Willie says if you got the money honey, i got the time and he’s telling the truth. Monday morning, I bought 2 tickets to his concert with a feeling that can only be classified as pure, unadulterated glee. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I kept giggling to myself with giddiness. I didn’t even know who I was going to go with yet but it didn’t matter. I WAS GOING TO GO SEE WILLIE!!!
My friend, Megan agreed to go with me. Now I had tickets and I had a date. Life is good. Then Megan called me to say that when she asked her Grandma to babysit her girls for the concert, her Grandma freaked out. Apparently, she is a HUGE Willie fan herself and she begged Megan to let her come. It’s her 73 birthday in a week and this would be her present to herself. “Is it ok if Grandma comes with us?” Megan asked me… how could I possibly say no?
We headed downtown early to eat dinner and have some drinks before the concert. As we drove past the concert venue, I spotted a single metered parking spot. there! I pointed to Megan. She told me she couldn’t parallel park… i can! switch! We performed a perfect chinese fire drill right there on the streets of downtown Grand Rapids and 2 minutes later we were happily snuggled next to the curb. I was positive this was a good sign of the night to come.
We sat together at Hopcat, swapping our knowledge of Willie and sharing our favorite songs. Grandma told us stories about her life and we listened contentedly, drinking our designer beers (as Grandma liked to call them).
Megan and Grandma @ Hopcat
Megan & I
And then it was concert time! We could hear the first band performing and we ventured inside the gates. After checking our tickets, an usher brought us to our row. She pointed down the aisle and said seats 15 & 16 were down there. Climbing past people, we made our way to the only open seats. But the numbers didn’t match up. We figured out that we were in the wrong row. Hmmm… we decided it wouldn’t hurt to stay until the actual ticket holders of these seats came.
Robert Randolph & the Family Band was the opening band and I couldn’t help starting to dance. They were great! Why did I hate concerts? This was fun. I could feel the elation bubbling up inside me. oh my gosh, we’re going to see willie!!! are you as excited as me?!? I shouted to the man next to me. He nodded agreement then he said “you thought you were just coming to see willie, you didn’t know you were going to sit next to him”. Pulling his driver’s license out of his wallet, he showed me that his name was indeed William Nelson. Shut up! This night was just getting better and better.
Not the Willie Nelson but a Willie Nelson indeed
Me & Willie Nelson of West MI
Lookin’ cute for the more famous Willie
Grandma saying “Hi Willie”
One thing you should know about Megan, Grandma and myself is that we are an amicable type of people, making friends wherever we go. Tonight would prove to be no exception. The women sitting behind us were delighted by Grandma’s bursting enthusiasm and the one assured me that she was certified in CPR lest Gram’s heart give out under all the excitement.
Willie’s about to appear & I thought for sure Grandma was going to cry
A last beer run before Willie made his appearance, Megan & I decided we needed one more picture to commemorate the night. We surveyed the crowd and I picked out the perfect person to do so. excuse me… would you take our picture? The nice lady agreed and I told her my friend is very very tall, could you make us both long & tall?. Somehow, she managed to do just that.
Look how tall I seem!
Then it was time! Willie was walking on! I jumped up and down, clapping, screaming like a crazed banshee until I noticed my new Willie Nelson friend was plugging his ears. I apologized with the explanation that i just love willie so much! I hoped he understood but I just couldn’t stop screaming. I was seeing him in live person! He was playing his guitar and singing right out loud! Whiskey River, Beer For My Horses, Good Hearted Woman, Me & Paul… he was singing them all. It was so fantastic.
4 songs deep into his playlist, sadness befell us. The rightful owners of the seats we sat in showed up. I was annoyed. Really? You show up this late… pfft, lame. We begrudgingly moved back a row but I was aghast when I saw the two
feather locked bimbos girls that took our place were sitting there talking and texting. The one was writing to someone yes, we’re really hear… maybe beer will make it better. Ugh! I shared my disgust with the 2 lady friends we’d made earlier. CPR gal told me she was going to say something to them. I nodded my head in agreement, then I slunk down in my seat. Yikers. I have no idea what she said to them but it made a difference. At least it made them shut up.
Willie played on and on. I danced. I sang. I made Grandma hold my hand when he played Always On My Mind.
Nighttime surrounded us and eventually it was time to go. We exited the gated area just in time to see Willie’s bus pulling away. I stood on a chair waving my arms, positive that if he saw me he’d take me with him. He must have been looking somewhere else though, I didn’t make the bus. We wandered over to McFaddens.
We hadn’t even gotten our first beer when a guy asked Megan if he could do a body shot off of Grandma. Uh no. But she likes Jack Daniels and will do shots with you all day. He accepted the counter offer.
Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots
He and his buddies were part of the Air Force and were on town because of a ‘secret mission’. I bought them a round of $1 beers to say thanks for their service. Grandma pumpkined out at midnight and it was time for us to go home. In the words of Willie… classify these at good times… good times.
I’d like to thank my friend Traci for letting me know that the tickets weren’t as expensive as I originally thought. It was this information that made the night possible. And I’d like to dedicate this post to this random guy…
My most favorite picture of someone I’ve never met