KELOLAND Woman Has Lifelong Connection to Garth Brooks


When a KELOLAND woman says she has been a fan of Garth Brooks her whole life, she really means it.  Marta Sterrett was learning the words to his songs about the same time she was learning to read.  Not only did she get to meet Brooks, but an unusual coincidence has bonded the two for life. 

Bright lights, big stage and high energy. 

“Guy puts on an amazing show,” Jill Lerdal said. 

A Garth Brooks production always leaves fans wanting more.

“His CDs are always in my car,” Marta Sterrett said. 

It has always been that way for Sterrett.

“I was probably the only middle schooler listening to Garth Brooks and keeping up with him,” Sterrett said. 

Sterrett has seen him in concert many times and remembers being his biggest fan as a little girl.  During his Sioux Falls visit 20 years ago, Garth gave her tickets and five backstage passes.  He even autographed her Halloween pumpkin. 

“I remember how cool it was as a five-year-old and now getting older, it’s a lot more meaningful than ever,” Sterrett said. 

This was not the first time they met, though.

“First time I was in the womb,” Sterrett said. 

Let’s just say he touched two lives that day. 

“He came up and he said, ‘I miss my wife so much.  Can I rub your belly?'” Lerdal said. 

Sterrett’s mom, Lerdal, was pregnant and working for a company that catered shows at the Sioux Falls Arena when she met Garth in the early 1990s.  Lerdal says the singer was also expecting his first child, which is what sparked this special bond.  When he returned five years later, he was the little girl’s biggest fan. 

“When he was here that second time, it meant a lot to him, because he wasn’t around his daughter.  So, I think maybe that’s why we bonded so much the way we did.  It’s because he missed his kids,” Sterrett said. 

“It was kind of fun for him to hang out with Marta and kind of have this family atmosphere and he was a super nice guy,” Lerdal said. 

Unfortunately, the mother and daughter weren’t able to get tickets to any of his shows in September because of how quickly they sold out.  However, their history with Garth seems to soften the blow of not seeing him in concert this time. 

On stage, Garth Brooks is a great performer.  Even better, Sterrett says when the show is over –off stage– Garth Brooks is the real deal. 

“It’ll always be something interesting and memorable that no one else got the chance to do,” Sterrett said. 

What more could a fan want?

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