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mind. It wasn't easy getting Paul's attention, with everyone speaking at once. A couple of times he did acknowledge Dave with a nod, as if to say, "I'll get to you next." It never happened. A press hog to my right shot off three questions in a row, and the rest of us had to overcome the urge to strangle him. Dick, in his booming voice, was also trying to phrase a question . He finally managed to spit most of it out, but it was too late. Paul's press agent cut him off, announcing twenty minutes were up, and Paul had to leave. Embarrassed and frustrated, Dick rubbed his head.
So polite and considerate, Paul lit up the room one last time with an apologetic smile as he stood to leave. Oh God, how I hated to see him go! But, disappointed as we were, we all understood. Like it or not, he is a living legend and must be guarded. Yet he seemed so real, so human, for those twenty minutes. As he was being escorted from the room, I craned my neck, trying once more to catch a glimpse of the whole person. But the blue curtain parted and then he was gone. I never got his autograph. I never met him. I never got to touch him or shake his favourite hand. I'm not even sure if his eyes rested on me for just half a second. But I was OK. In fact, I floated out of the room. I had enough memories to last a lifetime.
As I watched him perform later that night, I was amazed at the metamorphosis. How had that gentle persona transformed into the powerful presence that now commanded the stage? A master showman, he had us in the palm of his hand, and we were loving it. Elated, Julie and I kept hugging each other throughout the show. And because of our mutual experience, we've become friends for life. We get together and watch videos of Paul: on "24 Hours", on "Showtime", Paul at the Grammy Awards. We reminisce until our poor husbands leave the room in disgust. Will I ever get him out of my system? I don't know. But I do know one thing. I plan on taking him up on his parting words as he left the stage that night: "See ya next time!"