Like the Way Melissa Etheridge Does

I’m at that age where some of the adults I know – we’re talking full grown and fully established individuals – are folks I first knew as small little kids. These people are 20 years younger than me, yet they’re well over the age of majority. It’s freaky.

When I first met Danny, I was a university graduate living in the basement apartment of his parents’ house. He was four years old. Sometimes I babysat him, and often I walked him to school. He was energetic and spirited. Once, he rehearsed and then performed a rousing one-man-band rendition of “I Have a Little Dreidel,” just for me. The things you never forget.

The grown-up version of Danny works as a flight attendant. If I had to place a bet, I’d gamble that he’s the upbeat, friendly sort who rolls with the punches. I’ll bet his passengers like him. The respect, apparently, goes both ways… along with occasional starstruckness. Here’s what Danny wrote on Facebook last week: “Melissa Etheridge and her lovely wife were on my flight yesterday. Can I just say that they are the nicest, coolest and most amazingly CHILL people that I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with?”

Danny embraced this opportunity to let Melissa E. know how much her music has meant to him. One amazing performance in particular, he told her, “…influenced me as a kid to feel music with as much passion as possible.”

The singer’s reaction? She patted his arm, thanked him and called him kind. Her wife called him a sweetheart. (“I’m part of their family now, right? That’s how that works?” Danny added hopefully in his online report.)

Their flight out of Quebec City was considerably delayed while ramp crew took frequent warm-up breaks to prevent frostbite. (If you’re from this part of Canada, you know it was so cold last week that even the snowmen were shivering.) “Melissa and her wife were the ONLY two people to ask me how I was holding up and feeling while dealing with the delay,” Danny wrote. “Her wife was joking that Melissa should get on the interphone and do a couple numbers.”

He was struck by their graciousness, and their compassion. Especially while he laboured his way through day nine of a long 11-day work stint. “This was very much welcomed and appreciated,” he noted. “Both of them were complete class acts.”

Of course celebrities can be do-gooders like anyone else. They step in to staunch blood when it’s called for. They donate to ALS research while drinking scotch and looking classy. And they ask a weary flight attendant how he’s feeling, right when he most needs to hear it.

“It was definitely a moment,” Danny told me. Thanks to this and a couple of other musical encounters over the past week, he’s rediscovering his love for guitar playing. (Dreidel songs, too? We are left to wonder.) Melissa Etheridge not only cheered my young friend Danny, she inspired him. Rock on.
Guitar

4 responses to “Like the Way Melissa Etheridge Does

  1. Melissa Ethridge is one of my favourite performers. I’ve only seen her once in concert, and she was pleased and a little surprised to have been invited to the Ottawa Blues Festival. Somehow I could tell that she was being genuine and it wasn’t just part of her act. She also showed great appreciation for the talents of her bandmates, and acknowledged them frequently–something that a lot of “lead” singers don’t often do.
    So it doesn’t surprise me that she would show such kindness and concern on that flight.
    It’s always so wonderful when we get to tell someone how much they have influenced or inspired us, so good for Danny for approaching her. Some might have been too timid, or feel that the “star” wouldn’t want the interruption. Good for him, and thank for you for sharing this with us.
    Now, I have to go and listen to Melissa

  2. Thanks, Christine, for sharing your own experience with M.E.! It’s lovely when someone who has an effect on so many makes an ongoing effort to be considerate and kind. Enjoy your tunes!

  3. Pingback: Actor of Kindness | 50 Good Deeds

  4. Pingback: Top Tales in 2015 | 50 Good Deeds

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