase that "supposed to" from our story. Must go wash face in bathroom now.

  19. Seriously just brought me to tears in my office. So many amazing moments these past two years. I can't wait to see what's to come.

    On a different note, it was great to finally meet you at RCMH.

  20. As always .... You manage to capture the magic perfectly!! God help us all with #'s 6 - 1!!!! Can't wait!!

  21. Tracy @joeyjoespopsiclJune 23, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Awesome blog! Thanks for sharing. I have to say my fav moment was at the Wheeling screening. Being able to teun around and see them sitting 2 rows in back of me made me crazy! :)

    Can't wait for 6-1!! :)

  22. UGH! The tears. You know... every single time something happens I say "I can't imagine it could EVER get better than this" and it does. If it all ended now - it would be so sad - BUT how amazing is it that we all have at least 10 new friends that would be on a plane if we needed them, at least 20 that would send flowers, AND A MILLION who would smile and pray for you?

    That's crazy talk. And it is US.

  23. Your blog is AWESOME!!!! Love the first part of the list and I, like you, listened to the Block so closely so I could figure out who was singing and was so excited to hear it. I was at RCMH on Thursday too - I saw you tweeted where you were sitting but the show was just about to start because I was going to come say hello since you seem so nice. :)

    Anyway, I'm off to read the rest of your blog.

    Janine (neenie313)

  24. I said it before and I love the way you tell a story. For me it was moment #7. I was not an NKOTB fan growing up so when I heard all the buzz they were making, peaked my curiosity and I bought The Block. After that I was hooked and all I knew was that I had to buy The Greatest Hits to learn all the New Kids songs because I knew I was going to see them in concert. After everything was said and done, I saw them FOUR TIMES!!! and loved every minute of it!