Here She Is

It was very cold and I shivered as a walked from my parked car toward the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium.  I was looking forward to the first ever Country KITY Toys For Tots benefit concert.

I had barely stepped through the stage door at the rear of the auditorium when I heard John Harmon greet me, “Hey Paul!  Follow Me!”

I followed John toward a group of people gathered in the stage area.  The next thing I heard John say was, “Bo, this is Paul Kirby.  He will be introducing Tanya tonight.”

I was flabbergasted.  I had been told that I wasn’t expected at the concert.  In fact, it was only a few hours earlier that I had decided to attend, rather than get some sleep before my air shift.

After the usual introduction stuff, Bo said, “When you introduce Tanya, I want you to say ‘Here she is, that “Delta Dawn” girl, Tanya Tucker.’”  I repeated what Bo had said in a monotone voice.  “That’s it!” he replied.

Before either one of us could say anything else, the pre-show run through was announced.  So I found an empty chair at the side of the stage and proceeded to watch the run through.  That way I would have an idea of when I was needed for Tanya’s introduction.

During the pre-show activities, Bo approached me and said “Don’t forget!  ‘Here she is, that “Delta Dawn” girl, Tanya Tucker.’”  I looked at Bo and nodded in agreement.

With the run-though completed, we were now waiting for the audience to enter the auditorium for the show.  Bo found me once again and said, “Don’t forget!  ‘Here she is, that “Delta Dawn” girl, Tanya Tucker.’”  I replied “Yes, Sir!”

Well before it was time for me to introduce Tanya, I went to the side of the stage and stood by Bo.  That way he could let me know exactly when he wanted me go on stage to introduce his daughter.

Applause signaled that it was time for me to go on stage to introduce Tanya.  Bo spoke to me one more time.  “Here she is, that ‘Delta Dawn’ girl, Tanya Tucker.”  He motioned me on the stage.

I started walking toward the microphone in the center of the stage.  The applause died down just as I got there.

My first words were “Hi!  I’m Paul Kirby.”

I was shocked to immediately hear a reaction from the audience in the form of applause.

“I know you didn’t come here to see me tonight!” I quipped.

Again I was surprised when I heard the audience laugh.

When the laughter died down I continued, “So…Here she is, that ‘Delta Dawn’ girl, Tanya Tucker.”

The audience applauded, the band started playing and I started walking toward Bo who was all smiles at the side of the stage.  He shook my hand and said “Thanks.”

Many years later, as I again listened and observed another so called professional completely mangle my son’s introduction, even though it was printed in 24-point type on the piece of paper that he was reading, I finally realized why Bo was so concerned that I get Tanya’s introduction right that night.

Even more years later, when I read Dale Turner’s “One Little Drink,” I finally knew why I was suddenly asked to introduce Tanya Tucker that night.

Paul Kirby

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