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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:46 am 
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As the 2010 Spirit Of Love event draws to a close, we're filled with great memories... old friends joining with new... sharing stories and thoughts... having fun and enjoying the company of others who share a common bond that links us together.

Friday afternoon gave us the opportunity to meet Tracy and Mark, who've come for the first time, and also helped everyone else get reacquainted, including Jen, John, Sharon and Jim (the practical jokester of the group as it turns out!), as well as to view some rare video. Our time on the beach near Hampton Bays was a special time to remember and silently reflect on what Laura means to all of us, and spend a while near the shore that Laura loved so much. During our time on the beach, I (Vince) commented on Laura's love for the ocean shore, the serenity of the sights and sounds of the ocean being so calming and rejuvenating. I also noted that as the theme for this sixth Spirit Of Love event, "Shine On", coincides with the latest official Laura Branigan release, we as fans can all allow our love for Laura to shine on so that her music, artistry, and her caring, loving personality can touch a new generation of fans, making Laura's music truly timeless. On Friday evening, we included an encore presentation of the video special Calling Gloria, as well as the feature film Backstage.

On Saturday, various attendees took the opportunity to "break out" some special LB collectibles and rare items during the memorabilia display and also enjoy some great LB tunes. Our trivia contest, overseen by our resident "trivia queen" Erika, saw Jen taking first place by a half-point! Our video time included some rare pieces, and featured Laura's Sunday Mohegan Sun show from January 2004, the last time she performed with her band. After dinner, Laura's percussionist and special friend, Tommy Bayiokos, joined us. We presented the I Know You By Heart memorial video, and then gathered for our candlelight ceremony, during which many personal and heartfelt insights were expressed by everyone in the group. Tommy then talked with us from the heart about his times with Laura, his special memories of times together and of the various band members, friends, and family. Afterward, we presented Laura's 1990 Atlantic City concert, and finished up with a full play through the newly-released DVD of her music videos from the Shine On: The Ultimate Collection compilation.

Sunday was a trip - literally! As usual, I (Vince) like to mix some things up with our casual Sunday outings, so for the first time, we started out further away from the Hamptons, at the Fire Island lighthouse. I should say, though, that it was a bit more of a trek than we originally thought from the closest parking area, over to the lighthouse. When I called ahead to make inquiries, the representative from the lighthouse's Preservation Society said, "oh, it's only a short walk - maybe about a half-mile." We found out on the boardwalk, however, that the "half-mile" I was promised must have been "crow-fly" distance! But we all made it there, and with a bit of motorized help, made it back in one piece! And most of the group did venture up the 192 steps to the top of the lighthouse. After our morning exercise session, we traveled to Southampton, and enjoyed some relaxing music on the patio at Duck Walk Vineyards, participated in the winery tour, and looked around a bit for what we might be able to take home. We then stopped at Tom McBrien's Restaurant & Pub in Hampton Bays for a late lunch. Then, venturing past Laura's last house along the way, it was onto Westhampton Beach, where we made our now-traditional stop at Westhampton T-Shirts, visiting with our friends Flo and James and their staff, where we had some unique apparel made - I think Tracy gets the prize this year for her unique item: sweatpants in Cornflower Blue, with "East Quogue" along the back and the letters "LB" on the front! We made one final stop, at Simon's Beach Bakery where we all wound down for a bit with either soda, tea, coffee, or iced coffee and some sweets (including their world-famous Napoleons) before traveling back to the hotel. But we couldn't quite end it there -- we all seemed to gather in the lobby for a final get-together, with John and Mark discussing drum sets and bass guitars, Kathy sharing some rare conversations between herself and LB, and Sharon showing all of us some videos of people doing dance steps that she's learned in her dance classes and Rhiannon, of course, enjoying a game website or two on her laptop.

All in all, this year's Spirit Of Love event was a great time to spend together with friends old and new, sharing that common bond that links LB fans worldwide together - that intangible "I get it" sense of why and how Laura has touched lives like no other singer possibly could ever do.

Kathy will be sharing some additional thoughts and thank-you's along with some great pictures soon. Thanks again to everyone who helped to make this event a success, and we look forward to gathering with fans next time!

- Vince & Kathy

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I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You`re still here beside me every day
`Cause I know you by heart...


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:01 am 
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:happy-wavemulticolor: :happy-wavemulticolor: :happy-wavemulticolor:

I had a great time at SOL! This was my 3rd year attending, was at the first Gathering, then went again last year after not being able to attend others. Meet some new people Tracy and her husband Mark, and of course re-connecting with Jim and Sharon from last years Gathering. Thanks for the laughs homey J (hehe) and its always great to see Astumi :-D and always good to get together with Kathy, Vince and Rhi! I know that Laura is always happy when we get together.
SOL was awesome!! We all had a great time and had fun! Yes, there was some sad moments for me anyways, watching her last performance from Mohegun Sun. Since, I was there at every show :-D and it was at these strings of shows that it hit me on how much Laura actually cared about me. That's when she told me to "stand up straight Jen" with that look in her eyes and that finger lol. Thanks for the memories my friend. Yes, this introvert actually stood up in front of people and talked about Laura and my memories. Like, she said "Once an introvert, always one" and its true. In ways, Laura and I are/were connected, she was an introvert but you wouldn't know it.Very quiet and shy,private like me till she got to know you also like me, then watch out lol.
I didn't want the weekend to end! and I think everyone else thought the same thing. We were all having a good time, watching videos, doing the trivia which I couldn't believe I got 1st place! Thanks Jim for making the plagues, just have to figure out where I'm going to put mine Hmmm :confusion-scratchheadblue:
after the Gatherings we all become a part of the LB family! Laura touched our lives in some way or another. We all get together for this weekend with the common bond we have, the love we have for Laura! She maybe gone but she's not forgotten!! she accomplished what she wanted, "I want to touch people's hearts, to get right down to their souls" and she did that with so many of us fans around the world! Thank you to Kathy and Vince for doing all that you do in keeping Laura's legacy alive!!! I know she's smiling down. You'll always have my support and so blessed to have your friendship.Thank you Tommy for giving her that love back in her life.It's nice to know that she passed being happy and knowing that she had people around her who truly cared and loved her! Miss you my friend, thanks for the memories! I look forward to next years SOL and meeting new poeple.
SHINE ON LB, SHINE ON!!!

God bless,
Jen


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Sounds like you all had an Awesome time there, Cool!!! :banana-dance:
I hope to make it there sometime soon! :greetings-wavingyellow:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:54 pm 
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I was very happy to be a part of another memorable SOL, 2nd one, of what I hope to be many, for me. It was great to see everyone from last year (Kathy, Vince, Rhi, Tommy, Jen, Jim, Sharon and Erika) as well as meeting Mark and Tracy for the first time. Even before SOL which started Friday, It was an amazing time. Arriving Thursday (an hour and a half late because of the storm over the airport in Philadelphia where my plane was 25th in line to take off), I first caught up with Jim and Sharon who I spent an over an hour with just talking. We met up with everyone and went to supper together at Applebee's. Getting together and just talking over dinner was great. Saturday morning, Jim treated me to breakfast at Panera's and had good conversation. :text-thankyoublue: Jim, I really appreciated it. I enjoyed all the videos, especially Mohegun Sun 2004 and SRO 1990. A wonderful beach memorial, returning, we had social time and great smoked salmon courtesy of Jim and Sharon :text-thankyoublue: A memorobilia display, about that time, Tommy arrived for a candlelight vigil. :text-thankyoublue: Tommy for your kind words of encouragement and for taking care of our beloved Laura. Sunday was amazing. Fire Island, Tom McBriens Pub, seeing Flo again at WestHampton T-shirts. Can't wait to see the pictures.

TO BE CONTINED....

Time has just run out on the internet cafe's timer.

_________________
She stares through my shadow
She sees something more
Believes there's a light in me
She is sure
And her truth makes me stronger
Does she realize
I awake every morning
With her strength by my side

This world keeps on spinning
Only she stills my heart
She's my inspiration
She's my northern star
I don't count my possession
All I call mine I will give her completely
To the end of all time

I am not a hero
I am not an angel
I am just a man


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Low C Bassman wrote:
TO BE CONTINED....

Time has just run out on the internet cafe's timer.



Moving right along.....

Ah yes, the trivia quiz. Always fun to learn about our beloved LB. :text-thankyoublue: Erika for the quiz, and :text-thankyoublue: Jim for the plaques. Even after SOL, the social time with everyone which lasted past midnight, and the friendships formed and strengthened with those who actually "get it" when it comes to our beloved LB. For myself, when I first went to SOL (2009), I was in disbelief as I found myself, as a visitor to your beautiful country, :flags-waveusa: getting my very first passport and making arrangements to attend a gathering in honor of someone special to me, but who I would never meet. Now I look forward to when I can return to New York. Such a beautiful area Laura lived in. In fact, Jim invited me to visit with him and Sharon in Connecticut. I really should drive next year. I've already started mapping directions out for next year's trip. Can't wait to see everyone again.

:text-thankyoublue: :text-thankyoublue: :text-thankyoublue: :text-thankyoublue: :text-thankyoublue: :text-thankyoublue: Laura for the inspiration and for sharing your special gift. Love you LB :romance-heartsmiley:

_________________
She stares through my shadow
She sees something more
Believes there's a light in me
She is sure
And her truth makes me stronger
Does she realize
I awake every morning
With her strength by my side

This world keeps on spinning
Only she stills my heart
She's my inspiration
She's my northern star
I don't count my possession
All I call mine I will give her completely
To the end of all time

I am not a hero
I am not an angel
I am just a man


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:19 pm 
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Hi everyone,

Those of us who recently gathered on Long Island, NY for the annual Laura Branigan Spirit Of Love Memorial Gathering had an AWESOME time spending the weekend together remembering and paying tribute to the woman that has touched, and continues to touch, our lives with the life she lived and the artistic legacy she has left all of us to enjoy. Interestingly after holding the event for the past 6 years, there are a growing number of attendees each year that arrive a day or two before the "official" start of the event, and it's a great time to just get together and catch up with each other, share meals together, and explore the beautiful area. This year we were able to meet all the attendees by Thursday, the day before Spirit Of Love began, and that was very nice! We thankfully had beautiful, sunny weather for almost the entirety of the weekend, with some rain falling only when we were about to head back to the Hilton after our Sunday excursion out and about at Fire Island and then the Hamptons.

When Friday arrived, it was time for the Other Half Entertainment crew to get all audio/visual equipment set up and tested, and to set the room up in LB-themed style for the event. We thank Jen for graciously helping us set the room up. As it neared starting time, everyone began arriving to our meeting room, and event t-shirts, backpacks, programs, and LB oval decals were handed out to all.


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* Photo courtesy of John (Low C Bassman)


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* Photo courtesy of John

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* Photo courtesy of John


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Beautiful custom-made Spirit Of Love 2010 wood event plaque, hand-made by Jim (jimr)!

* Photo courtesy of John

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"Laura" confetti and holographic stars


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2010 Spirit Of Love "goodies"


At a little after 2:30 the 2010 Spirit Of Love officially started. I led off by thanking everyone for being there and gave some opening remarks for the weekend.


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Kathy


When done, we went right into viewing various LB footage, including the following:

  • Record Guide '88 with Laura hosting
  • The Ru Paul Show - Final episode with Laura performing Gloria
  • Canadian Telethon - Laura performing Solitaire, Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (with Laura on piano), How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, and Forever Young, featuring various costume changes
  • Food Network show with Robin Leach: interview, performance of Dim All The Lights, and LB cooking demonstration

We had a great time watching the afternoon videos, and then Vince took some time to go over instructions and directions for our evening trip to the ocean in Southampton for Laura's beach memorial. Our dinner break followed.

NEXT: Laura's Beach Memorial and our Friday night activities!

Kathy

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Kathy and Vince
Member of The Recording Academy

Webmasters
LauraBraniganOnline.com
The Official Laura Branigan Website

I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You`re still here beside me every day
`Cause I know you by heart...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:55 pm 
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Hi all,

Continuing our recap of the 2010 Spirit Of Love Memorial Gathering...

On Friday evening, August 13, we all carpooled to the Hamptons, to a Southampton beach, specifically, for Laura's beach memorial. :auto-iroc: It was a beautiful, breezy, sunny evening as we made our way to the ocean. :happy-sunny:

As we strolled on to the beach, we beheld the beautiful sight of the horizon, the waves crashing onto the shore, and the sun on its way to setting. It was once again an ideal backdrop to speak some words in memory of Laura, who had a special affinity and love for this particular setting - a place where she was one with the nature she was so fond of.

The first thing we did was gather together for our traditional beach group photo, and after that everyone was free to walk about and reflect as they so chose for the next half hour. It was a time of friendly conversation, dipping feet in the ocean, finding seashells and pebbles as mementos of our time spent there, taking pics of the beauty around us, and enjoying the stunning ocean sunset.


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Left to right: Vince (LauraBraniganOnline-OHE), Jim (jimr), Sharon, John (Low C Bassman), Kathy (LauraBraniganOnline-OHE), Jen (jd316), Rhiannon (Rhiannon), Tracy (smilinangelct001), and Mark
() denotes Official Laura Branigan Discussion Forum user name


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Sharon, Rhiannon, Jim, and Tracy


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Tracy, Jen, and Mark


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Rhiannon


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Jen


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Sharon and Jim


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Vince


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John


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Tracy and Mark


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Rhiannon and Kathy


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Vince and Kathy


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Vince, Kathy, and Jim


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Vince, Rhiannon, and Kathy


Vince then led our beach memorial, focusing on our "Shine On" theme for this year's gathering. He spoke about how Laura loved to spend time at the beach, enjoying the serenity of the ocean. He also mentioned about how Laura’s fans can allow our love for Laura to “shine on” through us so that a whole new generation of fans can experience her music. I then spoke some words to the group about how much Laura loved and appreciated all her fans - how she was so very genuine and real when it came to all of you. I also touched upon Laura's love for the simple things in life, and also how much I admired her for being the type of person that didn't think twice about taking a break from the business to take care of her ill husband or to be the primary caretaker for her mom who had been afflicted with Alzheimer's during the last years of Laura's life, while at the same time doing shows and continuing to work on her new album. I expressed that it's in these types of things that we all can identify with Laura.

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Vince leading Beach Memorial


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Vince


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Vince


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Kathy sharing some thoughts during Beach Memorial


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Kathy


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We bid the beach adieu for another year and drove back to the Hilton, where a short break was taken to freshen up and then we reconvened in the meeting room for our Friday night agenda.

Many thanks go out to Jim and Sharon who once again this year kindly and thoughtfully provided us with meats, cheeses, Jim's own smoked salmon, beverages, and more for all to partake of and enjoy that evening! :text-thankyoublue: :text-woo:

We had two feature presentations slated for the evening. Prior to the event, we took notice that all present this year, except for Erika and our family, were not present at the event in 2007 when we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Gloria, and as such, had not viewed Other Half Entertainment's full-length feature video production that was shown that year, Calling Gloria. With that being the case, we took the opportunity to show an encore presentation of the feature, and everyone greatly enjoyed it. :smile:

We closed out the first day of Spirit Of Love with a viewing of Laura's feature film, Backstage, which was shot in Australia. Before we began the film, I brought out the striped jacket that Laura wears in a couple scenes. We finished at 11:45 PM and called it a night, with all having had a fantastic time with each other on day one, and looking forward to what Saturday had in store for all of us.

NEXT: Saturday morning, August 14 - The Memorabilia Display!

Kathy

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Kathy and Vince
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LauraBraniganOnline.com
The Official Laura Branigan Website

I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You`re still here beside me every day
`Cause I know you by heart...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Hi everyone,

Saturdays at Spirit Of Love are the time that we don our event t-shirts. This year's design highlights our "Shine On" theme on the front and the back features a backdrop silhouette of Laura in performance, along with event listing and location, and the Other Half Entertainment logo and Laura's official website, www.LauraBraniganOnline.com, listed at the bottom. The shirts were a HIT with all who attended! :happy-wavemulticolor:

The following is the 2010 design:

Image
* Copyright 2010, Other Half Entertainment - Unauthorized use prohibited

Left: Front
Right: Back


Design team: Kathy Golik, Vince Golik, Erika Atsumi Foreman, and Steve Hidook

THANKS again to all for another great collaborative effort!!! :text-thankyoublue: :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Kathy

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Kathy and Vince
Member of The Recording Academy

Webmasters
LauraBraniganOnline.com
The Official Laura Branigan Website

I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You`re still here beside me every day
`Cause I know you by heart...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:46 am 
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Looks nice!
Do you plan to upload a photo of the "Shine On" promo posters you recieved?
We'd LOVE to see 'em.

One day, I SWEAR I will get to SOL! Even if it will be SOL 2020!

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Callin' GLORIAAA!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:39 am 
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GWashingMachine95 wrote:
Looks nice!
Do you plan to upload a photo of the "Shine On" promo posters you recieved?
We'd LOVE to see 'em.

One day, I SWEAR I will get to SOL! Even if it will be SOL 2020!

:banana-dance: :banana-guitar: It's never too late my young friend. It's really a great time.
Jim


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