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View Full Version : Sharing pics of my trip to Canton for DT's Induction...



Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 12:16 AM
Prior to sharing my pics, I'd like to share first a bit of a personal story. I've been a Chiefs fan since I was a kid, my dad becoming a fan in '63 when they moved to KC...I was raised with Red & Gold blood, haha.

As with many Chiefs fans, DT became my all time favorite Chief...not only as a result of his obvious talent as an athelete, but for who he was as a human being...his huge heart & compassion towards helping others.

I can honestly state, that although I didn't know DT personally, I felt much love for him as a Chief on field, & for the person he was off field. I never visited DT's modest home in suburban KC, but he visited mine weekly. I knew him, though he didn't know me.

When DT tragically lost his life, at some point amidst my tears, shock, & sadness...it occurred to me that someday DT would be inducted into the NFL HOF. I considered the thought of DT's future Induction, from that point forward as being his final big play in the NFL. I made myself a promise, that come hell or high water I would be there personally to witness DT's Induction Ceremony. I saw my presence there being my way of honoring and thanking DT for all he gave from his body, heart & soul as a Chief to his team and fans, as well as his contributions to the Kansas City community.

I miss Derrick, and to this day still find myself at times looking for the #58 on the field of play. Derrick is on God's Pro-Bowl team now, and no doubt is smiling down upon Arrowhead each & every game day. :)

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 12:29 AM
This is me early Thursday morning meeting my daughter to say goodbye. Although I have two DT's jerseys, one autographed & one to wear...the DT #58 jersey I'm holding is my brother Ricky's. DT was Ricky's favorite Chief too, & this jersey was his favorite piece of Chiefs gear. Ricky passed away in Feb. 2008 of kidney disease, but had he lived, without doubt would've been beside me in Canton for DT's induction. I chose to take & wear Ricky's jersey to DT's Induction Ceremony...representing Ricky being present in spirit. :)

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/116.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 12:35 AM
Once in Canton, Cindy & I met up with a friend, Kelly, from Wisconsin, who is also an avid Chiefs fan. He drove to Canton with his son Brett, son's friend Brian, and met his brother, Chad, there also, who lives in Ohio. In this pic from left to right are my friend Cindy, Brian, Kelly, me, Chad, and Brett is in front. We tailgated in a nearby parking lot Saturday, inbetween visiting the HOF, mingling with fellow Chiefs fans.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/117.jpg

stricken721
08-17-2009, 12:52 AM
Awesome pics. Looks like a happy group

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:04 AM
The pics are too big, oops! Sorry, haha...I've reduced the remaining. :)

X-Factor was also in Canton, mingling among fans inside the HOF along with Superfans from other NFL teams. He later joined our tailgating group.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/118.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:08 AM
I have a DT #58 Tattoo on my ankle, which seemed to be appreciated by fellow Chiefs fans spotting it, including X-Factor, and he is taking a pic of my #58 tattoo in this photo.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/119.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:10 AM
Me talking to other fellow Chiefs fans arriving in the parking lot near the HOF. Our group was the only group I saw tailgating, and we shared our food with all passer byers, including fellow Chiefs fans of course. :)

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/120.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:12 AM
Me, X-Factor, and a couple from Oregon attending DT's Induction Ceremony.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/121.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:14 AM
Remembering DT in discussion & thought...

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/122.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:19 AM
Several former Chief players & other NFL personalities were mingling among the fans outside of the HOF. Former Chief Kevin Ross admiring my DT #58 tattoo, also in the pic are former Chief Martin Bayless. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure who the gentleman in the Ohio State Coach jacket is, although he looks familiar & did have a security clearance tag. Ross & Bayless knew him, but only called him by the name of "Coach"...can any one identify him?

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/123.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:22 AM
The 'unknown' Coach stopped me as I began to leave the group, he hollered at me, "hey young lady where you going, I want to talk to you." He wanted to know where I found my vintage Chiefs Super Bowl IV Lettermans jacket. I wish I knew who he was, I likely should, but it's just not connecting in my tired mind, haha.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/124.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 01:26 AM
The Entrance to the HOF Saturday Aug. 8th...

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/125.jpg

stricken721
08-17-2009, 01:29 AM
The mystery coach's name is Dave Adolph.

AkChief49
08-17-2009, 03:12 AM
thanks for sharing the pics CJ!

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 03:52 AM
Sorry for the delay, I'm on a satellite, storms moved in, lost signal. Thanks for identifying the mystery coach, haha. Thanks to all for the replies too. Here are some more now that I have my signal back. :)

The Class of 2009 banners on Fawcett Stadium...
http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/126.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 03:53 AM
http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/127.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 03:55 AM
Inside the main hall of the HOF...Class of 2009 wall displays...

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/128.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 03:57 AM
http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/129.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 03:59 AM
Me standing beside a Lombardi display in the HOF's new Super Bowl Room...

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/130.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 04:01 AM
During the Induction Ceremony...DT on the big screen...

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/131.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 04:02 AM
This is DT's eldest son & Carl Peterson on stage with the un-veiling of DT's Bronze Bust...http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/132.jpg

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 04:06 AM
http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/133.jpg

I intended to get a tattoo of DT prior to his death, never got around to it...as those tasks sometimes go. After his death I continued to say I was gonna get one, and finally this year in honor of DT's induction I followed through!

This pic was taken on the day the artist did it, so it's still red & a bit sore, haha. The camera angle makes it appear lopsided, the RIP crooked, but it's not. Also, the ink residue still shows some, like red spots inside the yellow, but that's all wore off now in time.

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 04:10 AM
Okay, another, haha...their camera lighting wasn't the greatest, but still a fun pic. This is me & my friend Cindy inside the HOF doing their souvenir pic, haha.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/134.jpg

doobs_05
08-17-2009, 04:25 AM
LUCKY!! thats pretty cool

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 04:35 AM
Lastly...on our way home from Canton, my friend Cindy received a text telling her our names were mentioned in the KC Star. Apparently a man who approached our group & was talking to us, was a reporter for the Star. We thought it was pretty cool that our memorable weekend honoring DT ended with us being mentioned in the Star...considering the hundreds of Chiefs fans in attendance. The article was front page, but continued on a back page. I was more honored he mentioned my 'giant red truck' than mentioning me, haha. I love my "Chiefs truck!" Below is the part mentioning us, which I felt was nicely written with a bit of nostaligic spirit. :)

There’s a hospital near the Hall of Fame in Canton — Mercy Medical Center — and on Saturday afternoon there were a bunch of Chiefs fans wearing Derrick Thomas jerseys and sitting on lawn chairs in front of a giant red truck with the Chiefs logo on the side. They were grilling, of course. Two of them — Tanja and Zan McCurry — were from Bend, Ore. Two more — Connie Emery and Cindy Kloepper — were from Kansas. There was a family of Simpsons — Kelly, Brett and Chad — and they were from Wisconsin and Ohio. And, finally, a man from Kansas City dressed up as a superhero called X-Factor, and his father, Daddy X-Factor, sat on the curb. They knew each other through various coincidences and connections. Yes, Derrick Thomas brought them together.
"Even though he’s gone," Kelly Simpson said, "we had to come."
The others nodded and ate and offered food to security guards and others who were passing by. That’s what Kansas City Chiefs fans do. They offer food. A slow but persistent rain fell from under a dark gray sky. The Chiefs fans talked about the sacks Derrick Thomas made just when the team needed it most. The smoke drifting off the grill smelled like 1997.

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 04:38 AM
Yeah, it was pretty cool, the entire weekend is definitely a highlight of my life! It was very emotional hearing Carl's speech...he did an excellent and honorable job representing the Thomas family, all of whom were present. Marty & Gunther were there too, and their tears just as flowing as mine were.

Chiefster
08-17-2009, 04:55 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your pics and your experience there in Canton Connie...That should have been your username: "Canton Connie"! :D

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 05:10 AM
LOL @ 'Canton Connie'...not a bad idea! Friends & family nicknamed me 'Redzone CJ' a long time ago...which explains the 'Redzone' tag on my truck. They limit to 7 letters, so couldn't add the CJ.

A few yrs ago I joined a couple other Chiefs websites, posted briefly...can't remember the names off hand, went by RedzoneCJ there. People didn't reply back much, so lost interest I suppose. Around Super Bowl this year I decided for some reason to give Chiefs website participation another try...found this website then.

Y'all are much friendlier here, haha. THANKS! :)

tornadospotter
08-17-2009, 05:19 AM
Thanks for sharing with us.

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 05:26 AM
Thanks for sharing with us.

Thank you! It was my honor to share. Doesn't do much good to share pics with those who aren't Chiefs fans & wouldn't 'get it' so to speak. It's nice knowing I could share here, the experience being appreciated.

I remember posting to you when I was here before, asking if you were a real tornado spotter. Your user name is memorable because I'm a 'wannabe', but 'never will be', tornado spotter, haha. I've had a fascination with tornado's since witnessing as a kid, the June 8th, 1966 F-5 that hit Topeka, KS, my native hometown.

GlennBree
08-17-2009, 04:29 PM
Awesome Photos!! thanks for sharing..I know there are lots of jealous Chiefs fans out there!!!
and yea....LOVE the truck!!! (what I could see of it in one pic) LOL!

Chiefster
08-17-2009, 04:34 PM
LOL @ 'Canton Connie'...not a bad idea! Friends & family nicknamed me 'Redzone CJ' a long time ago...which explains the 'Redzone' tag on my truck. They limit to 7 letters, so couldn't add the CJ.

A few yrs ago I joined a couple other Chiefs websites, posted briefly...can't remember the names off hand, went by RedzoneCJ there. People didn't reply back much, so lost interest I suppose. Around Super Bowl this year I decided for some reason to give Chiefs website participation another try...found this website then.

Y'all are much friendlier here, haha. THANKS! :)

Welcome, and good to hear. Just make yourself at home here. :D

pbatrucker
08-17-2009, 04:42 PM
That was awesome. Thank you Connie.
:bananen_smilies046:

CapitalT
08-17-2009, 04:44 PM
Thanks for sharing the photos and your experience at Canton!

Connie Jo
08-17-2009, 08:48 PM
Awesome Photos!! thanks for sharing..I know there are lots of jealous Chiefs fans out there!!!
and yea....LOVE the truck!!! (what I could see of it in one pic) LOL!

Thanks!

My trip to Canton was indeed a blessing! There were many obstacles to overcome, and at times I wasn't sure I'd over come them, but with help from friends encouraging & supporting me emotionally to make the trip...I did it, and a 9 yr dream came true! :)

Here's a better pic of my truck, right after I spent about 4 hrs cleaning it preparing to head for Canton. I bought it a little over 4 yrs ago, only 10 payt's left thankfully, haha. It's been a bit of a struggle making the payt's since divorcing back in March, single income now, but I'm managing! I'd likely go without eating to keep my Chiefs truck...it too was a dream come true when I bought it. I'll never trade it in, too many sentimental memories related to family, friends, Chiefs, etc...it's mine for life! :)

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/connieemery/truck650.jpg

Sweets
08-17-2009, 11:23 PM
As a 49er fan I must say Connie those pics are awesome and your truck is great...thanx for sharing

AkChief49
08-17-2009, 11:51 PM
totally awesome!!rep

Jurgen
08-18-2009, 12:51 AM
here you are. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures. Would love to have been there, maybe one day, it's on my 'bucket list' :D

Now looking back at all the AFC practices we got to enjoy I should have taken more pictures.

Do you have anything signed by Derrick Thomas?

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/104.jpg

Connie Jo
08-18-2009, 01:41 AM
here you are. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures. Would love to have been there, maybe one day, it's on my 'bucket list' :D

Now looking back at all the AFC practices we got to enjoy I should have taken more pictures.

Do you have anything signed by Derrick Thomas?

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/104.jpg

Yes, I do as a matter of fact. I have an authentic DT jersey he signed and donated for auction to raise money for the Third & Long Foundation back in the late 90's I think it was.

I also have the DT Christmas ornament sold through his Third & Long Foundation that has his printed autograph, but he also signed it personally on the other side, another charity auction purchase.

I have the solo Derrick Thomas 1990's era poster that has him in Native American attire, it too autographed by DT. That poster is the mate to 'The Tribe' poster with the Defense all dressed in Native attire, including DT, which I also have, but not autographed by any of the Defensive players shown.

I have DT's autographed 8x10, and a football as well, however...my football wasn't game used, or related to a Pro-Bowl. It too was purchased at a charity auction several years ago.

I ran into DT once at a convenience store off I-29. He was buying a Honey Bun I can remember, haha...a guy in line paying next to him...joked with him about it. DT laughed, and said, "awe man, don't tell anyone!".

Carl made note a few times in his speech about DT's remarkable captivating huge smile. I saw his smile that day in person at the convenience store, and it was captivating, so understood when Carl spoke of it in the manner he did. DT's smile could easily warm even the coldest heart.

I didn't approach DT that day, I dunno...I'll ask for an autograph while a celebrity is on the job so to speak, but for some reason refrain if they're on personal time.

I do regret now not approaching DT, at least shaking his hand and thanking him for all he gave us fans on the field, and off. I'm not one to have many regrets in life, but that is one. :(

Chiefster
08-18-2009, 01:47 AM
I'm green with envy!

Connie Jo
08-18-2009, 01:47 AM
I don't know if I can be as unselfish as you Jurgen, but you have inspired me to at least consider donating one of my signed DT items to the HOF, if not more. I'm not sure what all they have or don't. As I said, it was difficult to see the display's that Saturday, so very crowded, and I'm only 120 lbs @ 5' 4" tall, haha...not easy for me to see past a 'thick' crowd in front of displays, or wiggle my way to the front, haha.

At the very least, I should contact them and ask if they're interested. Obviously they wouldn't be in my football or 8x10...but maybe the 1990's era poster, or ornament? My autographed DT jersey was a birthday gift given to me by family members back then, so wouldn't feel right donating that...not sure I could unselfishly part with it anyway.

Chiefster
08-18-2009, 01:53 AM
I don't know if I can be as unselfish as you Jurgen, but you have inspired me to at least consider donating one of my signed DT items to the HOF, if not more. I'm not sure what all they have or don't. As I said, it was difficult to see the display's that Saturday, so very crowded, and I'm only 120 lbs @ 5' 4" tall, haha...not easy for me to see past a 'thick' crowd in front of displays, or wiggle my way to the front, haha.

At the very least, I should contact them and ask if they're interested. Obviously they wouldn't be in my football or 8x10...but maybe the 1990's era poster, or ornament? My autographed DT jersey was a birthday gift given to me by family members back then, so wouldn't feel right donating that...not sure I could unselfishly part with it anyway.

I think we can all understand the sentimental value placed on that particular item. Heck, I'd have a hard time parting with any of it...does that make me bad???

hermhater
08-18-2009, 01:55 AM
Awesome pics!!!

Connie Jo
08-18-2009, 01:55 AM
As a 49er fan I must say Connie those pics are awesome and your truck is great...thanx for sharing

Thanks!!

49er's huh? I assume you relate to the Chiefs due to Montana's playing for our Chiefs...93-95, if memory is correct?

Connie Jo
08-18-2009, 02:00 AM
Thanks again to you all! I feel very welcome here, and you've made me comfortable with sharing too! It feels great to have fellow Chiefs fans who can relate to my depth of being pretty much a lifetime fan, haha. :)

Sweets
08-18-2009, 02:00 AM
Actually no...lol I know a few of your members here on another site...and I drop in once in a while to keep Chiefster in line, he has a love/hate relationship with me.

hermhater
08-18-2009, 02:01 AM
:lol:

Chiefster
08-18-2009, 02:02 AM
Actually no...lol I know a few of your members here on another site...and I drop in once in a while to keep Chiefster in line, he has a love/hate relationship with me.

You love/hate me! You really love/hate me! :lol:

Sweets
08-18-2009, 02:04 AM
Yes Chiefy...I love to hate you....I really do

Chiefster
08-18-2009, 02:07 AM
Yes Chiefy...I love to hate you....I really do


Yer just so sweet. :lol:

Connie Jo
08-18-2009, 02:10 AM
I think we can all understand the sentimental value placed on that particular item. Heck, I'd have a hard time parting with any of it...does that make me bad???

Nope...haha. :)

My guess is the NFL HOF would likely be interested in game used items, but maybe not.

My home is for sale, and someday will need to move to a smaller house more feasible for one. I won't have the display space I do now downstairs for my Chiefs collectibles, otherwise...my selfish side likely wouldn't consider donating so easily.

Jurgen's donation is indeed a humbling inspiration. :)

Connie Jo
08-18-2009, 02:12 AM
Actually no...lol I know a few of your members here on another site...and I drop in once in a while to keep Chiefster in line, he has a love/hate relationship with me.

hahaha

There's certainly a fine line between love and hate, haha.

Chiefster
08-18-2009, 02:13 AM
Nope...haha. :)

My guess is the NFL HOF would likely be interested in game used items, but maybe not.

My home is for sale, and someday will need to move to a smaller house more feasible for one. I won't have the display space I do now downstairs for my Chiefs collectibles, otherwise...my selfish side likely wouldn't consider donating so easily.

Jurgen's donation is indeed a humbling inspiration. :)

True dat!

Jurgen
08-18-2009, 11:41 AM
Wel, let me just say for me, dontating this ball to the hall was the ONLY thing to do.

I have had it now for so many years and I always wanted to do somethign special with it.

And yes, I would love to see it there myself.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/87.jpg

Chiefster
08-18-2009, 05:42 PM
Wel, let me just say for me, dontating this ball to the hall was the ONLY thing to do.

I have had it now for so many years and I always wanted to do somethign special with it.

And yes, I would love to see it there myself.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/87.jpg

As well you should buddy! :)

Connie Jo
08-18-2009, 11:31 PM
Wel, let me just say for me, dontating this ball to the hall was the ONLY thing to do.

I have had it now for so many years and I always wanted to do somethign special with it.

And yes, I would love to see it there myself.

http://www.chiefscrowd.com/forums/images/imported/2009/08/87.jpg

I think it's awesome you donated it! Don't think I would've had the thought to...inspiring that you thought to donate it, as well as following through. :)

Your DT Pro Bowl football undeniably is RARE & PRICELESS! It's now displayed in an honorable & historical home where all fans of DT, NFL fans overall...can appreciate it forever. That in itself is the greatest gift of all...sharing. :)