Here’s a post that has nothing to do with running. Well I suppose it could, but I’ve decided not to go there.
Early last evening I took my 11-year-old, soon to be 12-year-old, down town for a free concert in the park. He’s usually up for anything I suggest, unless of course it’s running. Whoops there it is, I got the running in there!

The local park district booked a Country band, called Back Country Roads. I don’t listen to much country music. I certainly don’t “follow” any music scenes, but apparently this band is recognized in the top 40 of my state. All in all I only went because it was something to do on a Wednesday evening when I would otherwise be sitting in front of my computer. I can’t sit outside and swing right now because they have been spreading horse manure in the field behind my house. I do not live in the country. I enjoy the country; I just do not enjoy the smell of manure while swinging on my patio sipping a cup of tea, while taking in the breathcoughcoughtaking view of the setting sun. Up at the end of my street closer to the farm and the horses it doesn’t smell bad. That smell is an honest to goodness country smell. There’s something about spreading it that changes the appeal of the smell. Even if I could get used to the smell the flies brought on by the manure, in this heat, are nasty. I have to wave my arms as if in hysterics to get in my house without bringing 20 of the beasts with me. But that was last night, today the smell has dissipated and the flies have moved on. I’d prefer they’d die, but moving on works for me, at least until the next round of “here comes the tractor throwing horse sh-t.”

When I saw the park district was offering this free concert I figured I needed to get out of the house, before summer cabin fever set in. We got there early and located a prime sitting area for our lawn chairs. Close enough to see the band, far enough away to not lose my ear drums. The 11-year-old soon found some friends to hang with and off they went to kick the soccer ball around. I was left to my own thoughts in a people filled park.

It was a beautiful evening with no horse excrement in my nose range. The band got started and I thought to myself, “well this was a good idea, they are enjoyable”. It was a good decision, but then a group caught my eye as they approached. The band had played a couple of songs before they got there, but it was obvious to me, these women were “groupies”. There were 5 or 6 of them. I didn’t count because my eyes were on one young woman in this group more so than the others. The group, except one, were dressed in short shorts and various renditions of the tank top. Ladies, please stop wearing your tank tops with the bras that are not made to be worn with razor back shirts. If you’re going to buy the razor back top, buy the bra to go with it. It really is not a good look from the backside. That’s my 54-year-old fashionista advice for anyone who cares.
The women all came right up front and immediately sat down in the grass, all but the one I had my eye on. She was very pretty, long blond hair with a flower in her hair for adornment and a strapless white gauzy dress and white sandals. Her dress was cinched up tight in the middle with a brown belt. Slender build, but not too thin. She seemed perfect and flawless and when the others sat on the ground she hesitated and wouldn’t do it. I could just read her mind, “Are you crazy? I can’t sit on the grass in my pretty dress! I just got all “dolled” up for the band.” She stood and leaned her hand on the sound guy’s table with her white Styrofoam cup in hand, sipping from a straw. What was she drinking? Didn’t anyone ever tell her not to drink from a straw, it’ll wrinkle that space between your upper lip and your nose.

This vision looked like she was straight out of the 70’s. Her hair was feathered for goodness sakes! Wasn’t that the 70’s with Farrah Fawcett leading all these women lucky enough to have straight hair? There was a time I was quite jealous of them all, while I sported my dark frizzy hair look my entire life.

Well there I sat in my rolled up fleece pants (yeah I thought it would be cooler by the river) my black, green and purple tennis shoes with my Chartreuse top. I had my Relay for Life blue hooded sweatshirt hanging off the back of my chair. Yeah this is how I dress for a concert in the park. I was quite smug as I looked at this over dressed for the occasion beauty. I kept thinking, “what the heck is she dressed like that for? Yes, she’s very pretty, but this is a concert in the park. A park with a playground where parents are watching their kids play while they sip on a glass of wine. Why is she dressed like that when all of her friends are in shorts and tanks? What is she like some kind of Prima Donna Country style? What the heck”! My brain can go into overdrive with the crazy.

Well, while all this yakking in my head was going on I heard the lead guy singer say something to a young girl dancing in the grass and my attention moved off the Vision of what I wished I looked like in the 70’s to the girl dancing by herself without, it seemed a care in the world. She had her back to me and danced with her arms up as if she had a partner. As she swirled around it was then that I noticed she had Down syndrome. She was a pretty girl, with long brown hair, blue jeans and an orange tank top. She would smile a little, paid quite a bit of attention to the band and “danced as if no one was watching”. A smile crossed my face watching her move.

Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of my girl dressed in white. I could see her moving to the music where she stood, but talking to one of her friends on the ground with a smile on her face. I could not hear one word of it, but knew by her body talk she wanted to go out to that grass dance floor. I thought, “Okay, yeah, she wants to make sure the band members see her. I’ve read books on how these groupies are”. I’m thinking, “well if those two lead singers aren’t a couple, one of them could be quite lucky tonight”, and in the next minute there she went, but she didn’t stop in the middle, in front of the band, no, she dosey doed herself right over to the young girl who was still dancing by herself. The girl had her back to her and I could see her jump a little when Blondie touched her. I watched and could see my vision bending over, smiling and talking to this young dancer and the next thing I feel is me kicking myself in the head. The angel in white took the girl’s hands and together they danced, they danced like no one was watching together. It was a lesson I needed last night, and if there was any doubt in my mind about her intentions in that moment, well a few moments later those two were joined by a young man, who also had Down’s Syndrome and the angel danced with him as well, smiling and chatting with them both while the rest of us, who witness this joy moment could only sit and watch and smile and pretend we weren’t staring at the pretty ones on the dance floor.


About jlturtlerunner

12 plus Years Surviving Stage IV Oral Cancer. I have become a "Turtle" runner since that diagnosis, as a way of saying, "Take That Sucker!" After 12 years of being a Turtle Runner, I'm adding a new title, Turtle Rucker!

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