My Wildest Dream in Life
San Diego//March 2005
My wildest dream in life was to meet Bono and the rest of the group U2 because I am "The Biggest Little U2 Fan in the World." My parents took me to San Diego in March to see the very first concert of their new Vertigo 2005 tour.
We were waiting in the parking lot that first day and saw them all drive in but none of the members of the band came out to greet us. The day of the second concert we were waiting in the parking lot again and saw The Edge drive in. A few moments later he came walking around the corner and since I was the first one in line, he stopped and talked to me.
My mom was crying because she was so excited for me and I had big tears running down my cheeks also. My mom told him that I was so excited to meet him and that is why I was crying. He spent time looking at all of my U2 bracelets and talking to me. He signed the hat that I had designed and I was on cloud 9.
About 20 minutes later Bono's SUV pulled up but it stopped in the middle of the line. Everyone swarmed to be near him. We asked the security people if he would come down to our end and they said that he probably wouldn't and that we should go to the back of the crowd to see if we could get up to him. We went to the back of this big crowd and my hopes dimmed because I was so close but didn't think I would get a chance to meet him.
All of a sudden, some of the people we had met in line and knew how much I wanted to meet him, shouted out, "let the little handicapped girl in." It was like Moses parting the Red Sea. Everyone moved and a lane opened leading right up to Bono. My mom pushed my chair up to him and he said "hello sweetie." My dad handed Bono a page from my scrapbook which shows me reading a book about Bono with the following written on the page: Meeting Bono the poet, activist, superstar front man, and the man of her dreams: PRICELESS!!!!!!"
Bono took time to read this and then signed it and wrote "I love you Elsha, 2005 is our year!" I was crying because this was my dream. His bodyguard, John, took my dad's camera and took a picture of Bono with our family. Bono was giving me a hug in the picture. If I could stand, I would have had to sit down because my knees were so weak. It was like a dream and I still can't believe it happened. Here is someone who is known worldwide and involved with helping third world countries get out of debt and also helping poor countries get AIDS funding, yet he was kind enough to take this time with me. He also signed my hat and wrote "a flower for Elsha" and drew a little flower on it for me. I was crying because I was so happy and I noticed that some of the people we had met were also crying too. I know that they were happy for me.
Me and Edge
Me and Bono
DENVER //APRIL 2005
We also went to two concerts in Denver. The day of the second concert Bono stopped and was greeting everyone in line. When he got to me he said "I've seen you somewhere before, in a hotel lobby or parking lot or something. My mom told him that we met in San Diego and he said "Yes, at the venue, I remember." I couldn't believe he remembered me but then again, I guess there aren't too many other 21 year old girls who weigh 34 pounds and ride around in a wheelchair that are also huge U2 fans. My mom told him that I had met him and The Edge in San Diego but that I really wanted to meet the rest of the band too. Bono said, "We are really busy but we can work on that."
He went on down the line greeting the rest of the people and now I am thinking that since he said that, he would be back out with Larry and Adam to meet me. I convinced my mom to wait there with me but my dad went to lunch with some of the other people. Bono did not come back out and I was a little heartbroken.
We went into the Pepsi center and looked around at souvenirs for a while and then finally took our seats. My mom saw John, Bono's bodyguard, down behind the stage scanning the arena and tried to get his attention. It looked as if he was searching for someone. A few moments later some security people came to us and told us that they had been looking for us for an hour because someone in the band wanted to meet us.
Just as the warm up group, Kings of Leon, were finishing playing, a security person came and took us down the elevator and backstage. We met the CEO of Clearchannel communications who was waiting with his family to get pictures with U2. As soon as those pictures were taken, Adam (the bass guitar player) came running over to me to greet me. He was followed by Larry (the drummer) and then The Edge who said "Hello again." I guess he remembered me from San Diego also. Bono came over too and they gathered around me so that my dad could take a picture. By this time the prelude music for them to take the stage had started playing but Bono knew that I wanted Larry and Adam to sign my hat. They had started leaving but Bono called them back and said, "you boys need to sign her hat." They both did and then ran on stage a little late. My wildest dream had come true. I got to meet the whole band and I still can't believe this happened to me.
As we were enjoying the concert the band started the prelude music to their song "Miracle Drug". Bono said "I want to thank the doctors, nurses and medicines that help people" and then he said, "I want to sing this for a sick young lady" (me). My mom and I didn't hear this but my dad did and so did the people we stood in line with that day. They all came over to us after the concert and asked if we had heard that because they all knew that it was me Bono dedicated the song to, even though they didn't know we had gone back stage to meet them. Someone sent me a video of this song a few months later and I was finally able to hear it. I will treasure this always.
Backstage with the boys
SALT LAKE CITY//DECEMBER 2005
On December 17 2005, we went to the U2 concert in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was so cold but we waited outside of the Delta Center for U2 to arrive. Just a little after 6pm the black Cadillac Escalades came driving in behind a police car with Bono in the lead SUV and everyone was cheering. The rest of the band were in their own SUVs following Bono.
The excitement got even better when a short time later Bono's SUV came driving back up the driveway. He looked at me, smiled and while waving to me I could see him say "Hello Elsha". John, his bodyguard, got out and gave instructions to everyone and said they didn't have very much time. Bono got out and came over to me and was talking to me. He signed my scrapbook page (he wrote "Bono I love Elsha") and a CD for my niece.
He started signing things for other people and then we showed him the Muscular Dystrophy Magazine from Utah that has a picture of him giving me a hug from the San Diego concert. He looked at it and said "Oh, how stellar!" He then signed it and went on down the line.
As he was going to get in the SUV I asked my mom if we could get a picture. She said that he probably didn't have time for a picture and Bono heard us and said, "of course we have time." He came over to me again and his bodyguard took my dad's camera and snapped a picture of us.
Bono asked if he had given me that green army hat that I was wearing and my mom told him that he didn't but that I had to have everything just like U2 because I love them so much. Bono took his glasses off and it looked like he was going to put them on me but then he just folded them up and laid them on my lap. He then put his one hand forward and kind of bowed to me and smiled and then got right in his SUV, smiled and waved as they left.
I was crying and then another surprise took place. The Edge came out with his bodyguard and came right over by us. My mom said, "Here is Elsha, do you remember her?" The Edge said, "yeah!, she is a special one." He kneeled down and talked to me and signed my MDA book too. He looked at my niece and my mom said, "That is my little granddaughter." The Edge said "hello little granddaughter." We asked if we could have a picture and he said "sure." His bodyguard let my dad come out of the crowd and take a picture of us. The Edge then went on down the line.
I can't believe Bono gave me his sunglasses. I was so excited. This was the best Christmas present ever.
This was the perfect ending for the last show of this tour for me.
The Best Christmas present ever!
PARK CITY//JANUARY 2008