By Dennis L. Morgan
It’s been a long while since I’ve been around 10,000 people and been able to say “Drinks are on us!” But that’s just what happened recently night in North Platte.
Life is all about stories and that’s what I try to share. Friday, June 24, was such a day. The weekend had been planned for months, ever since it was announced that Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton would be the headline acts at Nebraskaland Days. Paisley is one of the few Country singers I care to listen to. He and Shelton seem to have a strange effect on Lynell. And since we haven’t seen a number of our ‘western’ friends in quite awhile, with tickets in hand we headed west to the Wild West Arena. Funny thing – so did 10,000 others.
I don’t think Nebraskaland Days quite knew what to expect when 10,000 people showed up Friday night. Organizers have had other big-name acts play shows there, but nobody as big as Paisley & Shelton. As soon as the gates opened everyone scrambled to their seats, most everyone that is. The arena was open for those music fans who wished to stand for the show. Not having attended a Country concert for 10+ years, some things have changed. Boots and ‘dukes’ are all the rage. Young ladies and some middle-age ladies seem to be looking for cowboys on this night. They arrived at the arena wearing daisy ‘dukes’ and cowboy boots and some small piece of fabric along with a cowboy hat. I guess they knew, too, that summer was here because they didn’t seem to be too afraid of getting slightly chilled. More about that later…
With Tarin and her daughter on one side of me, Tim and Kathy in front of me and Lynell on the other side. I thought I was safe. Not quite. It was determined that I would go for food and Greek gyros was the food of choice. The line was long when we came in, longer yet by the time I got down from our grandstand seats. An hour later, I was finally getting near the order window when the word was passed that there was no lamb meat, then no pita bread. I just said ‘give me whatever you’ve got.’ By the time I got to the window to get my food, all I got was my money back, along with a new appreciation for the English language as the proprietor of this fine establishment was on his cellphone doing a bombing run at the man who was supposed to deliver more supplies.
It was quite a sight, seeing the man cuss up a storm with a line of people wanting gyros and no place to go. I tried to make a peace offering, bringing back some beers, but all I saw was laughter.
Finally back in my seat, and the opening act Jarred Niemann singing ‘The Buck’in Song,’ a soon to be Country classic, when there was this popping sound and then the back of my shirt and that of Tarin’s getting soaked. Junior, in the row behind us, decided to play a trick on mom and dad and shook up a beer and gave it to dad to open. We ended up wearing most of it. Then, sometime in between the end of Shelton’s act the kid did the same trick again, this time to his mom. Lynell was the lucky recipient of that concert ‘splashdown’. I said, “The drinks are on us!” but nobody paid any attention.
I think mom and dad should have left junior on the farm till he learns better manners. Something’s wrong with a boy his age, in a place like this when he’d rather shake up some cans instead of paying attention to the abundance of cowgirls present.
Paisley didn’t disappoint his legions of fans on this night. Right now, he’s the biggest name in Country music. He can do no wrong and even seems to have struck a deal with Mother Nature. With the opening chords of his hit song ‘Water’ the skies opened and rain fell from the heavens. Everyone got wet, even the cowgirls in the arena. Some were soaked, some were really soaked.
Some guys have all the luck….
Just a few more thoughts…
One, We’re happy to sponsor the Vetch ‘Good Neighbor Award’ and are extremely pleased with the recipient. Since coming o Elgin four years ago, we’ve watched Connie go about her work, not looking for personal gain, but to simply make Elgin a better place to live and raise a family. There will be future winners of the award, but she will always be the first recipient.
Her selection was a tough one as we had a number of good nominees. Perhaps next year they will be nominated again.