Somewhere in Michigan in the early 1990s, a teenage farm boy clings to a chain-link fence at the edge of the county fairgrounds. He is angling for a distant, and free, glimpse of Naomi and Wynonna Judd.
They step into view briefly, gliding on high heels to the edge of the grandstand stage. From this distance, illuminated by a spotlight, they are a blur of sparkling sequins and red hair. Naomi, the mother of the duo and the de facto emcee, says something, but even amplified, her words float away in the hot August night.
Soon, though, a gentle strumming and Wynonna’s throaty voice carry to him: “I would whisper love so loudly, every heart could understand that love and only love can join the tribes of man.”
Then, his mother calls to him: “Jeff, get in the car! It’s time to go.”
I’m not sure what it was, but for me and for most people, the chemistry between Naomi and Wynonna and the feelings they stirred inside the listener were almost tangible. My first (and only) sighting of them is forever etched in my mind.