Taylor Swift gave a surprise Christmas visit to her oldest fan, a 96-year-old World War II veteran named Cyrus Porter.
Despite his age, he braved through the five-hour trip from his home in New Madrid, Missouri to Memphis and St. Louis just to watch her in concert, according to the CBS News.
Now it’s the 27-year-old pop star’s turn to return the favor.
— robert frye (@bert_frye) December 26, 2016
Swift did not allow a thunderstorm to cancel her plans of visiting Porter, as her van still pulled into his driveway and she showed up at his doorstep last Monday.
The veteran said, “My daughter opened the door and said, ‘It’s Taylor Swift!’ I couldn’t believe it. It’s not a miracle but I’d say it’s pretty close.”
Then Taylor Swift sang “Shake it Off” at the back porch to the delight of her oldest fan. Members of the family, or at least those who knew the lyrics, also joined in, which made Porter a little nervous. “The whole family was singing along on the back porch,” Porter mused. “I thought the police might come by!”
Taylor Swift also spent more than an hour mingling with Porter and his family.
Family member Caroline Fowler shared to E! News about how excited their grandfather was for the visit. She said that Porter was “grinning from ear to ear” and there were even “tears in his eyes.”
— E! News (@enews) December 27, 2016
“The first thing he said to her was ‘How did you get here?'” she said. “He loved every moment. He told her how he was proud of his family, his country, and Taylor Swift!”
Swift’s Christmas visit couldn’t have come at a better time to lift up the veteran’s spirits considering that he just lost his daughter to cancer in November of this year. She was known by her loved ones as Aunt Kay.
“It was the best day ever and our family is thankful for this! It meant so much for the family to see him so happy!” Fowler added.
Another family member told KFVS that maybe the pop star did not fully understand just what a difference her visit meant to their grandfather. “She brought a smile,” Patty Frye said.
The pop star’s camp has not revealed any details as to how Swift came to know about her oldest fan.
Before leaving, Taylor Swift handed out another Christmas gift to Cyrus Porter—a kiss on the cheek. As the veteran proudly proclaims, “I’ve got lipstick on my face!”
In an interview with KFVS radio, Porter poked fun at himself because these days he’s only known for two things: being a WWII veteran and a huge Swiftie.
“I guess Taylor [Swift] and [being] a WWII veteran,” Porter explained. “I know they don’t go together.”
He remembers being a fan of Taylor Swift ever since she exploded onto the music scene. Her first broadcast performance was when she sang with Tim McGraw on Good Morning America on Oct. 24, 2006. Otherwise, he just listens to classic country music.
“Look what she does, she puts on a show no one else puts on. I just liked the way she did stuff,” Porter added.
In fact, he recounted the time when he watched her concert and her fans were wearing wristbands that lit up simultaneously.
Cyrus Porter fought against the Nazis but his heroism was only known to his family and friends as he has been spending his retirement years on his farm in Missouri. He has nine children with Harriet, now 89 years old. Their family has now grown to include 49 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]