Wednesday, 23 April 2008

1989 - Fans and Friends

In early 1989 an advertisement in the penpal column Grapevine in Propaganda caught my eye. It was from someone called Pat in California - she was looking for U2 penpals who were over 30 years of age. In the days before email and online forums this was the only way for fans to get to know each other. I fitted the bill and was desperate to be able to share my U2 fandom with like-minded people as I knew no other fans and I felt very isolated. So I wrote to her and was thrilled to quickly receive a reply. Pat seemed to be a lovely person and so began a friendship that still continues today, though she moved on from U2 many years ago. She introduced me to other fans, Myra and Jeanette in the UK and Dianne in America. The UK fans soon drifted off, but Dianne is still a very close friend and U2 fan.

This was the start of getting to know and being able to share U2 with other fans. One of the most special things that has come my way through being a fan of U2 is friendship. I have been able to get to know people who I have more in common with than just U2, but who I would never have met had it not been for the band. I met many people in those early years - some soon moved on, some "went off" U2 and we were left with nothing else in common. Others were a bit "strange", ineviably fandom does attract some who are unbalanced. But most were great people and some have been friends for almost twenty years now.

Initially, in those early days I never thought that friendship would be a spin-off from being a fan. It is something that is precious to me and I am very grateful to U2 for that gift. I've shared so many great times with these friends and you'll read about them here!

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