Sunday, September 9, 2012

I've Seen Fire and I've Seen Rain. But almost didn't.

When I was a young man I was fortunate enough to become friends with Sally Taylor and subsequently her family. Sally is such a wonderful person and as it turns out so is her family.

Well the next time Sally's dad, James Taylor, was on tour he left me tickets and backstage passes to the Pensacola show at will call.

I was very excited. I've always been a huge fan of James' music and after meeting him and his family I had even more respect for him. I asked Dale if he wanted to go with me (of course he did).

It turned out that our friend Bobby was going to the concert too. Bobby found out we were and invited us to meet him for dinner pre-concert at Mesquite Charlie's .

Dale and I were still headed home from a gig while we were discussing all this with Bobby. We got to my house with just enough time to change clothes and head to Pensacola.

When we got to Mesquite Charlie's we didn't have much time before we needed to get to the show (maybe 45 minutes). We ordered, ate fairly quickly, then asked for the check.

When the check came, I reached for my wallet. wasn't there.
It's ok. Dale and Bobby both immediately offered to cover the meal.

Then it hit me.....It is NOT ok!!

I'm an hour from home, headed to watch and hang out with James Taylor and my tickets are at will call (which will require the ID I do not have).

Oh no.

Well drive to the venue, park the car , and begin walking.

As we approached the arena my heart was sunken. I had about .0001% chance they'd let me take those tickets without any ID.

We said bye to Bobby then he entered the venue with his ticket. Dale and I waited at will call. The longer we waited the more convinced I was that I wasn't getting in.

The guys in line two people in front of us reach the window:

Guy: "I have two tickets for Chad Franks"

Will Call Lady: "I just need to see a photo ID before I can give you the tickets"

Chad produces his ID, will call lady hands him the tickets and away he goes.

Next person in line: "I have 4 tickets for Denise Sanders"

Will Call Lady: "I just need to see a photo ID before I can give you the tickets"

Denise produces ID, will call lady hands her tickets and away Denise and friends walked away, tickets in hand.

Then it was my turn.

Fully expecting the worst I approach the window.

I explain my situation
to will call lady and plead for her understanding.
She was extremely nice but was under very very strict orders to NEVER release tickets without the person having ID.

Of course I understood. As a matter of fact I had fully expected this to be the final scenario.

I thank the will call lady for trying. I look to Dale and apologize for being an idiot (therefore not only making him ride to Pensacola without seeing the concert but also making him miss his only opportunity to meet James Taylor).

I dropped my head and turned to slink away back to the car to head back home.

Right as every ounce of hope had drained from me and I realized there would be no concert nor hanging with James for us, I heard an oddly familiar voice very faintly yelling "Birdman".

The voice was so faint I thought I may be imagining it but I looked back anyway.

Way in the back of the will call room was a friend of mine from college. She was running toward the window screaming "Birdman. Birdman".

I was so depressed about missing the concert that the happy face of an old friend was even more helpful than it typically would be.

I walked back toward the window to say hi. As I was approaching I realized ......This wasn't just a great chance to catch up with my friend.......she could vouch for me being who I said I was and get the tickets!!!!!!!

I explained my situation to her. She grabbed the tickets and passes and handed them to me.

She and I talked for 3-4 minutes (during which I'm sure my sentences were probably more scatter brained than normal being as I was trying to process the whole will call scene and the random chance that had saved my night). she explained that she had moved to Pensacola a few years back. She had been in the front office where she works and just happened to walk down to will call to grab a stapler. As soon as she stepped through the door she had seen me.

What are the chances of that?

After talking with my friend for a bit and thanking her about a million times, she went back to work and Dale and I went into the concert.

We had perfect 7th row center seats. We went and hung out with him after the show and he was as cordial, funny and cool as everytime I've met him.

It was one of the more spectacular nights of my life, but when I think back to it I think of how extremely close it came to being a disaster.

Had I been half a second quicker in turning away from the will call window in dejection , my friend would have never seen me and we would have driven home having not seen the concert and not hung with James.

When I think back to all the magical amazing moments in my life , the moment at that will call booth has to be the most movie-like.

I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't experienced it.

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