BRUSH WITH BARBRA

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I had only been in University Hall for a few minutes, when a rumor started to fly around the first floor with lightning speed. Barbra Streisand was going to be there, "to chat it up with [Dean of the Faculty] Jeremy [Knowles]" before her IOP speech the next day.

Remembering my very positive experience with Keanu and the deep friendship that began that day, I got excited, too. It was hard not to. Deans popped breath mints and administrators started to comb their hair. I called one of my faithful friends and asked her to bring a camera. In a flash my friend arrived, and we were ready.

Barbra exited Mass Hall like a Queen bee surrounded by a swarm of her workers, Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III among them. Mesmerized students and a couple of local photographers inched closer to her with trepidation, like squirrels walking up to an outstretched handful of peanuts. They were all painfully aware that they should not appear too gawky and tacky. They failed.

Barbra looked threatened; she guarded her face with her coat lapels, not knowing what to make of these weirdos sniffing tentatively at her. It was all very awkward, so on her approach to University Hall, I caught her eye and greeted her: "Hello, Ms. Streisand."

"Hello," she responded. Then she ducked into the building and was whisked up the stairs to Dean Knowles's office. I did not get to pose with Barbra Streisand.