Last night, my very dear friend, Brian, who lives in Massillon, Ohio, called to see if I would be interested in going to a concert with him in Cleveland. I have been to Cleveland a few times and I was so looking forward to something fun. After clearing it with the boys, and contacting one of my senior students (he watches the house for us) I was all set to go. This was the first major trip without the boys and I was not hesitant as I can trust them. They both wanted me to have a great time.
“What concert are you going to see?” asked Jose.
“I don’t think I even asked!”
En route to Massillon, I drove through some beautiful countryside on US-30 East. I mispronounced the town, Wooster – rhyming it with “rooster.” Brian laughed heartily and said, “It’s pronounced ‘Wuh-ster.'” I later asked jokingly if they called his birthtown of Brewster, “Bruh-ster.” No laugh.
The tickets were to see Clay Aiken. I groaned! He’s a kid! Does he have talent? Brian had seen him earlier this summer at the Ohio State Fair and assured me it was a fantastic concert. Clay had been at the Fraze Pavilion in our neighborhood only two weeks before and all I could remember were the all too youthful “Clay Mates” sitting out back hoping to catch a glimpse of this American Idol loser.
After a fun chat with Brian (he makes everything fun), we quickly changed clothes and he surprised me with reservations to the Akron-Canton air port’s restaurant, 356th Fighter Group Restaurant. It was wonderful! The food delicious, the server hysterically funny (and very good at her job), and the ambiance of flight history right down my alley. Brian, like my wonderful new friend, Jeff Carter (Ball State Singers), knows how to accomplish those little endearing touches as a great host and friend.
On the drive to Cleveland, it felt so peculiar to not be with the boys. I did not feel guilty though – but very refreshed. I called them and despite Jose quipping to Matt, “What time is our party starting?” they were doing well.
OK… I was so wrong about Clay Aiken. I must admit, it was one of the finest concerts I have attended in years. His program was Rock & Roll music from 1955 to 2005 – and what a show. His back-up singers and band were not accompaniment to Clay, but his partners. The medleys were very well arranged and flowed nicely. The crowd was surprisingly a grand mixture of all ages. The Scene pavilion over looks the Cuyahoga River and the Cleveland skyline – what a back drop. Clay performed from 8:30-11:30pm with only a 15 minute intermission. Bravo!!!
It was such a wonderful evening and I am so grateful to Brian for inviting me.
For more information on the Scene Pavilion, please visit: