Frank Stefanko shared a story about hearing Bruce Springsteen's music for the first time. His songs referenced streets and locales he knew well. He decided he had to meet this guy some day and photograph him. He couldn't believe a rock musician was not just referencing his home state but proudly embracing it.
NBC Newscaster Brian Williams has similar feelings and maybe even more so. Brian grew up on the Jersey shore. He worked as a dispatcher for the local fire department and never imagined anything much more than that. But music was a big part of his life and when he first saw Bruce at the Stone Pony in 1975 he was awe struck. He couldn't believe the music and couldn't believe he was talking about "my town".
Today Brian is as passionate about Bruce's music as he was in 1975. He feels attending an E Street Band concert is like being a "guest in this house of worship". In 2008, while just wrapping up the NBC Nightly News his cell phone rang. It was a number he didn't recognize. On the other end was Patti Sciafla. Patti says to Brian, "We think we're going to have a great night tonight at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Banks. Would you come down and intro the band" Patti had organized the event as a fundraiser to help refurbish the theater, herself being a native of Red Bank.
As Brian puts it, he believed he was on a noble mission and proceeded to break every state, local and federal speed law on his way down. For him, the night was not just special because of the show, but for him personally because as a child, his mother had performed there.
In the front row that night was the current governor of New Jersey, John Corzine. And in the balcony, was soon to be governor, Chris Christie. But as Brian says, Governors may come and but the First Lady of New Jersey will always be Patti.