I finally did get to see her perform live when she finally resumed touring after decades of resisting due to intense stage fright. I took my parents because they were the ones who instilled my love for her early on. As I sat there watching them enjoy every single note and lyric, I was reminded of all of those times watching "My Name is Barbra" in reruns, all of those hours pretending I could reach the notes in "Evergreen", and all of those hours in the car singing with my dad. It was worth every dime spent on the evening.
In my final year of high school vocal music, I had to prepare a solo piece complete with full orchestra behind me. Naively, I chose to sing "The Way We Were". (It was the early 80s and the movie was still a big deal.) My teacher was impressed enough to force me to perform it at the end of year music night. I can still feel my knees shaking all these years later as I kept thinking, "Who the hell do you think you are? Barbra?" When the ordeal was done, Tom Cheek (yes he of Blue Jay broadcast fame) who was acting as emcee that evening, came over and kissed my 18 year old hand and told me I had done well. All I kept thinking was I hope I didn't embarrass Barbra. Happy Birthday, Gorgeous. May there be many more to come.