Rick's obviously been on my mind a lot the last few weeks, with the GH appearances, the album coming out Tuesday, all the TV spots, and the concert(s) in Williamsburg we couldn't go to. I do actually think about other things, really. But, I thought this was a perfect flashback, and it's somewhat of a consolation for missing him last weekend and not being able to go to NYC next week.
This picture was taken at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. I actually won the tickets (I've been lucky when it comes to Rick--won contests, chance meetings in parking lots, etc.) from a HOB contest, so James and I drove down the night of the 1st, getting to MB at about 3 a.m. After sleeping in a little, we met up with some friends of ours (shout out to Rusty, Janet, and the kids---where the heck are you guys?) for some shopping, even though I was completely distracted and NOT thinking about buying anything. We shopped at Barefoot Landing in MB, which is right next door to HOB. I was determined to get there in time to see Rick arrive, so we went and hung out behind the building in the mid-afternoon, along with a few others. The crowd grew a little as the time passed, and lo and behold, a mini-van pulled into the lot. As the butterflies in my stomach attempted to escape, I just knew Rick was in the van--and he was! He got out, grinning, and approached us (as I tried really hard not to fall down) with a greeting of some kind. The whole thing is a little bit blurry--I might have actually fainted but remained standing.
Rick, as always, was extremely nice, and kind enough to sign autographs and pose for photos with everyone who was out there. I'm sure he had other things to do (sound checks, maybe some rest before his always-physically strenuous shows), but he made time. I don't remember saying much (it's hard to talk when you're concentrating on remaining upright), but I do remember how his arm felt around my shoulder. It wasn't the first time I'd touched him--I'd gotten Rick Sweat and a hug in the crowd at a show the year before--but it's the best one because I have photographic evidence.
Rick eventually went in to get ready for the show, and we got in line to get in. We bought ridiculously-priced food from HOB to actually get in a line that would be let in earlier. It was a general admission show, so we ran into the concert hall and staked out our spots, which were actually very good. We had made "friends" with some ladies in the line outside, and we all proceeded to drink lemon drop shooters and have an absolute blast. The show was awesome, as usual, and we drove home the next day completely satisfied with the whole experience. At least I was--James, as usual, was just along for the ride, although he enjoys the whole thing too. I owe him a lot--he makes all of my Ricksperiences reality. Thanks, Shmoopy!
We would be lucky enough to run into Rick again a few years later in Portsmouth, VA, right outside our hotel. I was prepared with a blown up version of a photo similar to this one, and we were able to talk (did I?) to him again. He was kind enough to sign the photo of the two of us together, which is, of course, a prized possession. That whole day is another story, probably better left told by James, so we'll save that for another Flashback.