8:30AM Watch Lee on the news do a decent job of weather reporting. "It's pleasant, but Monday- look out!"
9:15 AM: Went downtown to see if anyone was there- they were, well at least their blankets and chairs were
10AM make our potentially famous posters for Lee
12 noon: lunch downtown to watch the people flocking here. New blue shirts appear and we can no longer procure hi-lighter ones.
The parade route: packed with space savers and men in uniform. They were to be standing out in a crowd with their bright vests, but not today.
All I can say is- Lee had better like that neon color; it is now associated with him.
2 PM- get kids from school early and beat the crowds to Arlington Race track, for Lee's 6:30 arrival
Lee sang several of his Idol songs, and threw in Ben Harper and an amazing Kings of Leon "Somebody". He tried to get through "The Boxer" but that "going home" line choked us ALL up. Lee thanked all of us several times, and said that he just sits in his hotel room at night and never gets to see any sort of fanfare behind his Idol journey. I think he now gets it.
Thank you Lee for showing what a true gentleman you are. It was such a joy seeing your emotions and your genuine joy at all this hoopla. You had us crying along with you.
Aside: The cameraman for Idol yells down at me to hold up my sign (which looks like it's done by a kid (it's not) but simply says, "Welcome Home Lee!"). He shoots us holding it, then pans out to cover the crowd (as Idol does). Twice. Knowing my luck, it will be cut, but maybe, just MAYBE, you'll see this sign and the goofy, grinning mugs of Lisa H, my kids and yours truly as they open up Lee's hometown segment...
We are a very impressed town tonight. Our Lee did us proud. Now, go win this thing!
Still want more? Here's a 30 second Youtube video Lisa H. shot of him getting emotional during the parade.
10PM: a bleary eyed, giggly, thrilled American Idol fan compiles her photos and those from Lynda McGarry, Lisa Honcharuk Sue Baysingar, and Brandi Sulak. I thank you all. (I tried to get some of the Cubs game, but fear my photographers stayed out too late to get them to me).
I am going to bed.