We both like their music. When tickets were available at a location we could reach, we bought them. Stockton and I were finally going to see talented Daryl Hall and John Oates play live.
On the day of the concert, two friends, Stockton, and I piled in the car and drove to the fairgrounds. We walked across the grassy infield to one of the fair entrances. Vendors selling cold drinks like lemonade and root beer and hot food like burgers, waffle sandwiches, tacos and all things fried from colorful stalls and trucks which lined the avenue. The walkway turned, wrapping around the grandstand where the concert would be later. Games and rides and farther away an agriculture exhibit waited to be discovered as we amble along the midway with the crowds. Dazzling lights and exciting sounds surrounded us. I held Stockton’s hand and tapped my cane, more for people around us than for navigation. Fried oreos, a root beer slushy and tacos filled my stomach as we watched tigers on the other side of a tall fence. As the sun set, we passed through a ticket gate leading to the grandstand.
The guys waited in line for an available port-o-john. My friend frowned and scanned the area. She noticed the women’s restroom nearby. I followed her into the stadium-like facility. Flushing toilets and water turned on from the sink taps downed out other noise. Before I could pause to determine which of the many white stalls before us was free, a woman stepped closer.
In one fluid movement she partially opened a stall door and said, “Next lady.” Her assertive manner kept the line moving fast. Reflexively I smiled, grateful for not having to inspect any stalls for occupancy. “Next in line right here.”
I thanked her and proceeded forward. I couldn’t remember the last time I was in a large public restroom which provided attendants who were doing more than restocking supplies. When I left the stall, I turned toward the sound of the sinks and over my shoulder I heard the attendant say, “The sinks are…you got it ma’am.” It was such a short moment, but I felt seen and cared for without being jerked around or reduced. I don’t tend to carry cash, otherwise I would have tipped her.
My friends and I walked over to the guys and we carried on to the staircase leading to the rows of elevated seats. I held my cane ahead of me, ready for the first step. People brushed lightly against me, the crowds were more orderly here than on the midway. Later, my friend would tell me an usher noticed me and with a look of concern reached out to sort of guide me at my upper arm. Oblivious to him, I ascended the stairs as I always do. Wordlessly he stepped away. The white cane did the work.
A cool breeze passed over us as we waited for the main event. The band took the stage. Would the concert be good or would it seem like it was just another show to seasoned pros. The famous duo played the first notes of “Maneater.” As the show went on, a happy, nostalgic mood enveloped me. Hall in a black leather jacket talked to the audience between songs, this was not a reluctant performance.
The music reverberated through my body. I sang along and danced in my seat the whole time, ending on last encore of, “You Make My Dreams.” The standing ovation we gave to the musicians rolled between the ground seats, the stage, and the grandstand. The joy floated over the rest of the fairgrounds and across the evening sky.
Did you go to a concert this summer? Do you like Daryl Hall and John Oates? What is your favorite food at fairs? Tell me about it.