Surprise for senior 'magical'

What started out as an invite for a quick meet-and-greet turned into a "magical" musical moment between Glass Tiger and a 95-year-old super-fan last week.

Lisa Swallow works in housekeeping at the seniors lodge where Jean Savage, 95, is a resident. Her perceptiveness got the magic ball rolling.

Glass Tiger surprises senior

"One afternoon my coworker and I were out doing our rounds and we stopped into this lady's room and I could hear Glass Tiger playing. Her and I struck up this whole conversation about how we love the band," Swallow recounted. "I told her how many times I've met them and seen them in concert and she thought that was quite fabulous."

From there, Swallow contacted Alan Frew of Glass Tiger and told him all about Savage. She asked Frew if she could get one of his books for her at a future meet-and-greet, knowing that she loves to read. She met up with Frew at their show in Edmonton back in June to get the book signed.

"When I gave her the book she was just so happy to get it and she was telling me that she wished that she could meet him," Swallow said. 

"When I found out they were coming to Whitecourt, I messaged him again and asked, 'What would the chances be of you dropping in on your way along the highway just to say hi to her?'"

Frew was only to pop in, say hi, and zip away as the band was on a very tight schedule

"They wound up staying and playing her a song. It was just wonderful," Swallow recalled.

The aftershocks of the mini-concert were reverberating days later.

"She just couldn't stop giving me hugs and saying thank you," Swallow said.

"I had the weekend off and I got back to work Monday, and a coworker came up to me and said, 'Oh, you've got to stop by Jean's room, she really wants to see you.'"

Swallow could almost feel the joy pouring out of Savage's room.

"I was heading up the hall, and I could hear Glass Tiger playing in her room. There she is, just sitting by her CD player, and she reached out to hug me again," Swallow said. 

For her part, Savage said she was stunned at the response from the public after the video went viral.

"I just can't believe how big this is. It's been on the news, and everything," Savage told Swallow on Monday.

"It was just magical," Swallow said with a laugh.

Since suffering a stroke in 2015, Frew has been a a sensitive and open advocate for stroke prevention and awareness, and that sensitivity may have tipped the scale for the surprise concert in Mayerthorpe.

"He's all about giving back to the fans, the random acts of kindness, he loves that kind of thing," Swallow said of Frew.

Swallow hopes the generous and heartfelt act will inspire others around town, and beyond.

"My coworkers were completely blown away. Everybody had tears in their eyes, and smiles. We were all just kind of stunned and shocked," she said.

"Mayerthorpe is such a small little town, and to have something so big and so random, it was a lot of fun. I think that will be the vibe around town here for quite some time."

Glass Tiger plays Saint-joseph-de-beauce on Aug. 24, Windsor on Oct. 18 opening for the Chieftans before embarking on a week-long residence at a resort in Punta Cana in November.

Contributed Lisa Swallow

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