When you're trying to explain your absence from school, it can't hurt to have a note signed by The Boss.
A Philadelphia fifth-grader has an absence note that he will save forever after Bruce Springsteen signed it during a meet-and-and-greet.
Springsteen signed the boy's note while promoting his new book at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Sept. 29.
Michael Fenerty, a fifth-grader at Julia R. Masterman School, cooked up the idea a night earlier with his dad, Mike. The Philadelphia attorney has been a Springsteen fan for more than 40 years and seen more than 160 shows.
"I asked him, what's the protocol if I keep you home tomorrow?'' the elder Fenerty told TODAY. "He said you need to call the school and send in a signed note. He looked at me and said, 'We should get Bruce Springsteen to sign the note!' We both laughed and then we thought, 'Let's try it.'''
It wasn't a far-fetched idea, considering Springsteen gave a fourth-grader a hand-written tardy note after a long concert in Los Angeles in March. In that case, The Boss wrote that the boy was "out late rocking and rolling."
Springsteen had already been responsible for a tiring day at school for Michael after he and his father attended his concert at Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 7.
Springsteen set a record for his longest U.S. concert, playing for 4 hours and 3 minutes on the night of Michael's first day of school.
"As a fan I loved it. As a father, I wanted to kill him,'' Fenerty joked.
Ahead of the meet-and-greet, dad and son typed up a short note to Masterman School principal Jessica Brown written from Springsteen's perspective, hoping they could find a way to get him to sign it.
Michael was one of the few children in line to meet Springsteen, who lit up when he saw the boy and brought him up for a hug and a high-five, his dad said.
The elder Fenerty was then talking to Springsteen, who he knew socially in the 1980s, when his son pulled the folded note out of his pocket and asked him if he could sign it.
"(Springsteen) says, 'I gotta read it first. That's how I got in trouble with my first contract,''' Fenerty said. "Then he says, 'I hope you don't get in trouble!''
The father and son then stopped in the law office of a nearby colleague on the way back to school and made a photocopy of the note that they gave to Brown.
"When I talked to (Brown), she jokingly said, 'I think I can only excuse Michael's absence if you turn in the original note,''' Fenerty said. "I told my son and he said, 'I'll take my first detention.'''
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