Fifth-grader Michael Fenerty had a really good excuse for missing school Thursday, thanks to Bruce Springsteen.
Fenerty, a student at Masterman School, attended Springsteen’s fan meet-and-greet at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia with his dad, Mike, a major Boss fan and memorabilia collector.
Previously, Michael had expressed an interest in seeing Springsteen live, and his father took him to the Sept. 7 show at Citizens Bank Park.
“It was the first day of school for the fifth grade at Masterman, and of course Bruce played his longest show,” Mike said. “As a fan I loved it; as a parent I hated it. I wanted to kill him!”
Fenerty, a former teacher and now a lawyer, wanted to follow the rules of his son’s new school, and asked what the procedure was for missing a day. “He said we should get Bruce to write an absence note,” Mike said. So the father and son typed one up.
The policy of the meet-and-greet meant that fans had to give any belongings – bags, memorabilia, and coats – to library staffers while meeting with Springsteen so that the event would run smoothly. But Michael had the note and a pen in his pocket, and offered it as Springsteen and Mike chatted.
“My son said, ‘Bruce, would you sign my absence note?’ [Springsteen] lit up. He was affectionate toward Michael as soon as he saw him. He said, ‘I have to read it first, that’s how I got in trouble with my first contract,’ ” Mike said. “He said, ‘I hope you don’t get in trouble.’ My son was very starstruck – it was a very cool experience.”
After the event, the Fenertys headed to Masterman to give the note to the principal. But how could Mike give up such a great piece of Bruce-abilia?
“I only gave her a photocopy,” he said.