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Phenomenal Dr. Maya Angelou


#MayaAngelou #PhenomenalWoman

In June of 2005, I was listening to the radio on my way to work. Dr. Maya Angelou was on to promote an event she was going to be speaking at later that day at the Rialto Theatre. And there would be a brief meet and greet. Well, wouldn’t you know it! My job was about 3mins walking distance from the Rialto!!! Instantly, the wheels in my head started turning and my story on why it was urgent that I take an early/extended lunch break began to fall into place. I think I smiled all the way to work. I had an unofficial lunch date with Dr. Maya Angelou!!! The speaking engagement was scheduled for 1:00. Although, I could be there in an eye blink, I wasn’t about to be the last one in line. I left my desk armed with my confidence, a smile on my face and a copy of my then newly released book “The Evolution Beyond Words & Poetry.” I was going give it to her and she was going LOVE it and ME forever!

When I approached the Rialto, I could see that the line was already about 40 deep. I considered turning around, I had become a little bit salty at Dr. Angelou for broadcasting to all of Atlanta, GA about OUR unofficial lunch date. I pressed onward and after taking my place in line, I watched as the line continued to grow and grow and grow. The doors finally opened and we were given minor instructions on how the meet and greet would go. As I inched my way closer and closer to the door, I practiced (in my head of course) what I was going to say. After all this was Dr. Maya Angelou and I wasn’t about to sound like an overly excited blabbering fool. Or so I thought.

Finally, I’m the next one to approach the table. I know my feet were moving but I felt like I was frozen solid. I could see her watching me with that smile of hers. FINALLY, I reach the table and this is how it went.


“Dr. Angelou, MynameisAriaNicoleandIjustloveyousomuch! YOUaresuchaninspirationtomeandsomanyothersThankYOUTHANKYOU!!!”

Dr. Angelou:

“Why Hello, Thank You. Baaabbbby, go get my shawl.”

I stood there stunned for a few minutes, then I realized by the stern look on her face that I had been given a direct order and that I wasn’t moving. So, off I went on a mission to find the mystery shawl. I didn’t have a clue as to where it could be, who to ask or even what color it was. I just knew I had to find it. After searching what felt like an hour and asking about 3 Rialto staff members. I LOCATED the most beautiful red, black with gold specs shawl. I returned her shawl. She said “Thank You Baaabbby”

I headed back to my office still armed with all I had taken with me. My confidence, my smile and yes, the copy of my book that I had forgotten to give to her. And it didn’t even matter!!!

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