Soaked in glory

You can pick on my car and my clothes. You can call me any name in the book.
But don’t mess with my music.
The Bethel Woods assignments are like gold dust around here.
I called dibs on my favorites the way I used to shout “shotgun,” then race around the bumper of my mom’s car.
Tripping over my own two feet, I didn’t care what I looked like as long as I beat my brother to the front seat.
I don’t care what you say.
I like my music.
And Bethel Woods has brought it here.
So the food’s like any concert venue, the prices like any summer amusement get-away.
So what?
I shot the allowed two songs each of Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift and Jack Ingram, and the three songs allotted by Brad Paisley Friday night.
Then I danced back to my seat with my camera in hand to scribble out my notes for the story in today’s paper.
I couldn’t believe my luck.
In the flesh.
Twenty minutes from my house.
There he was – one of my favorite country performers.
Not only that.
It was his second visit.
An unfortunate family emergency kept me from attending last year’s Paisley appearance – despite the two tickets purchased by Jonathan for my birthday.
But he came back.
And Friday night, soaked to the bone and exhausted because of the late hour, I danced beside my husband to Brad Paisley – in the flesh.
They call it the great equalizer, love and feelings and everything in between put into something you can hear.
It’s no wonder.

Whether it was the Goo Goo Dolls rocking out or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young lighting a fire of protest under our collective you-know-whats, I left every concert at Bethel Wood last year on some sort of cloud.
I waited this year until Paisley came to town before putting in my bid for an assignment, giving the opportunity over to others who hadn’t yet been on the site.
I forgot what I was missing.
Then I went back.
On the site that’s famous as much for mud, drugs, and mayhem, there is still the spirit of rock and roll.
You can’t help but feel it as you wander down the cobblestones to listen to country, classical, jazz or pop.
I gave a listen last week to a promotional CD for the upcoming show by the amazing jazz pianist Dave Brubeck.

Not usually my “thing” – as one colleague quickly pointed out – I still marveled that the man who could create the lilting yet melancholy tones dancing out of my speakers would be in Sullivan County next weekend.
I’m not usually a “rah rah sis boom bah” person, but I can’t help it.
I’m jazzed about Bethel Woods.
It’s brought music to our hills for good – and there are few gifts so great.

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