Have you ever had a time where everything fell into place at the right time? Well, that happened to me this past weekend.

The setup of the best weekend ever started a few weeks ago, when my Clark Atlanta buddy, Kamilah Smith, asked me to join her for the Earth, Wind, & Fire  with Chic featuring Nile Rodgers concert in Newark, New Jersey for her birthday. Unbeknownst to her that “The Elements” are my absolute favorite band in all the land, I gladly said “Heck yeah!”

Once I locked down the arrangements to travel to NYC, I knew that I would need somewhere to lay my head at night. After listening to my favorite morning radio show, the TJMS if you wasn’t sure, I texted my Uncle Hapnin’ (aka Tom Joyner, aka The Fly Jock, aka my “Ride or Die”) to see if I could crash at his New York City apartment. The “texversation” went like this:

ME:  Good morning! I’ve been invited to go see Earth, Wind, & Fire in Newark next week. Can I stay with you please? [Praying Hands Emoji]

HAPNIN’:   Of course. What’s the date? I might have tickets to see Dave Chappelle.

When I read the text, I gasped. Ironically, I missed an opportunity to see Chappelle while he was performing in Atlanta in June. I sadly had to cancel my plans because I was completing the final projects of my first semester at the Syracuse University S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications online graduate school program for journalism innovations. So for me to have another opportunity to see the comedian during his residency at the iconic Radio City Music Hall, I was not going to make the same mistake twice.

ME:        Friday the 4th

HAPNIN’:   Dave Chappelle with Chris Rock Saturday August 5. Wanna go?

ME:    (seconds later) Heck yeah!!!

Fast forward to Friday (Day One), where I timidly take the New Jersey Transit’s public transportation system with my Birthday Buddy Kamilah, her mother, Vanessa, and her stepdad, Alex, to the Prudential Center where we met up with my new “Auntie” Valerie. Seeing the band that I’ve loved since my Daddy had their CD’s on rotation during our road trips through the Southeastern United States as a kid, made me dance and sing and groove to my heart’s content.

After Auntie Valerie surprised me with news that we were then going to the meet-and-greet after the show, my fangirl alter ego appeared for the world to see! Trying to keep it cool around original band members Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson, and Verdine White, was very difficult, but they, in addition to their fellow band mates, were very gracious.

Rolling into Day Two with very little sleep and a whole lot of homework that didn’t care that I was singing “September” as if it actually was September, led up to my fate with destiny with a man I’ve missed watching on The Chappelle Show ever since it stopped airing.

I knew I was going to see Chappelle and Chris Rock onstage that night, but I was surprised by some more heavy hitters: Jeff Ross, Amy Schumer (my best friend in my head) and Kevin Hart! Note that in addition to having Rock and Chappell, I was in the presence of five of the world’s top 10 highest-paid comedians in 2017, according to  Forbes Magazine. But wait, as Hapnin’ as my Uncle is, we were able to go to the backstage afterparty,  where I also saw former NFL football player and GMA host Michael Strahan, Fight Club actor Edward Norton, and action superstar Bruce Willis (mouth open emoji).

So when I said that everything fell into place with my weekend, you now understand that everything happened because I was able to allow myself to say yes, or “Heck yeah” in this instance, and have it all work in my favor. But the best thing of all was that I got a chance to spend an incredible weekend with wonderful people and especially my Uncle Hapnin’!

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One thought on “My Musical Date With Uncle Hapnin’

  1. Monette Yarrington on said:

    It has to be simply amazing and an honor to be related to Mr. Tom Joyner!! OMG…I hate to sound cliche, but I remember listening to him in Chicago as a kid while my mom listened to him. When he came back to Chicago it was soooooooooooo great and nostalgic to hear him on the air again. I’ve been listening to Tom EVER SINCE…now on the app!! So happy to hear your story with your uncle, I can only say that Im sooooooooooooooooooooooo envious!! Im glad you guys had a great time. Good luck to you in your journalistic endeavor….I enjoy reading your blogs!

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