My Andre Friends Wall

I didn’t set out to do it. It just sort of evolved. About a year after I discovered Andre, I found
he had opened a web site and had a Guestbook for fans to write in. In those early days,
addresses were automatically printed after your message. I began writing to people, and
found friends all over the world. It was fantastic!
But I kept wondering what all these people looked like. Were they tall, short, blonde,
brunette, young, “mature?” (like me)

One day when answering an email, I asked for a picture. It happened to be Mike Connelly in
Australia, and he emailed me one of he and his wife, Annette. This is pretty cool, I thought,
and wondered if others would send pictures. I asked and they did. Pauline Sheehan from
Ireland was next,  then Marsey Peterson from North Carolina.    
I put them in a file in my desk drawer, and it was so nice to get out those pictures and look
at them when I got emails.

I’ve lost track who came next and when, but over the months I got more. By the time I moved
to the house in Carl Junction, where I now live, I had about eighteen or twenty. There is
much more wall space here, and that‘s when I got the idea to make an
Andre Friends Wall.
The first place I hung the pictures was on a dark paneled short wall. They fit just fine, but
not for long. The number grew to thirty, and included Monique Hoogzaad from Holland, Elke
Bliefering from Germany, Anne and Eric Buch from Denmark.  As new pictures came, I
spread them to the side wall which I’d painted yellow to brighten and lighten the room – it’s
also my favorite color.  I moved the furniture around several times (it’s a girl thing, you guys)  
but left the pictures where they were because I didn’t want to take down thirty pictures and
re-hang them.

By 2003, I was up to forty pictures, had added added Canada and Hong Kong, and England
to list of countries and was running out of space. That was the year I ordered the picture of
Andre from the Boutique and put it on the wall, too. It was also the year the tornado hit Carl
Junction, and I hid in a closet with my cat listening to it roaring through town. I lost seven
trees, either broken off or pulled up. Fortunately, my house suffered no structural damage.
Six blocks away, others weren't so lucky and lost everything. My yard was a jungle, and
pictures the last thing on my mind. When I did look at them, believe it, or not, only one
picture had fallen off the wall and not even the glass was broken.

2004 rolled around, and I went to my first concert. I came home with pictures of Teun,
Manoe, and Kerstin for the wall.  And of course, the one of Andre and me. One I especially
treasure is one I took of Trudy Klapperich, who I met in Ames, Iowa. What a delightful lady
she is. Trudy is from Michigan, was 91 years old, and traveled to Iowa, to see Andre in
concert. (I saw her again last year in Chicago.)  I got pictures of Sonja and Sigrun there, too.

Then one day a new email came from Janny van Wingerden in Ambacht, Holland. I
answered and we began a wonderful friendship. She sent a picture of herself and her
husband, Wim. She was also trying to teach me a little Dutch. It was hard, and I told her I’d
need to spend six months with her to learn. She promptly invited me to come visit her. We
started planning my trip to Holland for October of the next year. By the time that happened, I
had 56 pictures, but some were of more than one person.The actual head count had
reached 95.

Since January, of this year, I’ve added three more, Ruth Morgan, Beverley Treichel, and
Rita Bullis. I”ll get to meet Ruth in Dallas, in April. (along with Barb and Bill Henderson from
Texas) Out of these 98 friends, I’ve gotten to meet 29 of them. Two are from Joplin, five
miles away, and I found them through emails about Andre. I didn’t count my sister, Til, who
lives next door to me, or Netta who I already knew from work, or my old high school friend I
hadn't seen in years till a class reunion. She borrowed a video and was hooked like the rest
of us. She plays flute and violin. I have room for more, and would love to add new faces.
Email me, be my Andre friend, and send me your picture.

I have many wonderful friends all over the world. From 19 states and 8 different countries.
Our bond is love for Andre Rieu and his music. Out of it came friendship, and from friendship
has grown love. What an extraordinary man he is and what a beautiful legacy he has given
the world.
Some of Maggie's Andre Friends.
Kerstin Cornelis Andre's
tourmanager.  Belgium
Andre Rieu,  The inspiration
the Netherlands
Beverly Treichel. FL
Mike and Annette Connely
   Sidney,  Australia
Anne and Erik Buch
Janny and Wim van Wingerden
the Netherlands
Gillian and Kelly Lueng, Hong Kong
Junko Masako, Tokyo
Maggie, MO and Sonja OH
Barb Wilson, AZ
Tiny van Rooijen
Eileen Olin, NY
Nettie Welton, CO
Laurie and Noel Crowley, NJ
Vern and Betty King and              
    Linda Stinner, CA
Shirley and Dan Kirk,  MO
Iris and Albert Shilling,
Marsey Peters, NC