Bonnaroo essay contest winner No. 4: Alena Jones | Rock Candy

Bonnaroo essay contest winner No. 4: Alena Jones

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Our final concert essay contest winner is Alena Jones. Little did she know back in 1989 that her substitute teacher was, uh, well, let's just say she was quite well-known in certain circles.

In 1989, I was a 6th grader at Pine Forest Elementary. We had a substitute teacher that year that terrified my classmates. She walked into the room wearing a black leather mini-skirt and half of her head was shaved. Being the daughter of a DJ, I thought she was totally rock and roll! After the majority of my classmates checked out for the day, I sat at her desk and listened to her tell stories about David Lee Roth.

Several months later I had my first opportunity to go backstage at the Poison/Tesla concert at Barton. Accompanied by my stepmother, I waited in line for my chance at an autograph. Out of the corner of my eye I see my substitute teacher. "Look!" I say to my stepmom, "It's my substitute, Miss Hamzy!" My stepmother turns around to see Connie Hamzy coming toward us, bleeding from the mouth. She had been chewing in her VIP tag and accidentally clipped her tongue. "Oh, my God! Your sub was Sweet Connie?"

Miss Hamzy remembered me and after apologizing for her appearance, she asked me to wait there. After a few moments she returned with a sign from Tesla's dressing room door and a set list for the concert that she gave to me. We took photos together and she gave me a hug and disappeared into the crowd. I never did get my autograph from the band, but I still have the things she gave to me.

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