back in Modesto from Raleigh and my wonderful adventure.
The concert at the RBC Center was more than I imagined.
There are so many posts about the concert that I won't
go into detail except to say what an honor it was to
attend Clay's hometown concert. It was beyond my wildest
dreams and brought tears to my eyes. Clay has matured
so much in the past few months as a performing artist
and Trenyce has been helping him with his dance moves.
They are fabulous but the shirt-tug has all the young
ladies gasping!! I guess the older ones too. His stage
presence is phenomenal and Simon should take some lessons
from Clay as I really feel like he will change the face
of the music world . . . he is well on his way to doing
A lot of the wonderful people I have met online I was
able to meet at the special dinner at the RBC
Center before the concert. I'm sure photos will
be circulated soon if not already. What a treat and
honor to attend the dinner that Faye threw to thank
Clay's fans that have been involved in support of his
charities. At such a wonderful time in her son's life,
she was extremely busy thanking as many people as she
could for their support. Amazing as fame can be, it
is a lot of work with sleepless nights. We were all
enjoying ourselves as Faye made last minute decisions
and sped off to interviews. What a special treat Clay's
mom gave these wonderful fans on a night she could have
just walked in and enjoyed herself without the work
of a dinner party. This is the way Faye is and her selflessness
has shaped Clay into the man his fans love not only
for his voice but for his own selflessness.
On top of this wonderful dinner, I was honored even
more by being invited to the barbecue the next day for
the Idols. It was Clay's North Carolina Pig Pickin'
versus Ruben's Alabama barbecue (haven't been invited
to that one!) All of the American Idol contestants were
there and it was very relaxed and pleasant . . . what
a nice break for them from the hectic routine of working
so many towns and living on a bus. I think Clay may
win that barbecue contest with Ruben as that Pig Pickin'
Being a California gal, I was blown away by the Southern
hospitality, which until my trip, I thought was just
a word. Now I know that it is a real description for
a real culture. I have never met such an amazing group
of people in my life! I had the pleasure of chatting
for quite sometime with Clay's Grandma, Catherine. What
a charming lady she is and couldn't be more proud of
Kimberly Locke is a sweetheart and beautiful young lady,
I was impressed with her immediately. It is so refreshing
to see someone so comfortable in their self image. She
was wearing an adorable tank top a fan gave her that
had a portrait of Clay on the front and signatures on
When I was introduced to Ricky Smith as the artist that
designs Clay's T-shirts, I put out my hand to shake
his and he gave me a huge bear hug saying he has never
seen so many Clay T-shirts! . . . and of course that
made me laugh because I was overwhelmed with the number
of shirts that I saw with my artwork at the concert,
after all they are sold right there in Raleigh.
I even had a Clay fan stop me at the concert as she
recognized me from my website. Well, actually, I can't
say she knew who I was but she stopped me because she
had seen a picture of me with Clay on the internet.
I told her I was Laurie and that I designed and illustrated
the Clay shirts. She said, "You're Laurie McAdam?"
. . . and was thrilled to meet me. If I get a picture
from her, I will post it here because if I made her
! day, she definitely made mine. It was a treat for
me to have someone recognize me by my work.
I know all of you Clay fans will groan at this but the
highlight of my trip besides meeting all the wonderful
Clay fans was being able to spend some nice quality
time with Faye that evening. It is an honor for me to
see my artwork associated with such a fine young man
and I will always support Clay and help Faye in every
possible way I can. Clay's fans are the best in the
world and together with Clay and Faye, this world will
be a better place.
by Laurie McAdam
And for all of you Clay fans, it was
really a treat for me to see Clay again. I don't want
you to think that it means nothing to me. He is a
charming young man with the voice of an angel and
a heart of gold. After their shuttle bus first arrived
to the barbecue and while Kimberly was chatting, Clay
walked over and took the large purse off her shoulder
and into the house so she wouldn't have to lug it
around. For Clay, that says it all, a simple gesture
that spoke volumes about his character. What a gentleman
and great friend for Kimberly. I know he made the
effort to greet everyone there that day as well.
Well, that is the recap of my trip and the only thing
else I would like to say is a huge thank you to Valerie
for inviting me to the Raleigh concert. She donated
$1,000.00 to the Bubel/Aiken Foundation and is involved
in so many charities supported by Clay. A true Clay
fan that only thinks of others and how she can help
Another huge thanks to Martha for letting me stay
with her and driving me around. Thank you to Frances
for her support of Clay and her best friend Faye and
for treating me to a wonderful breakfast and dinner.
I know many Claymates and charity supporters are indebted
to her. And, for me, an enormous thank you to Faye
for her support of my artwork and the time she gives
to Clay and the charities.
I was thrilled to meet Diane Bubel, Mitch Aiken, Clay's
brothers, Catherine Aiken (Clay's grandma) and also
his grandpa, Julie of Claymate
Mansion and her partners, Clay's Aunt Donna and
Grandma McGhee. I was thrilled to see Suzanne again,
one of Faye's good friends I had met in Los Angeles
and lucky enough to meet Elisa Crossman representing
the group LWLHD.
I met and had dinner with Jeani and Emily from the
Gonzo project as they passed through Raleigh.
And a final special thanks to Paulette from PKD Screen
Printing for showing me their shop and letting me
take a bundle of shirts, buttons and memorabilia home
for my sisters and Mom. I cannot forget to thank all
of you fans who have purchased Clay shirts and buttons
in support of Clay and his charity.
Laurie McAdam *Claymate #300*