Friday, January 24, 2014

Click to add title RA as Thornton

I'm still in Recovery Mode from my How-I-Met-My-Idol-Richard-Armitage-aka-John-Thornton- Excellent-Adventure-at-the-92nd-St-Y-in-NYC. It all happened on the night of January 16th, 2014. Our Richard was to be part of a group of actors doing a READING of Pinter/Proust.

First of all, I DARED myself to go to NYC and take on all the challenges of such an "excellent adventure" without making a trip to OZ to get me some COURAGE, first.

I plotted and planned for DAYS before the trip, sometimes assuring myself that I could always opt out if I wanted to. Who would know? After all, no NORMAL person my age would easily consider going into New York City … by train ... alone ... on a cold Winter night ... and then have to make her way to 92nd Street by whatever transportation she could find, and then sit in a darkened theater for hours WITHOUT falling asleep. (I always fall asleep in darkened theaters in my ... advanced age.)

(The key word above is *NORMAL*. I do not consider any Richard Armitage fan (or Fankle, as some of us on this British website called C19, call ourselves) normal. C19 is a website mostly devoted to Richard Armitage, and we are all proud members of the Armitage Army. We are all hopelessly, deliriously obsessed with Our Richard, as we call him.)

So, ignoring all the pleadings from my own common sense, (or what little of it I have), 
I did it – even with the gnawing worry that I would probably make quite a few blunders.

When I got into bustling Grand Central Station, I asked a police officer if he could tell me the best, least expensive but fastest way to get to the 92nd Street Y. He told me I had three options: the first was a bus, but he didn't think that was a good idea because it would take ages, what with all the stops and the congested traffic; the second was by taxi, but that would be reallly expensive, and the third way was by subway.

We walked over to a counter and he got a map and proceeded to tell me to make sure to go to the ticket booth downstairs at the subway station and buy a ticket for $2.50 and another ticket for $5.00, (huh?), and then make sure I took the train going north, and then make sure to go past three stops and then ...

I interrupted him politely here and said I thought I'd better opt for a cab because I was sure I'd make a mistake of some sort and probably end up in New Jersey. He laughed amiably and agreed that a cab might be my wisest choice.

So I went outside into the cold night and walked three blocks before I finally got a taxi. I could see that the street traffic was indeed truly horrific and the cab would probably cost me a fortune ... but after all, it was to SEE OUR RICHARD IN PERSON, and wasn't ANY expense, any effort, worth THAT?

The cab to the Y cost $20.00, tip and all.

I checked in at the ticket counter to pick up the ticket I had ordered by phone and asked if someone could deliver a small package I had brought for Richard Armitage. A nice young fellow said he would take it to Richard personally. I could have hugged him. :)

As luck would have it, I had gotten to the Y in time to sit in on the discussion in what's known as The Gallery, before the Readings. Never expected I would be allowed in, but I was. The discussion was so delightful, the speakers so witty and charming, as well as so informative.

Then it was upstairs to the balcony for me. I tried to see if I could spot TWO people in particular: a woman whose name online was Fantastica, and another whose name was Librarygirl. No luck yet.

The READING began, and OMG – suddenly there was our Richard! (Be still my heart!) I'm afraid all the other performers/readers proved a bit of a blur, because I had eyes mainly for RA. I even kept focused on him when he just sat in the back onstage after each reading of his parts. Imagine ... I was breathing the same air as he was. (I'll bet ALL the members of the Armitage Army who were there that night must have been thinking the same. I mean, this was no ordinary HUMAN BEAN we were seeing on that stage. This was OUR DEAR DARLING LOVABLE RICHARD ARMITAGE! )

Well, he was simply ... Richard. Which is to say he was charismatic, eloquent, funny when the lines called for him to be funny ... in short, he was magnificent. Many a time I wanted to pinch myself to prove this wasn't all just a dream. I guess Proust is okay ... and I guess Pinter is okay ... but Richard could have been reading the telephone directory for all I cared, and I would have been in Swoonville just as easily.

During intermission, I was sure I had spotted one of the ladies I had hoped to meet (I had been given a description of her and her real name, as well as her online name (which was *Fantastica*) and told she would also be looking out for me.) I went over, close to where she was sitting and managed to call out her real name. (She's shy and very private and prefers not to have her 
real name mentioned.) She immediately turned and looked at me - then she broke out in a BIG SMILE and came charging over to me, and we broke out in giggles and hugged. I had been told beforehand that it was her birthday, so I gave her a tiny figurine I had made and wished her a happy birthday. (I had also made her a card, but I never could find it in my darned, overcrowded tote. Rats!). Talking to her, I felt as if I'd known her for YEARS. Truly lovable. :)

How could this evening be more perfect than it had been so far, I asked myself. I was soon to find the answer when, after the Reading was over, Fantastica and I went down to the lobby and, on a hunch, made our way close to the Gallery area ... and suddenly THERE WAS OUR RICHARD! Smiling, looking so happy, so quietly animated, so thoughtful and gentle. He posed for picture after picture, his manner so welcoming, that handsome face so benign ... looking a bit tired, but so obviously enjoying being with his ardent fans.

Fantastica, took my camera and took the picture you see here in this blog. (I was afraid to look at it until I was back on the train, on my way home.)

It was in the midst of this well behaved little mob of fans that I also discovered I was standing next to ... of all people ... Librarygirl. She was soooo cute, and soooo funny, with such a tall, handsome hubby!

IMO, THIS part of the evening was entirely THE BEST part. Being in Our Richard's presence, having a picture taken with him, hearing him laugh and talk and just being so ... well, I'm sorry, but the most apt word I can think of to describe him is: SO SWEET! It was HEAVEN! He told me he had gotten my package and thanked me. He was talking to ME. Richard Armitage was smiling and talking to ME!

He calmly signed autographs, posed for pictures, spoke to us in that low, mellifluous voice of his. He even told the guard standing nearby that he would not leave until he had seen all his fans. Wottaguy!

When it was all over and Richard had left, a group of us headed out the door and then hugged and kissed goodbye. We were strangers no more, but Armitage Army buddies.

I grabbed a cab and headed back to Grand Central Station (another fortune in taxicab fare ... but who cared!?)

I missed my 11:22 PM train by THREE MINUTES, but who cared?

I thought it was the LAST train, and I might have to either sleep in the waiting area to catch the next train in the morning, or find a motel ... but who cared?

Luckily, tho, I found out at the Information booth that there was a 12:07 AM train. HURRAY!

I was in such a dream state on the train, reliving the evening in my mind, (and occasionally napping off), that I missed my stop. Uh oh ... what to do now? I got off in (OMG) Fairfield and luckily found a cab, and tho it cost another small fortune to get me back to my car at the Westport station, I thought ... who cares!?

I tell you ... EVERYBUDDY should have a DOSE of Our Richard in their lives. It's better than a shot of caffeine or adrenalin!

(I apologize to anyone who fell asleep while reading this.)

BTW - If you'd like to see the series that initially got all us women so hooked on Richard Armitage aka John Thornton, you can view the entire series on Youtube. Here is the link - just copy and paste it in your browser:

WARNING: you won't like *John Thornton* AT ALL when you first see him.  But, hold on.  You'll soon be all (Lady) Ga Ga over him ... I guarantee it. ;)

(Be sure you watch BBC North and South, or you'll get a Western instead.)


  1. awwww! So sweet! I'm so glad I found your blog!

  2. What a lovely account. Goodness, what time did you get home? I went on the insane trek to get me out of a funk. Great shot in the arm, eh? :)

  3. Landed via Me & Richard -- Loved the tale of your adventure! Look at you go! What an awesome night :)

  4. Hay Mary, I am "fantastica"! I didn't know you have this blog and I am not a member of C19 so I am really happy to reach you here! Girl you looked great in that picture w/ Richard. I am so proud (of being the photographer lol). I left with another fan whom I later sent my photos to (you can see them here: ). We were fangirling so hard on the way back we totally took the wrong subway train - I mean, four eyes were just as good as blind when clouded by our RA craze. So anyway, after 4 subway trains and an Olympic sprint fueled by RA induced adrenaline rush, I finall caught the last LIRR train to my mom's home a few seconds before its doors closed. If I had missed that train I would have to wait another hour, so I was luckier than you. Anyway it was so great to see you and it was my best birthday ever! Thanks again for your lovely presents! I am thinking about framing that RA portrait you made. Please contact me again next time ok? Hugs!!!

  5. Thanks for taking that picture of Our Mary, Fantastica!!! (She and Our Richard look great together. haha!)

  6. What a wonderful, fairy tale evening! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

  7. They sure do! I am super jealous because I looked like crap in my own photos - I mean I looked like I was on drugs! LOL. Granted I was so high from the adrenaline rush that night I couldn't look any worse. At least I had a great time, and it's definitely worth the trouble of driving literally1000 miles to NYC!

  8. Wonderful account!! Thank you so much for sharing. :D

  9. How fun! I don't know what c19 is, but if you are part of it, it must be awesome. I will figure it out. Thanks for passing on the amusing and inspiring RA encounter story.

  10. Richard is heavenly. I loved reading about your evening on this unforgettable adventure. Thank you for sharing with us.

  11. So you're that broad, I mean lady, with the black beret who tested my New York mettle by holding her ground right in front of the man when I was trying hard, very hard, I know you noticed, to get you to budge aside so Library Girl, yes the very woman YOU wanted to meet, could get to the rope for her photo with him. Ha ha ha ha ha! Next time, I'll just introduce myself! I know you well, Mary3, from those C19 caption contests. He doesn't know any of us, but hell, we all know each other! We should just wear name tags. Ha ha ha!!! Armitagebesotted.

  12. Dear Mary,
    Thank you for sharing your lovely evening with Richard and your RA Army gal pals! It was a delight to read your account and I'm thrilled that you had such a wonderful time--taxi prices and missed train connections notwithstanding (is that all one word? Ha!).

    And the picture of you and Richard is priceless! He is handsome and you are beautiful--and glowing! You don't look a day past 68 my dear. Hugs!

    Thanks again and Cheers! Grati ;->

  13. Dear Mary,
    Thank you so much much for this wonderful account! I enjoyed reading it so much. It made me laugh and also cry a little bit. You can definitely spend a fortune on taxi rides if the prize is seing Richard live. I also love him to bits.
    You look so beautiful together in the picture! Best wishes from Finland.

  14. Wonderful story, Mary, I am so pleased it was such a great success. And I want to say what a lovely picture you have to remember the occasion.

  15. What an exciting night! So nice that you were able to meet Richard. Your drawing is absolutely lovely!

    1. Thank you, all you kind ladies ( Grace Brady, Judiany, MaryJaneZigZag, {{{mefantastica}}}, {{{Nat}}}, denni68, msgigglepants, KathyJ ,Fabulaktuko, J, gratianads90, cristine, Gwen Christie and VeronicaL) for all the smiles you gave me on reading your lovely comments. :)

      (Please forgive me if I've spelled any of your *names* wrong.)

      And please come visit MaryTales again.

      Baci ***
      Mary :)

  16. Hi Mary,
    I found a connection to your blog just today and had to write and let you know how inspiring the story of your jaunt to see Richard was for me. I plan to cross the pond to see Richard in his play at the end of the month and just like you am going for it even though at age 65 I was feeling some slight misgivings. However, you've given me the courage to go all out. Bless you for chronicling your trip and experiences!

    1. Hello whachee.kong!
      Just saw your comment tonight (November 13, 2014) as I was browsing through my blog. You're only 65? Why, you're just a young whippersnapper! ;) I hope you got to see Richard in his play (YOU are the lucky one, if you did). If you are reading this, could you tell us of YOUR *excellent adventure* going *across the pond*? Thank you again for your lovely comments. {{{Hugs}}} -- Mary :)