Two of the best times of my life growing up (part I)
One of the best times of my life growing up was when my
Aunt Carol agreed to my mom to be my chaperone and watch me and my sister so
we could go see the Rolling Stones on the Some Girls tour. I was in sixth grade
and the Stones played RFK stadium in Philly and my Cousin Kathy and her
boyfriend Jimmy got tickets and organized a busload of rowdy pals from the
Bronx to go to the show. And I got to go with them.
I never wrote about it because it was such a
mythological experience it is hard to put down on paper. The memories are grand
and blurry and soaked in awe. The bus ride alone was a giant party with alcohol
and people needing to stop the bus to pee and the driver trying to contain
everything. Havoc ensued and I just enjoyed every moment. I loved my cool
cousin and her friends were the best, I knew them for years and grew up in
their shadow. They really knew how to have a good time and sang and danced and
joked around unselfconsciously and included me in all of it. I felt so free
and lucky. Man, i loved hanging out with them.
I think I ate a sandwich and an ice cream the entire
day, maybe had a few sips of beer and an order of fries, and just experienced
awe the entire day. It poured rain and we were all wet and disheveled and
wrapped up in blankets. When the Stones came on I went up front only to feel
suffocated by fat bellies squishing my face. I was small and skinny and my face
was about waist level with most of the crowd and I was simply unable to breathe
so I retreated back to the stands so I could at least see the show. I roamed
the arena alone and sometimes with my sister and we ran into the gang we
traveled with all over the place. I would stop to dance with my cousins or
friends and then keep exploring.
There was an element of slapstick comedy that
surrounded my aunt Carol. In a different life she could have been a Charlie
Chaplin or a Lucille Ball type star. At one point my aunt used a closet as a
bathroom. When my aunt came out of the closet she ran into my cousin Katie, who
had not traveled with us, but just happened to be there, in the very corridor
to the bathroom, where the closet was as my aunt indiscreetly exited.
That was a time when we all had a sixth sense and
could find each other in a crowd of thousands. We all got back on the bus somehow and I
am sure I slept like a baby as we rolled back to the tri-state area, back to my
boring life, back to someone’s house. I had run free, off the leash all day,
wild and happy and in my element. Someone kept me safe and warm, looked after
me, and got me home. Thank you Cathy, Jimmy, Aunt Carol. That was pure awe.
Its funny how the Rolling Stones were my favorite band
at the time and Some Girls was a great release but the band figured into the
story very little. They were great, but the whole of the matter was so much bigger than