Happily not obsessed on Cloud Nine

Published 10:33 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2013

By Frank Roberts

The biggest name in country music and a leading television personality — they are wrapped up in one 6’5″ package, and that’s no B.S.

Actually, it is B.S. — Blake Shelton, who is currently enjoying a successful initial superstar tour. On July 19, at approximately 9:30 p.m. he ambled onstage at Farm Bureau Live in Virginia Beach.

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Like all his prior stops on this tour, the concert was sold out to 20,000 screaming, delirious fans. About 19,000 were probably of the female persuasion, persuading the men in their lives to take them to VB.

In row E, a pint-sized blonde waved a banner that said, “I love you, Blake.” There were banners a-plenty with the same message. (It’s doubtful many of them bothered to put in that comma).

Said pint-sized blonde was Christy Stokely of Hertford, N.C., my youngest granddaughter, who later proclaimed, over and over and over again, “This was the best night of my life.”

That included birth, birthdays, graduations, etc.

The weeks preceding said “best night” were seemingly designed to drive family and friends to distraction. The concert was the only thing on her blonde mind.

Talk about the weather, she shifted to Shelton; talk about world affairs, she shifted to Shelton; talk about family, she shifted to Shelton. And on, and on, and on.

Seeing him on stage was the cake. Meeting her hero backstage was the icing. And getting the only double-duty backstage hug doubled the icing.

“A couple other girls hugged him, but I was the only one who got hugged back,” she breathlessly explained. Making the event even better was the fact that all this happened the day before she turned 26. It was so nice of Blake to time things that way.

To add to her few minutes of eternal ecstasy, the performer signed a poster wishing her a happy birthday, and another poster expressing his “undying love” for her, expressions of affection usually reserved for Mrs. Shelton, sometimes known as Miranda Lambert.

Amphitheater gates opened at 6 p.m. “I got there at three,” said Christy, who is still floating about on Cloud Nine.

Will she return to Virginia Beach if Shelton returns next year? “I will be there. If I had money, I would go to all his concerts, everywhere.”

“I don’t want to sound obsessed,” said Christy, whose bedroom is filled with Blake merchandise, memorabilia, t-shirts, posters and magazine covers. All framed.

“I cried when he walked backstage,” she said non-obsessively. “I bawled my eyes out. I was shaking like a leaf.”

Christy is still crying at the thought, still leaf-like shaky, still strolling about on Cloud Nine.

At least she’s not obsessed.

During a 60-year career spanning newspapers, radio and television, Frank Roberts has been there and done that. Today, he’s doing it in retirement from North Carolina, but he continues to keep an eye set on Suffolk and an ear cocked on country music. Email him at froberts73@embarqmail.com.