Monday, October 17, 2011

Urban Legend: There's Always A Backstory

Moving day 1978...

Once upon a time, about a zillion years ago when I was a newlywed, we moved into a little townhouse in Poughkeepsie. On the very first day, a girl and two boys walked out of the front door next to ours. I asked, "Is your mom home?" And when they all stopped laughing, the "girl" explained she was the mom and these were her sons, Ace, 11 and Bebop, 7. And thus, in a single moment the world changed for all of us.

Without going into all but the most important details, we learned she was also a newlywed, married on May 29th, 1977 (Steve's birthday, no less) and that her new husband was a major, a professor at West Point, and on a tour of duty in Korea. I think it took about 10 seconds: they bonded into some kind of macho guy-unit. Somewhere in there, Steve figured he might actually want to be a father so long as I could produce kids like Ace and Bebop. That was 34 years ago. And although the last time we saw those boys was on Minnesota moving day in 1978, we managed to stay in touch over the years. And that's how I knew that Ace grew up to become a big time artists' manager.

So Friday morning, as I was enjoying being home for Sukkot, I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to do that rare thing: read the S'trib. There on the front page was a teaser - Keith Urban was finishing his North American tour Saturday night at the Target Center. KEITH URBAN!!!!! I jumped up and did the only thing I could. I emailed Ace:  "Are you in Minnesota???" "No," he said, "but I will be tomorrow." And we picked a place to meet.

The last time I saw Ace may have been 33 years ago when he was 12, but I recognized him immediately. There were hugs and tears and wonderful things to be said about that year we were all together. He remembered things I'd forgotten. That year had been important to the boys and that made me cry. He caught up on my own axeman's career, and we chuckled at how he and Misha are in the music business and Dave and Bebop are engineering types. (I guess we did manage to produce our own versions of Ace and Bebop.)

And then, we called his mom. You shoulda heard the screaming!

Yes...I took that picture!

Thus I ended up at the Keith Urban concert on Saturday night. I took my friend Elaine who knew far more about Keith's music than I did. Ace left tickets for me at the box office. The place was packed to the rafters; our seats were stage right, row five, and wonderful. We could see everything and then some. There was a playing platform right in front of us, so things were up close and personal. Raw energy pulsated through the venue. People were shouting and clapping and jumping up and down, and we were close enough to watch the band feed off the frenzy. From the moment they took the stage about 8:45 until the confetti cannons went off and they took their last bow at about 11:40, it was nonstop.

Keith Urban never stopped smiling. And I don't mean the plastic glued in place kind, but the kind that went right up to crinkle his  eyes...which we could see on the big screen over the stage. This is a man who loves what he does. He makes love to the crowd with his eyes,  his voice, and his body language, and they could not get enough. I've been to enough concerts (and managed a few in my salad days) to know the difference, and the difference, at least to me, is so pronounced. It may have been the last night of the tour, but they were refreshingly crisp, bright, and clean. He sparkled and from my vantage point, I could watch that entire house sparkle back. It was give and take, and a joy to watch.

Here's the thing: I was sparkling, too. The music pulsed right through me and carried me along with the crowd. No, I didn't know all the words like the swooning fans around me,  but I sure knew the beat and for the first time in a long time, I was dancing. The music wrapped me up and I didn't want it to let go. I wanted to be in the magic and I wanted to stay there. I felt alive. I felt like me.

All in all, this has been a really good chag. I went to the shul Sukkot dinner Friday night and had a good time. Shabbos morning was really nice, too. Then I had this incredible Saturday afternoon and night. And Sunday, I yakked away with Jen in Israel for a whole hour (thank you, Skype!) before  the junior son, wife and grandpuppy came over to help mulch leaves. It was fun. It's okay to have fun. Sukkot marks a change in seasons. Maybe this one will mark a change in me.

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Kids are like a box of chocolates...
they're much more fun when you share them. 
Thank you, LAMW, for sharing yours. That made all the difference.

1 comment:

  1. >holding lighter high over head< MORE! MORE! MORE!