Archive for the ‘Fans’ Category

The Ridgefield Playhouse for the 14th Anniversary Gala (9/17/14)

Monday, September 29th, 2014


It was an effervescent sold-out crowd that packed The Ridgefield Playhouse for the 14th Anniversary Gala on September 17 to see Willie Nelson, up-close-and-personal with his Family band.


In an evening brimming with dinner courtesy of area food establishments, an open bar, silent and live auctions and honorees, it was the social event of the season.

Photo: Scott Vincent

Tony Award winner and Ridgefield resident Debbie Gravitte received the Arts Volunteer Award from Broadway star Harvey Fierstein, and Allison Stockel was honored for her 10th year volunteering her time as Executive Director of The Ridgefield Playhouse. The event also marked the establishment of The Allison Stockel Fund, to benefit the endowment of the not-for-profit performing arts center, with an initial amount of $250,000. The Fund was created to help sustain the Playhouse for the future. Checks may be made payable to The Ridgefield Playhouse for the benefit of The Allison Stockel Fund and sent to Julie Paltauf at the Playhouse.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT; 203-438-5795,

Farm Aid Shirts

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

There are a handful of friends and Farm Aid supporters attend the Farm Aid concerts every year, and who kindly help me out and share stories and photos from the concert and the Homegrown Village.    It’s hard to see it all in one day!

Alice, of Atlanta, Georgia shared photos of Farm Aid tee-shirts through the years.

2012 Hershey, Pa.
2002 Burgettstown, Pa.
2012 Hershey, Pa.
2006 Camden, New Jersey
2013 Saratoga Springs, New York
— with Dot Redfern Judah.

2013, 2013, and 2011

2012, 2006, and 2013

Alice and Dot

To learn more about the challenges of American family farmers, the work and help offered by Farm Aid, and why people support Farm Aid and go to the concert year after year after year:

Farm Aid Friends

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

I have met the nicest people because of Willie Nelson. Some I see only at Farm Aid. Here’s a few of them.

Jenny  (Oklahoma), Terry (Oklahoma), Joann s (Florida), Jodi (Texas), Willie Doll (everywhere, USA).

Alice and Dot (GA, FL)                                                                Carol, Bonnie (NY, both, I think)
riends and kids of friends

irst in, last to leave


Willie Nelson and his fans

Saturday, September 20th, 2014


Farm Aid Friends

Monday, September 15th, 2014


I have met the nicest people, because of Willie Nelson. Here are some of his fans, showing up for Farm Aid in Raleigh last Saturday: Dot, Alice, Jodi, Alice, JoJo and Me, not in that particular order.

Farm Aid Friends

Monday, September 15th, 2014


Bunny and her son, in their regular front row seat! Thanks for supporting Farm Aid for so many years, Bunny.

We still miss seeing Don sitting beside her, though!


Farm Aid, Milwaukee

Farm Aid friends #Road2FarmAid

Friday, September 12th, 2014


Wednesday, September 10th, 2014


“Talked my way into a photo op by delivering a couple of helpings of German sauerkraut.” — Ruth Boggs

Willie Nelson and fans

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Bud Fulginiti
photos:  Bud Fulginiti

Cherie got hers; Have you got yours? #WillieNelson #RollingStone

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014


Saturday, August 16th, 2014


Amos Lee’s Idols

Sunday, August 10th, 2014



Thanks to Perry Greenfield, for sending this along.  I love Amos Lee, who has played at Farm Aid, in support of Family Farmers, several times.

For tour information, to purchase music:

Willie Nelson & Family at the Grand Casino – Mille Lacs (August 8, 2014)

Saturday, August 9th, 2014


Thanks so much to Linda E. from Minnesota for these great photos from the Willie Nelson and Family show last night in Minnesota.

I love the pictures of Willie Nelson and his fans. There is just so much love there. fans trying to get to the stage for a connection with their hero.


“Willie was at the Grand Casino – Mille Lacs last night. He was excellent! In rare form. Willie gave all!  Best one EVER!
Good time was had by all.”

— Linda E.



Oh, love to see the friends from Scooterville.

Virginia Willie Nelson

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014


Thank you, Dee Boutilier Sulenski, for sharing a photo of your license plate!   One of my faves, for sure.



Dee Sulenski remembers the moment when she finally decided to give her left leg to Willie Nelson.

On a trip to Connecticut in 1998, she chatted with her favorite cousin, a biker adorned with multiple tattoos, about the process of getting inked. Once her cousin explained that tattoo artists can use stencils to create designs from almost any printed source, Sulenski was sold.

Back home in Virginia, the devoted Willie Nelson fan headed to Gloucester and had his autograph etched above her left ankle.

Since then, that first tattoo has been joined by four more elaborate pieces done in Richmond by renowned tattoo artist Tom Renshaw. Two are portraits of Willie as an adult; another is of him as a boy. A final tattoo is of Nelson’s trusty acoustic guitar.

All five pieces decorate Sulenski’s lower left leg.

“I liked Willie so much I knew I wanted it,” she says, thinking back. “Someone asked me, ‘What if you stop liking Willie?’ I said, ‘I’ll be dead, so it won’t matter. It’s not going to happen.’ ”

The tattoos attract attention.

“It’s funny to watch people stare — they don’t think you see them staring. But most people are impressed with the artwork. I’ve never had a negative reaction.”

That includes the main man himself, who’s admired the tattoos in person several times.

“He is genuinely pleased,” she says.

Clearly, 53-year-old Dee Sulenski is a Willie Nelson superfan. Aside from the tattoos, she’s made her tidy Toano home a shrine honoring the soft-spoken country outlaw.

Her den is Willie Central — walls covered with autographed photos, posters, magazine covers and devotional art such as a small, colorful “velvet Willie” painting — but you’ll find bits of memorabilia in almost every room in the house. Even bathrooms are decorated with framed Willie Nelson autographs.

Sulenski has given all six of her cats Willie-related names, Abbott for Nelson’s hometown in Texas and Trigger for Nelson’s well-worn guitar.

Her car’s license plate reads WLE NLSN.

Sulenski has successfully surrounded herself with reminders of the red-headed Texan. And very soon, their worlds will intersect again.

Tonight, Sulenski will attend her 100th Willie Nelson concert at The National theater in Richmond. Tomorrow, she’ll take in No. 101 at The NorVa in Norfolk.

Will she be in the balcony or near the stage at the shows?

OK, that’s a dumb question.

“Right down front,” she says without hesitating. “I want to see every bead of sweat.”

Sulenski first fell for Nelson in a movie theater.

“I saw the movie ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ right before I left for Coast Guard boot camp in 1980,” she says. “I don’t know if the timing had something to do with it, but from that point on, it was all Willie.”

Looking back, Sulenski isn’t clear on what exactly flipped her switch, Nelson’s gentle music or his laid-back charisma.

“I can’t explain it,” she says. “I don’t think it’s possible to explain what happened. I love his music, but he’s such a wonderful, generous man. He’s genuine. There’s absolutely nothing fake about him


“He really pays attention to his fans. If he’s talking to you, it’s like you’re the only person in the world.

“He’s really a kind person.”

She’s met Willie Nelson countless times — but always in structured musician-fan situations.

She says she’s careful not to invade his privacy.

“I care for Willie sincerely, and I’ve always been very respectful of his time,” she says. “I would never do anything to make him uncomfortable.”

Their first close encounter was after a 1989 performance at Scope in Norfolk. She gave her camera to a random passer-by who took a snapshot that’s become one of Sulenski’s most prized possessions. It shows the pair cheek to cheek, both beaming.

Their second meeting, at Kings Dominion outside Richmond, is where she scored the autograph that now adorns her leg.

“We kissed spontaneously,” she remembers. “Then I said, ‘I need a picture! Can we do that again?’ ”

The photo, taken by her husband Marion Sulenski, is on the wall of her den.

It’s not easy to be the spouse of a superfan. Marion admits to feeling a twinge of jealousy when he saw the print of that particular photo. But with reassurance from Dee, he’s come to terms with his wife’s obsession.

Despite the fact that he prefers classical music to country, he’s accompanied Dee on most of her Willie Nelson adventures — including a stint in Branson, Mo., where they saw two shows a day for three straight days.

“It makes her happy and that’s what makes me happy,” he says. “She enjoys it so much it hasn’t been hard to be a good sport.”

The couple has been married for 18 years — a period that spans much of his wife’s Willie Nelson infatuation. Marion says their outings have strengthened their relationship. More than anything, though, he’s a realist. He knows he couldn’t change his wife if he tried.

“It would be like standing on a beach with a bucket and trying to keep the tide from coming in,” he says. “You just can’t do it.”


Everyone looks good in a Willie Nelson shirt

Sunday, July 20th, 2014