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Evacuating New Orleans with Michael


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#1 FoxyOperaSinger

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 11:52 PM

Hi All,

I have been reading posts from so many wonderful people who have been touched by Michael in so many different ways, that I wanted to share my experience with 'getting to know' this fantastic person.

I was in the 2nd row at Michael's New Orleans concert in July 29, 2005, and was blown away by his voice, personality, and humbleness. I can speak for everyone in the audience that night, that New Orleans was completely floored by this concert, and showed their appreciation with a verve I have never experienced at any other concert. Everyone knows that New Orleans takes its music very seriously, and appreciates jazz and standards to the higest degree. I looked around in the audience several times to see the most eclectic audience one could imagine; men were dancing and laughing at Michael's jokes, women were screaming and dancing, the older people were smiling and tapping their feet, and teens were snapping their cameras. Michael's performance that night solidified him as a favorite to the people of New Orleans. I sat there in awe of this talent, and knew that this was the beginning of a life long love affair with his voice.

Everyone knows that on August 29th, New Orleans was paid a visit by Katrina. Oddly enough, one month from the concert. My story is that as 16 members of my family were preparing to evacuate our homes, and no one knew when and if we were going to come back, I could not help but listen to Michael's music to keep me going. I'm 23, so when your mother turns to you as you're packing only the essentials of your life and says, "I don't know what to do", you have to be strong. From that point on, I was the one pulling everyone together. I was scared that we were going to lose everything, and not everyone from my family was leaving (like we begged them to). As we packed the car with suitcases, photos, food, pillows, and people at 3AM August 28, I felt the gravety of the situation. This was it. We listened to the local AM radio station during the drive, and once we lost that station, I took out my CD case and put in 'It's Time'. That title has so much meaning to me now. It was a wonderful diversion to hear Michael's voice for my family and myself. I couldn't help but think back to the concert, and how perfect that night was for so many New Orleanians, not to mention my mom and myself.

While I was driving the car with my 86 year old Grandma and my Mom as passengers in my car, "Home" started playing. Now, if you can imagine this, the impact that song had at that moment was immense. I started crying when I thought of all the cars driving out of this beloved city with only what they could fit in their cars, not knowing what was going to happen, and where they would end up. I thought of my own family and when we would get to return 'home' and what we would find, if anything.

We evacuated to Memphis and had 16 people in 5 rooms. (A big thank you to the people of Memphis for being so wonderful!) Throughout the ordeal, I played the cd's over and over again. As you can imagine, life was pretty tough when you're displaced from everything you knew. I took care of my grandmother, while my mom made a 3 hour trek back and forth to her job everyday. My grandmother took the whole situation terribly hard, which was so difficult for me. I kept listening to Michael's music, and stayed strong for myself. Michael's voice kept me strong for my family, because I thought that one day I could touch people's lives in the same way. I myself am a trained singer, and have my degree in voice. Michael has said that he wants to be able to help people forget their problems, when in fact, he helped me face mine head on. I have since made it my goal to sing with him one day, and I know that if I continue to work hard, it will happen. Over the course of the month away from home, I made changes to my life. I have since moved to Sacramento on a job transfer (a blessing from God), and am persuing my vocal career after work.

I am so grateful to Michael for bringing this great music back to life, grateful to those who helped him achieve his success so that he could touch our lives the way he has, and grateful that he was able to see the people and spirit of New Orleans before Katrina. I hope that Michael will go back and perform there again; we will need him there to bring back the music. In the meantime, I am hoping to get great seats to the Sacramento show so I can relive that magical time before my life changed forever. Thank you, Michael. For everything. See you in Sacramento!
Jennifer
"Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"

#2 weeza

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 04:59 AM

You know, I would love to see some more artists step forward for continuing post-katrina support. It seems like much of the nation has moved on, when there is still so much to be done!

That was a wonderful story!

I know exactly how you feel...I had a weird song expeience too.
My fiancee loved Ozzy ( go figure) and his mom passed away in April of 2001...I lost my fiancee three months later, he died of a heart attack at age 29.
What song came on the radio? Ozzy's "Mama I'm coming home".I'm not an Ozzy fan, I prefer Michael, but to this day that song makes me and his entire family cry.
But don't feel sad for me, I'm swaying to Michael's music again with my new husband. We met at a grief counseling session actually.

Jennifer,
Keep on going, and someday you'll have a new home, even if it's not quite what you expected. It'll be a home in your heart at least.
I hope you and your family are blessed.
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#3 FoxyOperaSinger

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:42 PM

Weeza, I apologize for not responding sooner! I forgot to check this thread Posted Image Thank you for the beautiful words and for sharing your story. I hope to meet you at some point on the tour Posted Image Thanks again!
Jennifer
"Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"

#4 Angel Lisa-Marie

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 08:21 AM

That story brought me to tears..
I was due to go to New orleans on holiday on the 29th August but it stopped due to Katrina.
When i saw what you guys were going through it made me apprechiate all that i have around me.
I hope that all of your family are ok. Michael does seem to have a way of making things seem better when the going is getting tough!!

Just remember keep going for your dreams cause we'll be in the front row when you get to sing with Michael.

Have a good day
Lisa-Marie
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#5 Daryl D

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:28 PM

Hey Jen,
Brad Chambers mentions your requests every morning. Keep up the good work. Hopefully, the station will get back on the airwaves, soon.
Hugs,
D
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#6 FoxyOperaSinger

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 10:07 PM

Yes, ladies, I'm back in NOLA!!! All be it temporarily...I intend to go back after the $$$ has accumulated Posted Image NYC is supremely expensive! NOLA is a mess, but we're strong and determined to bounce back! Thanks for your support and I'll be in touch Posted Image Posted Image http://michaelbuble..../icon_smile.gif
Jennifer
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#7 Livin' in Bubleland!

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:39 AM

JENNIFERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How the heck are ya'!!!!!!

Are you just there to visit? I thought you were living there? I'm confused! We sure have missed you on the board!

WELCOME BACK!!!!! Posted Image

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#8 FoxyOperaSinger

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 07:24 PM

Thanks, Roxie Posted Image I see you're in NYC...I'll be moving there eventually to start auditioning for musicals! Thanks for the sweet words Posted Image
Jennifer
"Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"

#9 BriannaLovesBublé

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 03:31 AM

Jennifer,

That was possibly the most touching story I think I've ever read. Thank you for sharing, and I hope your dream comes true.

Brianna Posted Image
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#10 FoxyOperaSinger

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 02:06 PM

Wanted to let everyone know that I made it to NYC!!! Well, I'm a 30 minute bus ride away, which is quite fun Posted Image I even landed the role of Maria in the Sound of Music for a community church in NJ, so things are starting off well! I'll keep you updated!
Jennifer
"Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"

#11 Hogwarts_Dropout

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 09:35 AM

I cannot tell u how touched i was by your story.
Michael has changed and touched everyone's lives on this board in more ways then we may ever realise! he has changed mine and i wake up everyday knowing that his music will get me through it. i am so terribly sorry for your loss and i'm hoping that you will take the strength you need from us and from michael and his muic to rebuild your life.

i believe that every so often the world is blessed with real life walking angels who touch us in a very deep and profound way. I BELIEVE that Michael is that ANGEL, and i dont think he will ever truly understand how much we love and appreciate him, though i havin fun watching him try!! I dont think we will ever be able to truly thank his wonderful family for the gift they bestowed upon the world!

Michael is an angel and so is his family, and i love them, we love them, because they are the people who when they say everything will be ok, you truly believe it.

My thoughts are with you and i pray with every fibre of my being that you will get your wish one day, and when that day comes, i will be in the audience, crying, laughing, sining along because like michael you deserve this!!

my thoughts are with you. take care.

Ainsley
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#12 Roxie55

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 06:12 PM

how exciting, Jennifer!
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#13 Laguna

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 07:28 AM

Good Luck Jennifer. I hope you win the meet and greet. Posted Image
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#14 BonitaKS

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 01:46 PM

Hi Jennifer,
That's great you are back in New Orleans. What is that about 'Maria'?

I'm curious how the recovery efforts are going. Not getting a real sense of it from the "news".

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#15 The Drake

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 10:52 PM

Hi Jennifer,
I read your post on the other thread. I can't even imagine going through such a traumatizing event such as Katrina. Your Mom, Grandma and the rest of your family are doing well. I love the Sacramento area. What a nice place to relocate to. Keep us up to date on your singing career. Are you strictly an opera singer?
Thanks for sharing your story
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#16 Roxie55

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:20 AM

Jennifer, You're such a strong person!
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#17 Boricua

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 11:00 PM

Hi Jennifer, read your incredible story and my heart and prayers are with you and your family. Keep up that fighting spirit!!!, go for your dreams...
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#18 Josephine

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 10:03 PM

Jennifer, I was so very touched by your story!!! Thank you very much for posting it! I often think about all you folks and hope and pray that things are going well now! Your strength in the situation was so very inspiring to read. I hope all is good with your family now. And we wish you very best in the future, and we hope all your dreams come true.
We agree completely with you about Michael!!!! We'd love to hear some day that you could sing with him.

Take care!
Jo

#19 FoxyOperaSinger

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 11:06 PM

Boricua,

Thank you for the reply! I read your post on the other thread and can completely relate to your feelings. I may have to try listening to "Feeling Good" as soon as I wake up...it's way too early to feel good, but I know that song would help a lot!

Jennifer
"Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?"
Jennifer
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#20 oniee2

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 01:12 AM

I have seen Michael six times now. In San Antonio I was able to go backstage and meet him because i know someone from Beaver Productions.

The meeting was so brief that i didnt get the chance to tell Michael something very important.I was also so excited to meet him that i couldnt really get the words out.

Last year i drove to Memphis from New Orleans to see Michael for the third time. When i left New Orleans, I knew the hurricane was in the Gulf, but it was still projected to turn towards Florida. I figured id see michael's show Friday night then drive home Saturday. Id still have time to evacuate if needed. Well as usual the show was terrific. I went back to the hotel as happy as could be and drifted off to sleep.

When i woke up Saturday morning - I turned on the news to see that the hurricane was headed straight for Home! I couldnt get home and had no choice but to stay in Memphis. I spoke briefly to my family and they were evacuating. My grandfather, who i am very close with wouldnt leave. He said he never had to leave before and he just wouldnt now either. I was very worried.

The hurricane hit New Orleans. I tried to call my grandpaw and i managed to get through. He told me that water was coming into the house. The phones went dead. For three days our cell phones wouldnt work. I had no contact with any of my family. On the news i saw that the levees had breeched. My grandpaws house was just a few blocks from there. They reported 10 to 12 feet of water in his area. I was going crazy because i kept picturing him drowning in the house and i couldnt do anything. I felt so helpless.

i want Michael to know how much he helped me during that time. At the hotel i thought i would lose my mind. I would go sit in the car just to listen to his CD. He was the only thing that
helped me.

Listening to michael really pulled me through. The song "HOME" really took on new meaning. All i wanted to do was go home. The home ive always known would never be the same again though. Literally the only thing that could calm me was Michael voice.

My grandfather was rescued off of his roof by boat. Everything he had was gone though. Every memory in the house of my grandmaw. The cemetery where she is buried flooded which upset him very much because he knew the water got in.
We had a few months with him in and out of the hospital after that until he let go. It was really hard for me and still is but i know it was to much for him to bear anymore.

I used to pick my Grandpaw up for lunch on Sundays and we would listen to Michael in the car. He really liked him. He told me i should try to meet him and get a picture. My granfather had always tried to meet and get pics with stars he liked. He had a picture with Sinatra, Patsy Cline, and numerous baseball players. We lost them all in the flooded house sadly.

When i met Michael in San Antonio, he had just gotten off the treadmill and he didnt look that excited about us seeing him that way. He was very nice but he didnt want to take a picture. I understood but was a little dissapointed. After a while i was getting ready to leave and Michael came into the hallway. He had taken a shower and changed. He looked over and said "Do you want to take that picture now?"

I cant even explain how much that meant to me. That was so amazing of him. I know he was tired and probably not that excited to have us back there but he asked anyway.

I still have hard days and i miss my grandpaw so much. Its hard to not be able to go to his house and be around his things. Theres nothing left. Whenever im having a bad day, I listen to Michael and it gets me through!

THANK YOU MICHAEL!