The two best things that have come from creating this website back in February of 2000, were meeting Bea and meeting other Bea fans. The fans have come and gone, but one Bea fan that I have met online, Jessica, has been with me all the way.
Jessica and I have emailed each other ever since the beginning of the announcement of Bea’s tour. We soon found out that we lived somewhat close to each other (in the same state) and we were both excited about Bea coming to Chicago. In fact, we found out that we both had attended the same show Bea was in a few years prior in Chicago at the ‘Strike Up the Band’ performance. We soon decided to meet up before one of the shows and go to the show together. We ended up meeting and going to a pub near the Park West Theatre called R.J. Grunts. After catching up and being filled with excitement we went and saw the show. Needless to say, there is nothing better than to go see Bea with another full-fledged Bea fan! It was a great time!
In addition, we both had tickets to another show just a few days later. This time we were both with our moms and my partner, we didn’t get to sit together the second time but chatted in the lobby during intermission about the show and Bea’s performance. After the show, we went around to Bea’s trailer and got a few pictures of her. I had met Bea the week before at Sidetracks bar, but Jessica still hadn’t met her. Afterward, we went to another bar in Chicago, Voltaire’s where a friend had let me know that Bea would be showing up. Unfortunately, Jessica couldn’t go because she was just shy about turning 21. Fortunately, Jessica got to go see Bea again in September in St. Louis and then got to meet her and hang out with her in her dressing room. This completed both of our dreams of meeting Bea.
Usually, this is where the story would end with most people. However, Jessica and I have kept in constant touch via email over the next two years. Fortunately, Jessica had to come to Chicago for an appointment on May 13th… out of all dates, on Bea’s 80th birthday! This was just too perfect for us to meet up again. So we did! We met up at the same restaurant, R.J. Grunts. We both brought some of our collections to look through while having dinner. We had a great time going through each other’s clippings and photos of Bea… and to both of our surprise, we didn’t have a lot of the same things, which made it very interesting and fun… like Christmas morning…
…the photos of our little reunion 🙂
Oh yeah… even our waitress joined in the fun. She happens to be a big Maude fan herself 🙂
We ended up reminiscing about our Bea experiences, gossip, and recent news for 3 hours. It was great seeing Jessica’s mom again who has shared our fun from the beginning and meeting her dad too!
So, I wanted to share our story of friendship with other Bea fans on here. Thanks to Bea, not only has she entertained me for years but also introduced me to a great friend! Can’t wait until our next reunion/get-together… and we already have plans to do so!