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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

A wild time in Denver: Part two

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I ended last week's column explaining how Norm and I almost got trapped in a parking garage in downtown Denver after the Rockies-Cardinals baseball game.

Fortunately we escaped and headed west to find a room for the night and a good meal before we went to Red Rocks for the Chris Isaak-Stevie Nicks concert. We found a place to hang our hats just a few miles east of Red Rocks in a conclave recessed from the thoroughfare that also included the Lone Star Steakhouse and a Village Inn restaurant.


After we checked in, we walked over to the steakhouse and were cheerfully greeted by the young waitstaff working there. Norm and I both ordered steaks and a couple of adult beverages. The food, drinks, and service were all excellent.

As our waitress brought us our check, we struck up a conversation with her and discovered that she and Norm attended the same Bible college in Colorado. I'm not sure how many people around here know this but Norm graduated from the college and served as a youth minister for a couple of years.

This was also what the waitress had planned on doing and they had a conversation about the meager pay that youth ministers make and how both of them had had to rethink their career choices because of that. I joked to the waitress that Norm was kind of forced to rethink his career choice because he had been caught with the church pastors' teen-age daughter.


It was just a joke that Norm and I thought was funny but our waitress evidently didn't. She walked away never to be seen again and the waitstaff that was so friendly when we entered was decidedly NOT friendly when we left. No sense of humor I guess. Or maybe our sense of humor was a little twisted. I've been accused of that before.


We climbed back into the T-bird and headed for Red Rocks. When we saw Steely Dan and Michael McDonald last year at the same venue, we didn't get there soon enough to park on the high side entrance and had to go to the low side. That meant a walk straight up the mountain that would have winded a mountain climber.

This time we made it a priority to get there early enough to ensure a parking spot on the high side and we were able to do that.

As we were slowly driving up the mountain with cars in front of us and behind us as far as we could see, Norm said the car directly behind us was from Nebraska too. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a 67 license plate number which meant they were not only from Nebraska but were literally our next door neighbors from Hitchcock County.

As we pulled into the parking area, they pulled in beside us and, as we got out of our cars, I introduced myself to them. They were a very nice couple from Culbertson. We talked with them for a few minutes, then headed towards the concert site.


This is when things started getting strange. People were everywhere and I asked Norm if he noticed anything strange about the crowd. He replied that it was a pretty ugly collection of people. That was exactly what I thought too. As we took our seats and continued to watch people file in, it became an absolute fact: these people were not much to look at. There's usually an overabundance of cute girls and women at a rock concert but not this night. In fact, we were hard pressed to find any at all. Norm would point one out from time to time but I told him he was dealing with significantly lowered expectations since the girls he was pointing out to me wouldn't normally rate even a second glance at a "typical" concert. About then I noticed something that was even stranger. There was an unusually high number of  women there with other women. Norm hadn't noticed that until I pointed it out to him but he agreed that there were.


Finally, Chris Isaak took the stage and put on one heck of a concert. His music was great and his energy was high. He even walked from the stage all the way up through the crowd to the highest point of the venue while he was singing a song and then walked back down to the stage; a pretty good feat when you're over 8,000 feet high. But back to the paired-off women.

About half-way through his performance, he was in the middle of a love song and stopped singing long enough to ask all of those people who were in a committed relationship and had their loved ones with them to stand up and be recognized. Fully one fourth of those that stood were women with other women, including the two women sitting next to me and the two women sitting next to Norm.

Norm and I looked at each other a little incredulously because we had no clue as to why this would be. We found out when Stevie Nicks took the stage. I've been to a lot of concerts in my life, as has Norm, and we both agreed it was the loudest ovation we had ever heard and most of the yelling and screaming was coming from the women who were with each other.

Two old boys from Southwest Nebraska suddenly realized we were right in the middle of a lesbian love-fest. It was the weirdest concert I've ever been to in my life.

It even made me feel a little uncomfortable being there with a guy instead of a girl but since I've decided not to date again since my last relationship, I either have to go places by myself, with a buddy, or not go at all. When you've found the best, there's no need to look at the rest.


When we got back home the next day, I called one of my sons in Arkansas and told him about my experience and he wasn't surprised or shocked at all. He said that always happens when a female pop star is giving a concert and that he's seen the same thing before.

Thinking back on my concert experiences, it dawned on me that this was the first time I had ever been to a female pop star concert and I doubt that I'll go to another one. I don't have anything against gay women but this just wasn't my gig.


Coach Bonow and I leave Wednesday night on Amtrak for a three-day stay in Reno. The route we'll be taking allegedly includes some of the most beautiful scenery in the world as the train takes us high through the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas on the way to see Huey Lewis and the News perform at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino.

My good friends Jim and Carol Lemon from McCook will be on the same train with us on their way to California to spend a week with friends.


I think I'll get a tattoo while I'm there to complement the one I already have.

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