Tom Petty’s birthday was this past Saturday, which reminded me that I’m long overdue on the follow up to my last post concerning Tom and his effect on my travel adventures. For over a week last month, every time I got into a car, there was a Tom Petty song playing, no matter which city I was in or which radio station I was listening to. I couldn’t help but take that as an omen, given my past experiences with Tom’s music on the road.
I wish I could say that it’s been smooth sailing for me since then, but alas, the Petty spell held and I do have a story to tell.
See those tickets there? Farm Aid tickets. Husband and I were going to attend the concert with our daughter and son-in-law. I had seen some of the musicians in my 40-plus years of concert-going (I started young, yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), but I had never seen John Mellencamp, Jack Johnson, or Dave Matthews. I was expecting a great show.
I was also excited about the many displays, exhibits, and hands-on workshops concerning family farms and backyard gardening. Husband and I do a relatively large veggie garden and I wanted to see what I could learn to make next year’s efforts even better.
But you gotta know where this is going by now, don’t you? That’s right, we never made it to the concert.
Oh, we made it to visit our daughter for several days before the concert, and we even made it to the parking lot, snaking our long way with the hundreds of other cars for a spot nearly a mile from the venue entrance. But we never made it into the stadium.
You see, I left the tickets in the hotel. That’s right. In the hotel. In my excitement and haste to transfer some things from my purse to a backpack, I left the tickets in the purse, which I left on the floor of the hotel room.
It’s been nearly a month since Farm Aid, and although my family has a reputation for taking most bad news in stride and laughing about it, I haven’t gotten to the laughing part of this escapade yet.
Now, you may say, as many of my friends and family did, that I should have gone to the stadium entrance to see if the nice folks there could check in some way that I indeed had bought tickets and should be allowed in. That strategy worked many years ago when Husband and I took the kids to see an NBA game in Philadelphia and left the tickets in the kitchen of Husband’s cousin, where we had dinner.
But this time, I was already stressed out from the previous three days, and couldn’t bear the thought of walking nearly a mile to take the chance of being told “no dice, lady.”
I love visiting my daughter and her family, which includes my three grandkids. But sleeping away from home and not having my familiar surroundings is stressful for me these days. We also had a very bad experience at lunch before heading off to the concert, and by the time we had sat through traffic for half an hour to park a mile away I was one minor glitch away from a meltdown. And trust me, leaving the tickets at the hotel was not a minor glitch.
I had no strength, physical or mental, to either hoof it to the stadium entrance, or go back to the hotel to fetch the tickets and then snake through the traffic for an even further parking spot. I was done.
Husband, bless his heart, took it much better than I did. On the way back to the hotel, he suggested we go to the casino that was near the hotel.
I looked at him incredulously. “Do you think I feel lucky today?” I fairly screamed at him. “Your luck has to change sometime,” he said laughing. He then pointed out that the casino had alcohol and was within walking distance of the hotel. That sealed the deal for me. Off to the casino we went.
But my luck wasn’t ready to change just yet. It took me all of 10 minutes to lose 20 bucks. Sigh. I was done again.
I am happy to say, though, that although the laughter still isn’t showing up, I was fairly philosophical about the situation before we even made it to the casino. Farm Aid is a wonderful organization and does great things for family farmers and the general public. Since the performers donate their time, all of the money goes to the foundation. I pretty quickly made peace with the fact that my ticket purchase was a contribution to a great cause, more so than it was to see great music. And that’s a better feeling than being able to laugh at this experience.
So, Mr. Petty, your record stands untouched. Three times your music has touched my travels, and three times I have had misadventures. But always a great story to tell.