Miss Patty shows out!
OK - I decide to let Kym back into my world. I switch seats with him and make friends with the lady next to me so I could scooch up next to her without seeming rude.
Patty was warm, friendly and gracious. As she performed she shared her beauty secrets with the audience. She told us about the exceptional quality of her Patty Labelle line of wigs. She was wearing one and she looked great. She told us that panty hose were not necessary. She herself had not worn these outdated garments in 15 years. Just put vaseline on your legs and a heavy dusting of gold powder. (See picture). I liked this advice because I sell various gold powders and sprays. Beside watching her perform, my favorite part of the show was watching her change into various crystal and jewel encrusted 6 inch Christian Loboutain pumps. Oh my. I could barely contain myself. FYI - She introduced her musical director, John Stanley, from Goochland VA (Patty calls it Coochie County). My dear friend Pat Smith was his 3rd grade teacher
The show was great. After the show we descended the stairs and hugged and chatted up all of our friends in the audience. We were two of the last people to arrive that evening and as always we were two of the last people to exit. That’s just how we roll.
Got tickets? Oh yeah for real!
Ok - I pick up the tickets from my dear friends at 4:00pm. I visit for a while, and I even get to read a report card. I arrange to meet Kym at 5:30 at Barnes and Noble. Although, the trip to VA State is usually only about 30 minutes, on concert night it can take 45 minutes to an hour just to get the short way from I-95 to the university. Last year we had big Frankie Beverly & Maze delays. Tonight Miss Patty was going to be up in the house. Mad delays to be expected - absolutely.
So Kym, don’t fool around at work. It is Friday night and yes, you can leave at 5:00pm so we can be on our way by 5:30 at the latest. I told him this. He told me that although there was wheeling and dealing that may jump off at 4:59pm on a Friday evening, he assured me he would try to be on time. Alas, he was not.
Although we exited I-95 about 6:15pm, we didn’t drive through the gates of VA State until about 7:00pm. What was the delay? As you approach the gates you read the amber alert that says “Sold Out - No seats remaining”. The police stop each car as it approaches. If you don’t have tickets - then step off. You are not getting in. Of course we had tickets. VIP tickets. The gates parted for us.
Now, it takes another 25 minutes to get to the last possible parking spot that’s kind of on the campus. We take the not very long walk to the gym, go through our special door, get the blue VIP wristband and are guided to the VIP section on the floor. Wow, the place is packed but there are plenty of seats in the first 4 rows. We find two primo seats, we get ready to get ready. The DJ is rocking the house and eveyone is on their feet.
All of a sudden a lady appears beside me. Although I don’t recognize her, I greet her warmly because I just figure that I don’t remember her. But she is not my friend. Oh no. She is here to tell us that these very special 4 rows are for super duper VIPs who were elected to office and other such nonsence. She informs us that she is in charge of these 4 rows and she takes her job seriously. We must vacate the seats without causing a scene. We exit the row and greet and kiss everyone in the first row because we do know all of these super duper VIPs. But where do Kym & I sit? Kym rushes me to the 3rd row of the bleachers - right in from of the huge black speakers that block my view of every inch of the stage. OK - now I’m mad.
Got tickets? I hope so…
Well, it’s the day before the concert and I haven’t heard from my new ticket source so I check with my dear friend who always looks out for me. What - you are no longer working on the event. What - you don’t have tickets? Oh my. So now I have to track down the county administrator who so graciously offered tickets. I call him and email him. He calls me back and leaves me a message. I don’t have any more tickets. WHOA!!!
It’s now the morning of the concert and I have resigned myself to the fact that I don’t have tickets to see Miss Patty. OK I can handle that. NO I CAN NOT HANDLE THAT!!!
So, I text my friend who’s husband is the Chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. Kym calls him. By 9:13AM I get the text - 2 VIP tickets. Yeah - thanks Liz & Dan!
Got tickets? Oh yeah!
On the first Friday of each February (that’s Black History Month by the way), Chesterfield County presents a free R&B concert. The venue - in the gym of HBCU (that’s Historically Black College & University by the way) Virginia State University. Yes, I did say free.
There are two ways to get in for free.
1)One way is to get in line really early, stand on the line and wait for access to the top seats in the bleachers. Now, that’s not so bad because the gym is kind of small.
2)Get a free ticket and walk right in close to the concert start time! Depending on your ticket color, you will have access to the low bleachers or the VIP floor.
Well, I am used to way (2). I do work on several Chesterfield County committees so I do get the hook up. So, guess what. One of the county administrators is serving with me on a new committee. At the first meeting he offered us all tickets to this year’s concert - Patty Labelle!!! Oh my god - his tickets may even be on the floor. Got tickets? Oh yeah!
This morning I fully intended to watch the Today Show and maybe have a last hurrah lunch at a lovely restaurant. Oh no - I could barely lift my head from the pillow to answer the call of nature. It was clear that we’d need a late check-out. 2:00pm - hopefully I’d be up by then.
While eating my room service breakfast in bed at 11:45am, I watched the Obamas on TV attending a national prayer service. Wow - I felt like such a slug. These people spent the last 24 hours getting patted and primped, praying, speaking, smiling, riding in limos, walking and waving in the cold, cold weather, re - dressing, riding, smiling and waving some more, speaking some more, talking to Kanye West, then dancing (maybe even the Electric Slide). Now here they were this morning already looking cute and at church and I am too tired to get up and go the the bathroom.
Eventually, we got up, I got powdered and puffed and drove home in 2 1/2 hours.
President Obama where art thou?
Apparently, everywhere but here. In place of the actual President, we each received a commemorative letter from him suitable for framing and a complimentary picture with his cardboard likeness. I guess that will have to do.
Well, at this point we were probably too tired to make the appropriate fuss if he had come. We were quite content with our experiences at the People’s Inaugural Project. We were proud to have had the opportunity to touch the lives of so many of our fellow citizens as we gathered to celebrate the historic Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
At 2:00AM we left the Marriott and rolled our big ole suitcase through the cold, cold, night back to our hotel.