What a Night!
This was our first trip down to see where Kate has made her home. She’s renting two rooms from a coworker and is living in Columbia, very well planned out community. The two rooms are connected so she has a place to work and entertain and a place to sleep which works out well. Laurie, who owns the townhouse, also has a finished basement with a pullout couch for out-of-towners so we were made to feel welcome and at home.
Saturday, Deb and Kate spent the day at Stitches East, a knitters’ convention in Baltimore and they added to their stashes while visiting with friends they see mostly on line. As several heard about the evening’s activity, they decided on the spur of the moment to attend. This includes Allison Hyde, a woman who has been a good friend with Deb for something like 8 years now and her two youngest children are the same age as Kate and Robbie. She generously knit comfort shawls for Kate and Deb during Robbie’s illness so they wore them to show off and the three, plus Allison’s friend Karen, had a marvelous time.
Me? I knocked out a healthy 5000 word chunk of the Iron Man novel in the morning and rewarded myself with an afternoon of hanging out with Howard Weinstein. It had been well over two years since we could just kick back for uninterrupted hours so it was a delight.
We meet Kate and Deb at Inner Harbor for dinner then headed over the Church where the Boogie Knights were to perform. The Church said there was parking nearby but you needed a permit so well-armed, we found the spot and discovered it’s a large alleyway and there was not going to be enough parking for everyone. I later learned how right I was when I received an e-mail from Lance Woods saying he had to turn around and go home because he couldn’t find a spot on any street once the lot filled.
People gathered from all around. Susan de Guardiola, the Olesens, the Davids, and others came from the north. Kathleen David couldn’t attend but sent her daughter Ariel with a thick stack of Target bandanas which most of the audience wore as pirate headgear. Kate had coworkers from both her day job and the Maryland Renaissance Faire in attendance. For me, it was a chance to see so many of my convention friends away from the rigors of a con, to relax and catch up. It was also the first chance I had to see many of these people in person since Robbie’s passing so there was much talk about him throughout the evening.
Initially, this was just going to be a concert but the Boogies decided to dedicate it to Robbie and to donate a portion of the night’s proceeds to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Tommy Fund. The Church agreed as well and also set up jars where people could make additional donations that night. As a result, they asked me to emcee the evening.
I asked for a quick show of hands and perhaps one-fifth to one-quarter of the audience had never seen the band before so I did a brief history of how they formed on a whim in 1982 and have been going strong ever since. For the second act, I talked about both charities and about Robbie, something I hadn’t done in public other than this page. It felt good.
As for the show, excluding the 20 minute intermission, they played for two and a half hours, the longest performance they have ever had. Thankfully, with 26 years under their belts, they had a deep and varied song book to pick from. They played favorites and some stuff we hadn’t heard in a while. As newcomers caught on to the whimsy in the lyrics, you could hear them laugh. They got it and none may have enjoyed themselves more than Allison.
The band was loose. All seven of them clearly were enjoying themselves and goofed amongst themselves between, and occasionally during, the songs which added to the festive feel of the night. They mixed up the tempos nicely and all of them had at least one solo per act.
Heather Scheeler, who had lost her mother this past week, insisted the show go on and she was perhaps the most enthusiastic performer, using the concert as catharsis. Her dad was in attendance and as he told me, “We’ve already cried our tears.” Apparently the Friday night vigil and Saturday afternoon funeral were equally fun.
Newcomers and old friends enjoyed themselves immensely. The charities made some money. The Church theater organizers told me this was exactly the kind of performance and audience they want. What more could one ask for?
The night ended as nearly a dozen of us headed to a diner so some of the band could eat. We got very silly and I can’t recall the last time I stayed up until 2 a.m. for a good, happy reason.