Well, actually, the email is pretty self-explanatory. Just know that my mom was NOT psyched. And dad felt like he needed to defend himself… so he sent me this email…
‘How I almost lost my VIP Merit Badge’ or ‘Why is there a security guard on horseback backstage?’
I won tickets to the Old Settler’s Bluegrass Festival, a stellar event that involves days of camping except my tickets were just to get into the concerts, 6 trips, 50 mi. a turn, 300+ total. Anywho, when my lovely wife, Virginia went to the radio station to pick up the tickets, there was a mix-up & instead we got 2 VIP All Access Backstage, Food & Camping Tickets. It was too good to be true & was. Sam Bush, Sonny Landreth, Richard Thompson, Foster & Lloyd, Tim O’Brien, just a fifth of the talent; eating with them, talking with them, & listening to them in privileged areas w/private jumbo trons. Air conditioned, heated, & lighted bathrooms, w/running water. Have you ever camped out at a festival for 4 days, you are lucky if they have port-a-potties. You get the idea.
Anywho, on Sat, the big day, Virginia says you have to get some of this pie, (it was catered by the Salt Lick, a 5* BBQ/Food Channel deal). As I’m walking across the backfence of the backstage w/pie & 2 beers (Sierra Nevada), I see this young lady (field hippie) on the other side of the fence. I had a WWWD (What would Willie do) moment. Thanks again Willie for letting me be your guest & sit w/family onstage when sneaking into your concert in ’76.
Me: Hello, Would you like a beer?
Her: No Thank You. Me: Would you like some pie? Her: Yes, Thank You. M: Would your friends like these beers? So I unload & go back to the commissary & get another piece of pie & two more beers. As I walk past the same stretch of fence on my way to the private jumbo tron on the otherside, there are now 6 of the less fortunate on the other side of the fence; so hand off because I think its generous & I go back to the commissary. 4 beers, three of them with my fingers in them,carrying them like a waitress from Lubbock, that’s a good thing. I get to the stretch of fence & now there are 12 people singing my praises & chanting “Go Jim Go”. Back to the commissary.
The folks at the beer hub were polite & efficient & said this “I’m sorry sir, you are taking more beer than you can consume.” 1st thought=’Have you ever seen me drink beer?’ but alas they were right, I was guilty of regifting their generosity & accepted my fate. I go to the area that was originally the destination, pass by a bunch of new friends on the other side of the fence that will have memories of their festival & get to the jumbo tron. As I’m there, no pie no beer, a security guard on horseback pulls up next to me. They don’t even have security guards in the backstage area (you don’t need them, right?) but I have an equine pal next to me in the secluded jumbo tron area.
We had too much fun, it was fantastic & I tried to share. There was no malice and only humble was my intent, but I get excited (don’t we only go around once?) I have since sent a letter to the OSBF to donate to their charity. My intent in doing so is to preserve the WWWD moment. In ’76 when he let me into his concert, sitting 20 ft from him onstage, my epiphany was that he is the Woody Guthrie of my generation. My defense is spreading the joy & heart to those you can share with.
moresoonlater, Love BadDad
Happy Birthday! I hope it’s an amazing one.
I wish I could be there to celebrate with you… I especially wish I would be there for this…