When G.R. called and asked me to help him make arrangements to attend the bluegrass festival scheduled to be held in Auburn, I was glad to help. G.R. is a living anachronism and a total Luddite. He still believes in doing business with a handshake and values his word above any amount of personal gain. He also is totally computer illiterate and has no interest in changing. G.R. is a man of the 19th century living in the 21st. I didn’t bother to suggest that he Google it and register on line.
I did Google “bluegrass in Auburn” and pulled up the official site. I looked the deal over and decided that I would have to call G.R. and get a little additional information before I could actually register. I need to know for instance which of the five days (yes folks, that’s five days of picking and grinning) he wanted to attend. There were two sessions per day or a total of ten sessions. Of course he wanted to attend them all. I believe that five days of bluegrass, or for that matter any other genre of music, may be a couple of days past my tolerance level. I made a note to get him the full Monty ticket wise.
I asked if they would like hotel reservations, or if they preferred, they could bunk in with me. G.R. seemed truly shocked that I would ask and quickly informed me that they had a “Montana” and would be living in it during the festival. I’m no “RVer” but I did assume that a “Montana” was some sort of camper. G.R.’s rig is to a camper as the Taj Mahal is to a cottage.
After setting me straight about his mobile mansion, he requested that while I was getting the tickets, he would appreciate it if I would secure a parking spot for the Montana. He pointed out that he would need accommodations suitable for at least 50 feet of camper and would need at least 80 amps of available power. I doubt that me house is fifty feet in any direction and probably pulls something less than 80 amps.
“And oh by the way”, he said, “See if you can rent a golf cart for the entire festival since we don’t want to have to walk back and forth to the stage.”
“No, problem,” I replied, “if there is one available, I’ll get it.”
Armed with the specifications for the Montana, I got back on line and began the registration process. Soon I was asked where I would like to position the parking place, front, middle or back. I decided to call the number on the website and see if I could get a better idea of why I would care about front, middle or back.
I hooked up with a very sweet little lady named Jill and she gladly explained that they were expecting over 300 hundred RVs and that the stage area was in the middle of the camp ground so there could be a half mile difference in front to back. I decided that a decision like this required further consultation with my client and thus called G.R. He opted for privacy over convenience and choose the very back parking area. The need for the golf cart became apparent.
Armed with all of this information, I completed the basic registration, and was then asked if I would like to make spa appointments for a manicure, pedicure and or a massage. This was followed by offers for workshops ranging from instruction in banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar to Dobro and clogging. I still have no idea what a Dobro is and a workshop on clogging sounded like something for amateur plumbers.
There were private classes offered by a gentleman named Gilbert Nelson on all of the above instruments along with singing in harmony. There was an entire football field set up for arts and crafts vendors who could secure a spot for a mere $75.00. Additioanlly, there were food vendors sprinkled all through the parking and performing areas serving everything from BBQ to steaks.
Several more calls to Cleveland and I completed the on-line portion of the registration. I then called Jill back to book the whole deal, tickets, RV spot and golf cart. I began to mentally calculate just how much available credit I had on my credit card as I could hear the total mounting up. Finally, we reached a total number of which MasterCard did not choke upon. I realized that for what it was going to cost G.R. for five days of bluegrass, I could probably have gone to an away SEC football game (that is if I didn’t take anyone with me). I realized why I didn’t have any great passion for an interest or hobby such as G.R.’s. Hell, I can’t afford it.