. . .but I can’t keep from losin our tickets to the Rolling Stones. . .


I think it was 1996.  Jerry and I were supervisors together at a local business. I guess we were both still young enough to hang out with folks from work. . . something that I stopped doing years ago.

The Rolling Stones were coming to Owen Field at the University of Oklahoma and several of us decided to go as a group.  Jerry opted for a party bus so that we could drink and not be concerned with driving.  Thinking about all of this puts me in mind of how much I have aged just since the nineties, because we went to see the Stones on a party bus — on a work night!!  We were older, true, but in retrospect, not yet wiser!

Jerry entrusted the security of the tickets to me. And I in turn, promptly had them stolen! I can’t remember how many of us had tickets, but I do remember that I had them all! Jerry was a long time local business man who was taking a brief break from operating the family business when we met.  Jerry had the good sense to purchase the tickets with his credit card, so he was able to have the stolen Stones tickets replaced and waiting for us at will call when the party bus dropped us off at the stadium.

The stadium was packed and all concert goers were herded beneath the bleachers like cattle both coming and going.  Our original tickets were on the 50 yard line a few rows back from the tickets that replaced the stolen ones. The new ones were much better because there was a second stage in the middle of the stadium and our seats were on the same row as that second stage. So we got to see Mick Jagger perform so close to us that we could see the groupies toss their undergarments to him as he sweated, danced, and sang to the crowd.

I was not going to let the people who stole the original tickets off the hook so easily. So on the way to our seats, I stopped at the original seats and approached the one who was seated in mine. She was someone I knew from Oklahoma City and she had the audacity to tell me that she had those tickets for over a month. I could see the guilt well up in her face when I was able to name the precise time and place when she got those tickets only a few days earlier.

As far as I was concerned, the group of people who stole the tickets should be escorted in shame out of the venue. But Jerry intervened. He just wanted to have a good time and let the issue of the original tickets go.  I didn’t like it, but I was a women in my early thirties who had two kids, at a Rolling Stones Concert with a bunch of coworkers on a party bus! I had a mid-life coming of age moment and I dropped the issue, thus most likely preventing my own homicide!

Cheryl Crow opened and then she and Mick sang a song or two together, and then the Stones performed.

A good time was had by all. . .

Our Own Private Amusement Park (Eagle Park, Cache, Oklahoma)


Mountain Park 1997 - Back side of tunnel

Mountain Park 1997 – Back side of tunnel (Photo credit: Spatch)

Park Theatre Neon Sign - McMinnville, TN

Park Theatre Neon Sign – McMinnville, TN (Photo credit: SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent))

Asbury Park & Clowns

Asbury Park & Clowns (Photo credit: pam’s pics-)

eagle park(We Made a Memory)

In the mid-eighties my best friend and I were young single moms with a total of four kids; I one, her three, and we had a few years left before either of us knew that our mix was going to welcome three new members to usher in the next generation.  Our families blended nicely — so nicely, that we are convinced that our kids probably grew up believing that they were cousins.

Our best times were mostly spur of the moment ideas, like the time when we found ourselves at  the annual “Lions Club” Carnival that had set up in the parking lot at the mall on a gloriously sunny afternoon in May, when we spontaneously piled into her 84 Delta 88 and set out to have some fun.   The two of us were standing at the carousel watching as the ride went  round and round; as our kids went up and down on their painted pony of choice.  The moment was as magical as the music, and thoughts of holding on to a fleeting moment in time didn’t occur.

The idea came to me that this place was costing us too much money, so we decided to leave, and in about a half an hour we were pulling into an empty parking lot at the virtually forgotten Eagle Park in Cache, Oklahoma.  Eagle Park was once the epicenter of fun for those living in southwest Oklahoma. Now, in the eighties, the momentum was already fading — so for this old amusement park to revive itself for what may have been its very last time ( for all I  know), was truly spectacular. Our kids were full of enthusiasm and excitement because we were an adventurous bunch, so while they never knew what to expect from “us moms,” they did know that whatever we were going to do was going to be packed with treasured moments that would linger in their memories for a life time.

The five of them were curious and I, self-assured, as we seemed to cross an invisible bridge,  into a place that was made just for us to enjoy on that day, in that moment.  We were in the midst of shut down old wooden food stands with faded red and blue paint, that offered food for our spirits and not for our bodies.  There were rides standing still and the children gazed. So did we.

An older man (perhaps in his fifties or sixties) with gray hair, and wearing blue jeans,a western shirt, and cowboy boots came out of the office of the old place. He seemed to be expecting us.  The park came alive, one ride at a time. The kids were overjoyed as they ran from the swings, to the twist-a-whirl as one lone operator and six park guests chattered and laughed in a truly golden moment that must have always been planned for us to be there — on that day, in that time,  when a treasure simply presented itself to us and we took it.

Eagle Park is an Oklahoma Ghost town now.  The first bunch of kids, and the second are all grown and making their own memories with their own families and best friends.  One left us early, when he was twenty. Until today, in this moment, I hadn’t thought a lot about that moment.  The time when we had our own private amusement park; and we made a memory.