Three and a half hours and forty years from home, that’s what Honesdale PA will always be for me.
Even though we spent the night only an hour away and the Roots and Rhythm Concert didn’t start till 1:45, we still arrived late. But as events unfolded, we were right on time. The central park was packed as we picked our way through the crowd, our lawn chairs slung on our backs, looking for a good seat, close to the stage but in the shade. When Manny chose a spot under the sparsest leafed tree in the place, I decided not to complain. It wasn’t worth starting an argument and turning a great day into a bickerfest.
As we were approaching a clear area, I noticed a friendly looking woman a few rows away, dancing her heart out, enjoying the hell out of the music. Now, I don’t like to see anybody dancing alone, especially to far out rock and roll, so I threw my stuff down and went over to join her. Boy, does she look familiar, I thought. “Do I know you?” I asked. “I live in West Virginia,” she said, implying that knowing me would be rather far-fetched. But she played along. “What’s your name,” she asked. “Roz”, I said. “Roz!” she screamed. “I’m Patty.” Oh. My. God. Patty Hooper. Not just some one I knew forty years ago, but a veritable Soul Sister. Then, like adding sprinkles to an already delicious home-made soft ice cream, over strolls her husband Peter, the sweetest and best looking man in our small circle of friends way back then. Like a lyric from a song, “still together after all these years.”
Needless to say, I heard little music other than the melody of long ago, as Patty and I talked, laughed and danced nonstop, catching each other up on the present while reminiscing about the past. Like true friends, we felt like we had hardly missed a beat.
A big life lesson for me here. If we had been “on time” for the concert, we may have sat under a very lush, full-leafed tree and had plenty of shade, but I would have missed out on rekindling one of the best friendships of my life.