A Lighter View …The Posse goes to On The Waterfront
By Karen M. Morris, Freelance Writer
In 1966, I saw Paul Revere & The Raiders perform their hit song Hungry and discovered my untapped passion for music. With their Buff coats, lacey shirts, and tight tights, I found their arrangement irresistible.
Music is still my muse today, except now I travel with a posse. Wayne (a.k.a. Wheels) is my soul mate. He drives us to concerts and isnt afraid of parking decks. Then theres our partners in crime, Steve and Lynne Landhi (Ive protected their identities by cleverly disguising their surname with an h). Steve is our roads scholar (he reads the maps) and Lynne is our bag lady. She carries all of our drug paraphernalia, antacids, allergy medication, ibuprofen, sun screen, bug spray, hand wipes, and blister pads.
I round out the act, as the designated point man. I point out restrooms. Trust me, if theres a festival (with bathroom facilities) this motley crew will show up like ants at a picnic.
We saw Ted The Sledge Nugent in Milwaukee. When he sang Wango Tango, we hollered. We stomped our feet. We stood on top of a picnic table with 40 strangers hugging us. The standing thing was a mistake. After 90 minutes of swaying on wooden planks four feet above ground, Lynnes legs went numb, and my knees locked. Worse yet, it was so crowded that it looked like our only means of escape was to body surf to the parking lot.
Steve saw a break in the crowd, grabbed Lynne, and took off like a pickpocket. Wayne and I followed suit after crawling off the table and screaming, except this time it wasnt for Ted. When we left, we had more foreign DNA on our bodies than at O.J.s trial.
Last week, we hooked up with the Landhis for our favorite festival On The Waterfront. Lynne suggested we take a red Viper to the waterfront, which was going to be difficult because none of us owned one. So, we took our van instead. Missing a hubcap and smelling like lawn clippings, it was a safe bet that no one would mess with Wheels wheels.
I love OTW because no matter what you wear, you fit in. Any type of clothing is allowed except optional. We saw pink chiffon formals with matching go-go boots standing next to leather ensembles with collar and leash accessories. Oddly enough, all of these people thought they looked hot when they left the house. Lynne and I looked like eye candy in our stretch capris and sensible footwear.
We couldnt find the stage for clog dancing; evidently that band didnt show up. So, we watched guys doing tricks on jet skis, but had to leave because my hair was getting frizzy from the spray. At Ethnic Village we ate food we didnt recognize and sat on the curb speculating what it was. Steve guessed crab meat for the Crab Rangoon: big surprise, hes a zoology major.
After strolling around for a few hours looking for people we might know, it was time for Creedence Clearwater. The boys went to get the collapsible chairs from the van while Lynne and I tried to save four spots in the freebie section with our two bodies. An hour passed.
Wayne found someone to talk to, I fumed.
Nope, its Steve, Lynne replied. Hes probably in line for those Elephant Ears.
Ever thought of swapping husbands?, I asked.
Yup, Lynne smiled, for a new Kitchenaide with a porcelain interior.
Mmm, good choice. I was thinking more in the line of a used Toyota with low miles.
We stood like cheerleaders with our arms and legs extended, trying to maintain our space. When the boys returned, we were stiffer than mannequins. Wayne gave some feeble excuse about having trouble finding the van. Really? How many other vehicles smell like compost?
I felt sorry for a woman in front of us. Her party never came back with chairs, and she had to stand the whole time. Fortunately, some man let her drape her body on him for the duration of the concert. Rockfordians are nice that way.
Creedence Clearwater was fabulous. We hollered. We stomped our feet. We did not stand on a picnic table. As we left, Wayne tried to go through a street barrier and was stopped by a policewoman. Everyone stood in horror as he ignored her and tried to make a break for it. Sir! Sir! Sir! she yelled. Sheepishly, he returned to the pack.
What were you thinking? I bristled. You were packing a lawn chair you couldve been issued a citation.
Hey, Wayne laughed, if youre going to run with the big boys, you gotta expect danger.
Well, chuckles, I replied, save some of the fun for the ride home.
Leaning over, I whispered in Lynnes ear, Next concert, we get ourselves some of those leather collars and leashes.