CHARLESTON, W.Va. - At 75, Hanan W. Abdullah knows how to squeeze a dollar.
But she feels pretty good about a recent extravagance - spending $550 to travel from her home in Baltimore to Charleston.
"I came down to see Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.," she said with great enthusiasm during a telephone interview.
She had seen him on television, followed his whereabouts via the Internet, and purchased his music.
Recently, she finagled the trip to West Virginia to meet him in person and see him perform.
"I've had Google alerts let me know where Landau is now. After he won 'America's Got Talent,' I was enthralled with how humble and talented he is."
Abdullah did not want to be lost in a huge crowd when she saw him in concert. So, it struck her fancy to learn he would be performing for a small group at a school fundraiser for Charleston Montessori. She immediately called the school to secure a spot.
She said the cost of the entire adventure was $550, including concert admission, train ride and hotels. And she feels that was a bargain.
"It was pretty good," she said. "I got senior rates on the hotel and Amtrak."
She generally travels with family or a group of friends. But she decided to do this one solo.
"My children aren't quite into that type of music yet," she said. "When you're interested in something, you can't push it off on someone else."
Abdullah, who is divorced, is the mother of six adult children ages 47 to 56.
The trip to the March 17 performance required an 11-hour train ride each way. She doesn't like to fly. A bus ride would have been longer and more restrictive.
"Greyhound takes 17 hours and you had to get off and on at certain points," she said. "I've had two complete knee replacements. I didn't think I had the energy. I don't drive that kind of distance. The train gave me time to ride and look."