Last Friday, about 5 PM, I got a hurried phone request from my daughter. She and the grandson, and his fiancée, had been out, doing family stuff. While on their way home on a bus, the fiancée had received a phone call from her mother. A rock (?) group they all like, was making a live appearance nearby, and tickets were still available. Would I drive them 15 miles, and return later to pick them up? Sure!
In case you haven’t guessed from the title, the group they wanted to see was Apocalyptica. For the sake of other fogeys like me, this is a quartet from Finland who render a lot of other groups’ work, including thrash and trash, death metal bands, into a more classical, three cellos and drums. Since the fiancée is studying cello, they all were interested.
Ah, if only I was smart enough to run a smart phone. Others stood in line for hours to get tickets. The grandson whipped out the Apple of his eye, and had tickets waiting at the box office when they arrived 15 minutes before the doors opened.
With her crutch, the daughter was allowed to sit right in front of the stage, while the youngsters weren’t that far back. The venue is an ex-movie house, holding perhaps 300 people. The grandson wore one of the Jethro Tull concert shirts I gave him, but they both later changed for Apocalyptica tees – only $30/ea. The wily fiancée scored not only a program signed by all four performers, but got a hug from her favorite Finnish cellist, and a photo of it.
More used to the industrial/commercial areas around the outside of the town, I haven’t been downtown for years. Smart grandson and his Smartphone come complete with maps and GPS, although, one, just-after-the nick-of time instruction, from the back seat had me going past and coming back at the venue from the other side.
Since they didn’t know how long the concert would last, I drove back home for my usual late supper. The grandson had given me $30 for my time, and gasoline. It was well he had. The son, who usually gasses the car up, was just finishing three weeks of vacation, and no-one had been watching the tank level. Just as I let them out, a chime sounded, and the Fill-Me light on the dash lit up.
Canada produces more petroleum than the US. One might think that domestic gas prices would be low. Stations in Kitchener were hovering around $1.34/liter ($5.55/US gal), as we left. I found a Shell station at the edge of Guelph, selling for $1.22/liter ($5.07/US gal). Still outrageous, but a $3 saving on the $30.
The opening act, which they thought was almost as good as the stars, played for an hour and a half, half an hour to dismantle the stage and reassemble it for Apocalyptica, and they played for over an hour and a half. Throw in some schmoozing time, and the daughter called me at 12:18 AM, to be picked up. She told me that they had hobbled up the main street, and were resting in peace, in front of a funeral home, at the intersection of XXXX Street.
Being in a different county, the City of Guelph is not laid out as strangely as Kitchener/Waterloo, still….. The referred “intersection” would seem to indicate two streets, meeting at 90 degrees. The highway, which becomes the main street, runs due north and south. Two blocks from city center, the four-lane street continues in a straight line – but takes a new name. The old-named street veers off to the left at a 45 degree angle.
Since I’d missed a turn coming in, I’d also missed this peculiarity. I thought I’d reached the right spot, but, even with my driving glasses on, I didn’t spot my passengers in the dark, so I jagged to the left. A block down, I had spotted a big old brick century-house with a large sign out front, which I thought might be the funeral home. When I pulled in, the sign told me that the place was an artisan restaurant and craft brewery.
I pulled back out, and continued down to the street behind the theater. I went into a parking lot, and turned around to go back, when I discovered two things. First, I was now going the wrong way on a one-way street, (Who cares? I’m the only car in sight.), secondly, the grandson, gasping for breath, and tapping on the roof of the car.
The ladies were indeed, waiting patiently(?), back at the funny intersection. The two handicapped women were a bit achy, and everyone was tired. The grandson is used to rising at 4:45 AM, for his welding apprenticeship. This was a BIG day for him, but a good time had been had by all.
I have published some tales of remembrance of the things I’ve been able to do over the years. I am so happy to have been able to provide the kids the chance to make some of their own memories. 😆