VIP Reception Brownsville, Texas Photos by Cookie Wimer
One Classic Carr!
On Thursday, November 7th 2002 Vikki Carr performed a sold out benefit concert for the Diocese of Brownsville at the Brownsville Events Center. The funds raised will be used to build a convent and chapel of perpetual adoration for an order of cloistered nuns, the Capuchin Poor Clare Sisters.
Vito Cifaldi/Chicago, IL, Kathryn Robinson/Fort Worth, TX, Mal Brown/New Bedford, MA, and Rick Musquiz/Houston, TX came to Brownsville just to see and hear our very own songbird -- the incomparable Vikki Carr. I hope they all enjoyed their short stay in Brownsville. I know that they made this concert all the more special for me.
The Events Center was beautifully decorated for this very special event. Each table had a floral arrangement consisting of red roses, day lilies and a white candle in the center. Every other chair had a big gold bow tied around it. At each place setting the Poor Clare Sisters left a 5 inch Italian crucifix. It was a very thoughtful gesture and it has become a cherished memento for me. The Four Points Sheraton catered a dinner of steak, shrimp, baked potato, salad and bread. The dessert was a waffle cup dipped in chocolate with a scoop of ice cream with crème de menthe drizzled on top and strawberries on the side. It was "muy delicioso" to say the least!
Vito and the gang stayed at the Four Points Sheraton and were treated wonderfully from the moment they arrived until they left. This is the place to stay if you are ever in Brownsville, TX.
Before Vikki came onstage, the Mariachi of the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan National Shrine performed for us. For their final number, Monsignor Juan Nicolau took the microphone and sang a solo with the mariachis. Good job Father, but don't quit your day job!
When Vikki came on stage at 8:15pm she looked absolutely radiant and the crowd went wild! Luckily for us, we had a table on the third row so we had a good view of Vikki. She sang in English and Spanish. She danced. She interacted with her delighted audience. She swatted at a mosquito on stage and called herself "Killer Carr!"
Vikki performed her retro show nonstop for about 95 minutes and was rewarded with a well deserved standing ovation. We had passes to a VIP reception with Vikki after the concert was over. So, we went backstage and got to spend a few minutes with a great humanitarian -- Vikki! It was a perfect evening. I can't wait to do it again!
Cookie Wimer, Brownsville, Texas
Above photo courtesy of Manuel G. Guajardo, M.D
Vikki and her Gang -- Brownsville, Texas, November 2002
Kathryn Robinson, Cookie Wimer, Vikki, Mal Brown and Vito Cifaldi
Rick Musquiz (back)
Vito, I want to thank you for the invitation to Vikki's concert in Brownsville. It is a night I will never forget. I have been telling everyone about the concert and the fan members I had the privilege of spending the evening with. Vikki is a Lucky person to have the people running her fan club that she has. You are very wonderful people and she should be proud of you all. You all as in Texas talk. She put on a fantastic performance that night. Vikki is truly a wonderful Entertainer, she was fantastic. Thank you again, pass this on to Rick, Kathryn, Mal and Cookie for me.
LIVE VIKKI CARR TONIGHT!!!!!
I am sure each of you reading this will know what it is like planning a trip kind of at the last minute, wondering all the way to the airport, did I forget to bring something, will my luggage make it down to Brownsville, etc...
Once I made it down to Houston, I knew I would be meeting up with Kathryn Robinson and hopefully Mal Brown, to continue our journey down to Brownsville in this smaller plane. Luckily, I met Tom also flying from Chicago O'Hare to Brownsville, and since he was also on our connecting flight, we talked and I mentioned Vikki's performance, and my dear friends were all staying at the Four Points/Sheraton Hotel. Tom was also staying there as well so when he asked if there were any tickets left for Vikki's show I said let me check. To my surprise, Kathryn said look who I found and ta da Moises Cabrera was there with open arms and then there's Ron, and Thomas Gordon Gondolf who I finally met after many years of hearing his name and knowing he's been with Vikki for many years this was a surprise! Once we arrived at the airport and was greeted by club member Cookie Wimer, I knew we all were in for a great time! Then our group witnessed my travel bag shot out of the moving track in this huge mount, looking like it had been at war. Kathryn, Mal and Cookie can all tell you first hand! The Sheraton provided transportation from the airport and Vel our driver was really nice and of course knew of Vikki and her music. I must say that this hotel really treated each of their guests like royalty, so I highly recommend them for future use when Vikki appears in Brownsville, Texas! Once unpacking, our dear friend Rick Musquiz who drove in from Houston, made it and now it's time to party! We all met in the hotel lounge, put several tables together and just had a ball. Cookie brought her VSP treasures, like her VSP briefcase, portfolio, original Milk Mug (Marcie was the president of VSP then) to several items VSP auctioned off like a glass Vikki used on stage and a letter of authenticity from Vikki for the Scholarship Foundation (Pat Moore was president of VSP many years) and Cookie's book, autographed by Vikki on the inside from page to articles from the 70's to current. We all took turns looking, reading, drinking and knew we had a dear friend in Cookie! Then I look up and there's Tom at the bar, came over introduced himself to Kathryn, Rick, Mal, Cookie and found out everyone at the lounge was talking about Vikki's show and where to get tickets! Networking does pay!!
Before attending the show Thursday evening, Mal, Rick, Kathryn, Cookie and I went to Mexico to shop during the afternoon. We all had on Vikki Carr shirts and everyone wanted to know who we were and the love that Mexico has for Vikki, it made each of us so PROUD to hear different comments/stories etc. What a lunch too!
Checked out the new Convention Center to see if the marquee was working, later they had it fixed and running thanks to Cookie asking, by 6:00pm in bright red letter glowing...LIVE VIKKI CARR TONIGHT!!!!! Now we are all excited...we are all here finally together in one piece to have a wonderful evening! We were all dressed up for this classy benefit dinner, and each of us with our Vikki Carr buttons, and club badges, we made our entrance. We were greeted by Aida (who worked herself silly making sure everything was perfect and you did a WONDERFUL job) as well as Doctor Manuel G. Guajardo who also has the neatest office as Vikki's gang stopped by to say Hi (all had our VSP shirts on)! The Doctor escorted us to our Corporate table and what a nice greeting, in the middle of the huge centerpiece in big letters it said VIKKI CARR FAN CLUB I know each of us at our table were so proud to be there representing VSP and we will never forget all the kindness Aida and the Doctor and the staff showed us! Vikki started her show with "I am Singing Of Love" looking and sounded as great as ever, and the applause was deafening! Once she started the first verse of "First Time Ever", you knew the house was full of Vikki Carr fans, here again the deafening applause, they loved Vikki and she put on a show I know Brownsville will be talking about for some time! "Total" performed with no music and yet Vikki did it so naturally, you didn't need anything but Vikki doing what she does best. I must congratulate Vikki's band, headed by Bill & Mary and her musicians, they make great music, and what a asset to Vikki and to each of us in attendance! I also do believe Vikki threw in some Italian in The Prayer, Vikki and Bill really did that song justice! After this wonderful performance, there was a special VIP gathering with cocktails, and Vikki met with the audience in the Corporate tables (starting at $5,000.00 a table) and signed autographs, posed for pictures. Poor Vikki had to do an interview for a TV station minutes after finishing her performance so I know from watching the very excited crowd almost grabbing her and there for posing that all of us were sweating, Cookie and I were taking turns fanning Vikki and then she noticed what we were doing and said THANK YOU! Vikki signed every program, posed for pictures, and once she finished she looked for us and wanted to sit on the couch with us and Moises played photographer once again. Moises also took the pictures of Vikki and her Gang during the Scholarship Foundation Golf Tournament still posted on the home page of the website. Hopefully, we will have plenty of pictures to share with all of you and Tom being our guest and knowing he's never experienced a Vikki show, was totally speechless afterwards, needless to say, Vikki has another fan! He sent a email which I will also post for everyone. A perfect evening for everyone!
We also had the honor of meeting Cookie's mother, and several relatives who also attended this show, it was a pleasure to meet each of you! Thank you Cookie for the wonderful welcome to Brownsville and even making sure I made it back on the plane that afternoon (but not before having lunch at RUDY'S) what a lunch, many thanks Cookie. Also to my dear friends Kathryn Robinson, Mal Brown and Rick Musquiz for also making this "Pre-holiday" gathering so enjoyable! I must also thank Mary O'Brien for her dedication and making VSP badges and Vikki buttons, Joyce Steele and Daniel Maglione, who monitored the website during my mini-vacation. Special thanks to Deborah and Vikki for always making sure everything was perfect for VSP members, we love ya Until next time!!
Vito Cifaldi President of "Vikki's Special People" & Webmaster Chicago, IL
April 20th Concert at The Majestic Theatre with the San Antonio Symphony
From the moment Miss Carr made her entrance we were entranced! This lady is something else. She gave us a delightful evening.
Her voice seems to get better and better and can this lady project it!
The program was varied and she did a tribute to Judy Garland that touched our hearts and at the end of it she received a standing ovation which was justly deserved.
Will we go to another concert? Definitely - next chance we get.
Thank you Vikki - it was a spectacular evening.
Wendy Smith - Canada
Vito Cifaldi and Kathryn Robinson presenting Vikki with Fan Club mugs
Edyn Lopez, Kathryn Robinson and Vikki presenting Vito Cifaldi with an award for his efforts on behalf of the Fan Club and Web Site
Vikki, Vito Cifaldi and Kathryn Robinson watching Vikki reading a card sent by Joyce Steele
Joey & Vito April 19, 2002 - Majestic VIP room San Antonio, TX
Mal Brown and Vikki
Vito Cifaldi and Vikki
Reyna Diaz, Edyn Lopez, Mal Brown, Vito Cifaldi, Kathryn Robinson and Juan Manuel Salcedo A.
CLASSIC CARR AT THE MAJESTIC
FRIDAY APRIL 19, 2002
The great San Antonio Symphony-performing classic tunes-set the mood for what would become a truly unforgettable evening. Having been lucky enough to see her perform live several times before, I knew that I was in for a treat--little did we know what the little lady with the big voice had in store for us!
The selections she performed were all songs from her now classic albums of the Sixties up to the present. She performed them with an artistry that is unparalleled, and with the perfect timing and delivery.
She held the audience at the palm of her hand, we held on to her every word and we loved every minute of it. The audience gave her love and she loved us right back. A highlight of the show, other than her very presence on stage was the medley she performed in tribute to another music legend Judy Garland. Vikki's fine phrasing and impeccable delivery would make Garland proud.
Vikki's appeal is so broad to the extent that people flew over oceans (England) over Gulfs (Mexico) and across this great nation (Canada) as well as many corners of the United States to live the "Vikki Experience." She is a true icon who unique style and taste has earned her a place in our hearts.
I'm fortunate and grateful to have been part of that majestic night!
Edyn Lopez - California
Bernie and Vikki, San Antonio, Texas, April 2002