The Girl With The Website

I sat down at my computer after sending Zach to school, as I had done most days since moving to Oklahoma, and started working.

It had been two years now since I’d started our little fan club website for Rick Springfield with my friend Dawn.  We’d started on her computer in her tiny apartment with my old tourbooks and inspiration from the small but very active fan club we’d just joined.  But it quickly became a responsibility that Dawn just didn’t have the time or inclination to handle, as more and more club members found out about what Rick was doing.  After I’d posted my journal on the website about Rick’s charity event in Tucson, membership had exploded.  The following year’s event enjoyed triple the attendance from club members, and the club added a luncheon with Rick and charity auction to the event list.  It meant more interaction with fans, more personal meetings and always, more content for my fledgling website.

Vivian had seemed thrilled with the various ideas I’d had for the site.  When Rick had started a small tour in 1998, we’d started adding photos and reviews of the shows from the fans.  This current content drew fans in from all over the world, and started exciting them about the possibility of Rick coming to their town.  After ten years in near hibernation, fans were thrilled to see Rick onstage again, myself included.  I’d traveled last year all the way from Michigan to Kansas City and Dubuque, Iowa to see some of Rick’s first few shows.  Not only were the shows full of energy and fun, but Rick seemed genuinely amazed at the fervor that still existed for him as a performer.  He’d invited all of us club members to the sound checks and seen us all backstage afterwards.  The more I chronicled these types of things on the fan club website, the busier the site became.

Not long before R and I had moved to Oklahoma, Rick Springfield had launched an official website with a real domain name:  rickspringfield.com.  Everyone was thrilled with the prospect; what kinds of things would Rick include on his own website?   The site was artistic and beautiful, having used the cover art from Rick’s newest record:  Karma.    Some fans questioned if there would still be a need for the work that I did on the fan club website, but after the launch, we quickly realized there would be room for both.  Rick’s official site didn’t include any of the fan friendly reviews or interaction that we had on ours.  Plus, once I moved and stopped working, I was able to update our news and information, including additional tour dates, within hours of receiving it.

I was glad that the fan club site would continue.  Not only did I really enjoy creating something that others were enjoying, it was giving me an outlet while I figured out what life would be like in my new home.   I still didn’t know a lot of people, but sitting down to my email box and finding friendly notes from people who were grateful for my hours of work made me feel like I was still doing something that mattered, somewhere, to someone.

There were several shows in the area this summer that I was planning on attending.  I’d already gone to a small club show in Tulsa a few weeks ago, in a horrible bar that made me embarrassed for Rick.  To my surprise, he remembered me after the show as “the girl who does the website.”  I stammered and flushed and smiled.   Vivian asked me to attend an upcoming show next month in Kansas City at the same venue Rick had played the previous year.  Since we’d both be there, we planned on getting some good photos and content for the site.  A few weeks after that, Rick was playing Oklahoma City at an amusement park called “Frontier City”.

I might not be teaching yet, I might be feeling often like the world was spinning and I was watching.  But when I sat down to my computer in those spring months of 1999, there was at least something moving forward and giving me something to focus on outside of my four walls.  And I was grateful for it.

 

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