Frolicky fans flock to farewell

Friday, November 12, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:22 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The crowd heading into Paige Sports Arena on Thursday for Cher’s farewell tour concert donned black leather chaps without pants, lime green shirts, boas every color of the rainbow and tight, unlaced leather blouses.

First time concert-goers

Jubilant to be at their first Cher concert, Cindy Mustard, Jennie Griffith and Cherie Campbell — members of the Boone Belles — were convinced that it was the new arena that brought Cher to Columbia. Hardly able to control their laughter, words floated from their lips like bubbles as they lived up to their Red Hat Society motto: Act silly!

Long-time fans

Many in attendance were lifelong Cher fans.

“I’ve been a fan of Cher since I was 2,” said Megan Carter, who is 9. “I remember dancing around in my living room to Cher records when I was a kid.”

With her arms wrapped around her homemade Cher poster and wearing an autographed Cher tank top, Megan said she went to her first Cher concert when she was 7.

“She’s just great!” she said.

Cher shares

When Megan attended her first concert at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, she gave Cher a note saying she has been a fan for a long time. At Cher’s next concert in Topeka, Kan., Cher’s brother, Ebar, presented a basket full of autographed Cher memorabilia to Megan, who said she was elated that Cher showed an interest in her as a fan.

That was the beginning of their friendship almost three years ago. Since then, Megan has been to five concerts, kept in touch through letters and invited Cher to have lunch with her at her school. Although Cher was unable to make it for the meal, she did send Megan a note thanking her for the invitation and sent her a gift basket of different delights.

Megan’s mom, Jill Sherman, said she thinks Cher enjoys Megan’s notes of encouragement and that is why they have stayed in touch.

Embracing the style of a diva

Tracy Volight, who came to the concert with her sister, Tanya Spencer, and her friend Leslie Barnes, said being a Cher fan means you have to love being a diva. They dressed the part in neon platform shoes and fake eyelashes, all three saying they just wanted to see Cher.

“I would be happy if she spit on me,” Barnes said.

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