Linda Goldstone

I am a 65 year-old woman who sometimes has trouble remembering what I said or did 10 minutes ago, yet my recollection of the evening Barbra Streisand entered my life, almost 51 years ago to the day, is crystal clear. It was October 6, 1963, I was sitting on the floor of my parents’ bedroom, waiting for The Judy Garland Show to begin. I was a shy 14 year-old aspiring singer, fascinated by the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry and longed to be a part of it. I had the utmost respect and admiration for Judy and believed her to be the most talented actress / singer on the planet. Nobody could move an audience with the passion and intensity that Judy could, nobody else had that magnificent voice or that undeniable raw talent. Or so I thought. My parents told me a young, talented singer was to be a guest on Judy’s show that night and encouraged me to watch as I could learn much from her. And, so I sat on the floor, skeptical, but willing to give the new singer a chance. And, then it happened, Barbra Streisand walked onto Judy’s set and straight into my heart and soul. And there she has lived forever more. I could wax on about the whys and wherefores but if you are reading this, you already know she is an unparalleled artist who stands in a class all by herself. You know she is a generous humanitarian and the embodiment of what it means to be a human being. And you know that she is our gift. My collection of Barbra Streisand music, movies, books, magazines, and other memorabilia is extensive. And although I treasure all of it and continue to collect with each passing year, what I treasure most are the people I have met and the life-long friendships that have developed because of our mutual love of Barbra. The Barbra Streisand Reunions began over 20 years ago, right after the success of “The Concert” tour. Year-to-year, between the reunions we talked to each other on AOL Barbra boards to keep up-to-date on all things Barbra, and flew across the country to visit with our friends as we followed Barbra on her successive tours from New York to San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and back again. And, now there is Facebook, and Twitter, and other forms of social media that keep us in touch. And, over 20 years later, I am talking to my friends like Anne and Lynne, Bob and Sal, Janice and Mona and Cathy, Tom and Joe and Walter, Ali and Caren and Kay, and all the rest. We shared our love of Barbra all those years ago and continue to share it today whenever there is news of a new movie, or album or television appearance or book or magazine. And, because of ever advancing technology, we see new generations of fans sharing the love of Barbra and the joy that she brings in ways we could not. There is an unbreakable bond linking Barbra fans to one another. While some of us know each other by name only, other friendships have evolved beyond our talk of all things Barbra. Either way, it is our shared love of her and our understanding of each other’s passion that is the glue that binds us together. We are people who need people and we are among the luckiest people in the world.