A collection of poetry, stories & artwork by Mary Grace Dembeck. All work on blog is copyrighted.
Friday, January 24, 2014
still in Recovery Mode from
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.
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.)
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
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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?
cab to the Y cost $20.00, tip and all.
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. :)
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
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
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.)
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
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
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.
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?
tho, I found out at the Information booth that there was a 12:07 AM
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: http://youtu.be/JslYJ2pvk8w 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.)