Epic memento: Schoolteacher gets second chance at poster

news-wendy-marstenWendy Marsters during her 12-hour wait to get in to the DMB show at JPJ.

It was only a poster, but it meant everything to Wendy Marsters.

The Northern California high school teacher has been listening to Dave Matthews Band since 1995, and she catches the band's show every time they happen near her home. But for the final show on the final tour before a fan-freaking hiatus, she decided to cross the continent.

"I knew it would be epic–- " she says in a phone call from Chico, "epic in Dave Matthews Band-ness."

And she even found an epic seat in Charlottesville. As the 20th person in line for the November 20 show at John Paul Jones Arena, the 41-year-old parlayed her 12-hour wait into primo, second-row seats.

"I had the best seat in the house," says Marsters "And I wanted a poster as a symbol of this trip."

Every DMB show has a different, limited edition poster, and Marsters paid $40 for one of the 650 Methane Studios posters printed just for the Saturday event.

"There's key shows that sell out and are important and people collect the posters," explains Marsters. And because the Charlottesville show was the last one until 2012, there's one offered on eBay for $400.

After the three-and-a-half hour concert, Marsters went to the nearby McDonald's restaurant while the Arena traffic cleared. She started talking to a young man from Richmond who'd also been at the show, and who asked how much she wanted for the poster and offered her $250, she says. No way, responded Marsters.

"It's priceless to me," she says she told the blond fellow who appeared to be 18 or 19 years old.

When it was her turn to order, she put the rolled up poster tube under her arm. And then it happened.

"I feel it yanked from under my arm," says Marsters. "And this kid I've just told my whole story to is going out the door. I tried to chase him with three other people," she recounts, but the teen escaped with the purloined poster.

"I've never had anything stolen," says Marsters, who felt her trip–- which included jaunts to Monticello and Blenheim, the Matthews-owned winery–- suddenly disintegrating.

"I was distraught," says Marsters. "I couldn't stand that this kid had taken away my whole experience."

"She came back so beside herself," says innkeeper Jim Stern at the Inn at the Crossroads, where she stayed. "You travel across the country and get stuck up."

Marsters acknowledges that she was very upset, but in a power-of-positive-thinking testimonial, "I tried to focus on the show," she says, adding that it was one of the best she's seen. "That's what snapped me out of it."

The next morning while serving breakfast to Marsters and 15 fellow concert-goers, Stern was astounded that she didn't mention her traumatic experience. "I didn't want it to be a crappy concert experience for everybody else," she told him.

Yet Stern was so appalled at what had happened to Marsters that he told her story to an acquaintance at MusicToday, the ticketing and merchandising company built on DMB merch. The MusicToday employee requests that his name not be mentioned in this story because he's not authorized to talk to the press, but after he heard the tale, another copy of the rare poster was soon on its way to Marsters.

"I'm just floored," says Marsters. "I'm completely blown away."

She's also blown away by the support she's gotten from DMB fans, who have denounced the poster thief on FaceBook, declaring that Dave Matthews' fans don't behave that way.

"The outpouring of love from Dave Matthews fans has overwhelmed me," says Marsters. "Even if I never got another poster, I'm overwhelmed by the love and support I've gotten from this.

And the robbery didn't sour her on Charlottesville.

"Everyone I met was wonderful," she says. "It's a beautiful area. I would definitely come back with my family."

Updated noon 12/9/10 with the correct spelling of Marsters' name.


Did anyone see the Cville N2 poster that was supposed to end up with me? I think this Marsters chick got shipped my poster!

Confused Easily, you are quite obviously living up to your name. Wendy Marsters was not the one who engaged the 18 year old in conversation. He approached her, and after elaborately explaining why the poster meant so much to her, and why it was not for sale, the dim-witted twit still had the nerve to swipe it from her when she wasn't looking. How dare you make her sound like the bad person in this situation, especially when she is the victim of theft!

As for Wendy Marsters herself, she is the last person in the world who deserves to have something like this to happen to her. She is nothing but friendly, and good hearted towards anyone she meets. I feel so fortunate to know Wendy. She is one of the most supportive and friendly people that i have ever met. And I am personally disgusted that someone would do something like this to her. Sadly, it seems that you have not had the privledge of knowing someone so amazing as Wendy Marsters, otherwise you would have at very least sympathized with her in this situation, and been proud to see that she has had such a positive outcome when someone took such negative actions towards her.

I'm sorry to see that you have such a dismal view on the matter. But please, next time don't even bother leaving a reply if it is going to be filled with ignorant accusations and spiteful remarks.

confused easily,
I don't know what makes you think you know so much about what makes a good teacher, but clearly you are wrong. Wendy Marsters is an amazing teacher and a wonderful person. She makes all of her students feel like someone cares about them and for many kids that's all they need. Her interest in the academic well being of her students ensures that none of them will be working at McDonald's. It is clear that you don't know Wendy because any person that does knows she is not to blame and she did not deserve to have anything stolen from her. I also don't see why you are being hateful to the victim in all of this instead of the person who committed the crime.
Furthermore, I feel sorry for you because you couldn't just read her story and think something positive. Instead you felt the need to go out of your way to spread negativity in the world.

During the XMAS break with the Wahoo's away do locals think there will be more gray fax sightings? While in C'ville for two day last week I saw a Red Fox around 2 in the afternoon running around the area of route 20 north where you turn left from 250 W up around the Wendy's. Wondered if those Sreckers on the lawn stired up any wildlife??

Somebody, they didn't even hire a decent graphic artist. Certainly could have afforded to though, but taste obviously isn't a characteristic of that particular demographic.

note to Marsten - you are 41 years old. Quit hanging around 18 year old punks at the local McDonald's.

note to confused easily - the punk followed her she was not hanging out with anyone. Hope you don't get robbed next time you grab a snack.

hey Roger - the story says "She started talking to a young man from Richmond who’d also been at the show". If she hadn't chatted up this loser then maybe she wouldn't have gotten the poster stolen.

Sounds like she is 41 going on 14. She should spend more time teaching high school and less time befriending high schoolers.

Kim, she might have been waiting in line, but I don't think I would call it "food" if this was at McDonalds. :)

Most people don't realize how easy and quick it is to become a victim of crime. With crime on the rise, some of the posters above may find out for themselves soon. And criminals pick their victims obviously. Had there been 3 or 4 football playing size guys standing around or with Wendy, the spineless coward wouldn't have grabbed anything and ran with it. They go for the easy target.

To confused easily, I don't know who you think you are to be such a hater. It takes a lot of energy to be so negative and "spread" hateful, inaccurate statements. Life is much easier when kindness is shared between people. You have no clue what you are talking about; hence, the name "easily confused". Wendy Marsters (the author misspelled her name) is a kind, gregarious person and a very inspiring teacher who was just having a casual conversation with someone while waiting in line for some food. You must be "easily confused" to make the statement that she was "hanging out with this 18 year old punk." And to blame her for someones elses choice to break the law just for simply having a conversation with him about the show is absurd and idiotic, much like you obviously are.

"I was distraught,” says Marsten. ââ?¬Å?I couldn’t stand that this kid had taken away my whole experience.”

Since there are no formatting functions for comments, let the asterisks * in the following article quotes function as indicators of bolded words....


ââ?¬Å?She came back so *beside herself,*” says innkeeper Jim Stern at the Inn at the Crossroads, where she stayed.

[...]Stern was astounded that she didn’t mention her *traumatic experience.*

"Yet Stern was so *appalled* at what had happened..."

I'm hoping this article is meant as tongue in cheek? Traumatic experience? Beside herself? Appalled? Over a stolen poster? You've gotta be kidding me?

In a world where billions go to bed hungry every night and people are dying every day in various wars and skirmishes, where children are illegally trafficked around to be sex slaves for pedophiles, along with the other endless myriad of atrocities that confront the various residents of Planet Earth, both human and otherwise, on an unrelenting daily basis, and we have these people talking about the "traumatic experience" of having a.....Dave Matthews band poster stolen? Really?? Hanh??

It sounds to me like these people have never gone through anything in life. Go to bed hungry a few times, not knowing where you're going to sleep when the temps dip down to the single digits. Or better yet, fly overseas and go insert yourself into the middle of a war zone. Then get back to us.

Or this:

'ââ?¬Å?I was distraught,” says Marsten. ââ?¬Å?I couldn’t stand that this kid had taken away my whole experience.”

Sounds like this woman needs to find new and better experiences.

Oh, but hey, at least we have this:

"Marsten acknowledges that she was very upset, but in a power-of-positive-thinking testimonial, ââ?¬Å?I tried to focus on the show,” she says, adding that it was one of the best she’s seen. ââ?¬Å?That’s what snapped me out of it.”

Yay! clap clap clap! :/

(Sorry for my snarky sarcasm, I couldn't help it with this story.)

Btw Hook writers, you may want to take a closer look at this sentence:


"I’ve never had anything stolen,” says Marsten, who *suddenly* felt her tripââ?¬â? which included jaunts to Monticello and Blenheim, the Matthews-owned wineryââ?¬â? *suddenly* disintegrating."

"Suddenly" is used twice, redundantly....

confused easily,
You should really know the details before you go on spreading negativity. Wendy Marsters is a great teacher, I know personally. She is the kind of person who will start a conversation with anyone about anything, especially music. She teaches each and everyone of her students in a way that can be understood. No one who has been in her class will end up working at McDonalds. She keeps in contact with her students, only to be sure they are doing the best for themselves.
The conversation with the 18 year old was not initiated by Wendy, but by the 18 year old. The poster meant so much to her, because it personified the whole experience. She flew from California to Virginia, waited in line for 12 hours, just to see her favorite band. This poster, though only a piece of paper, would remind her of the trip to Virginia for the rest of her life.
So confused easily, next time you form an opinion of someone, please do your research, instead of judging after reading one article

Confused Easily.
Next time, Look it up before you start spreading stuff. I know Mrs. Marsters VERY well and she is an amazing Teacher, and Person. She is a very open person who would stop and say even a hello to anyone or to even anything. She makes and have many students to be successful. I do no appreciate your attitude and opinion and judgment of this GREAT Teacher.

ââ?¬Å?Everyone I met was wonderful,” she says. ââ?¬Å?It’s a beautiful area. I would definitely come back with my family.”

Just be careful where you park downtown. :-)

must be a verrryyy slow news day at The Hook......

Wendy is a huge DMB fan. She had just attended an amazing DMB show. It makes perfect sense she would chat with another fan who was at the same restaurant right after the show. How weird that "confused easily" was so confused by that.

As for me, I love an uplifting story. Kudos to Wendy for focusing on the power of positive thinking!

(Please disregard the extra quoted excerpt at the very beginning of my previous comment. Got a little "copy and paste" happy and an extra one wound up pasted willy nilly at the beginning. ;) )

He offered her two hundred and fifty bucks for it first! It should be a crime to have a sentimental connection to a stupid poster that would cause someone to turn that kind of money up! It's not the Mona Lisa or anything. It's not even a real painting!

The kid was from Richmond, Im so ashamed of my town:<

to confused easily

Some of the smartest people I know are students to marsters(they, by the way, are most likely smarter than you) and if you have nothing better to do then criticize a school teacher who enjoys music and had her poster taken away. Then go get a job at McDonalds (but then again they might not hire you they do have limits to how low the intelligence level can be there)

to somebody

the poster was worth about a thousand dollars anyways

Stinks having anything stolen much less a memorable poster. I do find this bad practice by the Warehouse Fan Club. The posters were already sold out on the poster company website and the Warehouse. Someone elses order had to be canceled for this to happen. Shame on them.

First of all if your name is confused easily, you shouldn't even think you have an opinion that matters to anyone but yourself. That being said, I happen to be a past student of Wendy Marsters and I do not in fact work the register at McDonald's, nor do I work at any other fast food restaurant for that matter. If any of her students past, present, or future do find themselves in such a position it would be no fault of hers. She is an amazing teacher, one that I'll never forget. In fact I she is the type of teacher and person that I know I can still count on, even though I graduated 10 years ago.

Deleted by moderator.

hey Kim - if Marstens is the teacher then i bet plenty of her students will wind up working the register at mcdonald's.

Maybe next time leave the poster in the car instead of carrying it into a McDonalds at midnight after people at the show were fighting each other for it :dunno

easily confused

at least she didn't end up murdered a few miles down the road on a farm.

It sounds like every teen who ever had Wendy Marsten as a teacher got on here to post a defense. Hillary, Bryanna, Jenine, sboy, Whitney, Jessica, all teen student sounding names. Sorry kiddies, but what Confused Easily said wasn't that bad. Chill out. No need to round up the teen gang to get on here and be the defense.

The weird part is not one of them know how to spell her name correctly. They all spelled it Marsters. Coincidence? Or is it the same person pretending to be six different people?

I totally botched the spelling of Wendy's last name. Marsters is correct. My apologies, Lisa Provence

Deleted by moderator.

Level of the game? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. No they didn't print extras. Methane Studios HAS extras, they just sold one last night at a premium price. The Warehouse gets 25-30 posters..once they are gone they are gone. And they will likely arrive damaged at that. If what you say is true, then printing a few extras does not make sense to "create demand". Demand is made by the fans who want them and the flippers that shill bid on eBay. So in sense a fake high price which makes it seem more desirable than it is.

The way this situation in the story handled was very bad business practice. Sorry the poster was stolen, but it should have been left in the car.

I agree jabba. By th way it was nice meeting you in the front row at a few shows this year...I'm glad you got your McDonald's fix prior to the show so your poster was safe. Unfortunately it took until dmbs 3rd song before you waddled your way up to the standing position. Hopefully we can do it again soon. Congrats to teach martsen...this is a feel good story.

Jabba, get a clue. Sold out just means sold out to folks at your level of the game. You really think they didn't print a few extras? Scarcity of that particular commodity has nothing to do with production and everything to do with creating demand, which to the smart folk who sell them means more $$$ per unit. Do that enough times and a poster sellin' fella can make enough money to "invest" in a state park or two.

all your DMB posters are belong to us!