Meeting singer fulfills dream
Lansing resident talks about dad, childhood song with Brooks
For Lansing resident Sherri Schwinn, meeting Garth Brooks is mission accomplished.
"It was just unbelievable," said Schwinn, who met the country music star Oct. 8 in Kansas City. "That was my ultimate dream. If there was one celebrity in the world I'd have liked to meet, it was Garth."
Schwinn met Brooks at festivities surrounding the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation charity dinner, auction and golf tournament in Kansas City.
Schwinn said she had been on a mission to meet Brooks since 1995, when she heard him singing a rendition of "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream." When Schwinn was a child, her father would sing the song to her and her sister each night before bed.
"That's why I've been wanting to meet Garth," Schwinn said, "so I could tell him about the song and my dad."
Brooks didn't disappoint Schwinn, either. She had an Arlo Guthrie tape that included a recording of "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" that had belonged to her father.
"I said, 'We listened to that recording so much, I think we wore it out,'" Schwinn said. Brooks told Schwinn the song was a favorite of his, too, and he had listened to it frequently as a youngster.
Brooks signed his autograph on Schwinn's recording, right underneath where her father had written his name years ago.
"It's one of the few of my dad's possessions that I have and that I treasure," Schwinn said.
She credits her husband, Keith, with helping to make the dream come true.
Keith Schwinn's uncle works for Siemens, a corporate sponsor of the Teammates for Kids Foundation festivities in Kansas City. The uncle arranged for Schwinn to be a personal photographer for Siemens at the event.
"I do photography for a hobby, so this was the best job ever," she said.
Her photography pass gave her free rein at the event, including a meet-and-greet with Brooks and a private concert given by Brooks' wife, Trisha Yearwood.
Sherri Schwinn said Brooks' reputation as a kind, down-home soul shined during the meet-and-greet.
"Garth just talked to about 500 people like he was each of their best friend," she said.
The festivities raised more than $2 million for Teammates for Kids, Sherri Schwinn said.