It'd be a little hard to ignore His showing up yesterday. He did just that, big time, in something as mundane as concert tickets.
One of my friends from church is Isaiah Smith, of the Smith family previously written about here
. He's a bass player and he knows I'm a Bela Fleck fan. And Fleck's bass player in the Flecktones is Victor Wooten, arguably the best bass player in the world.
Isaiah approached me in church about a month ago and said the Flecktones would be here the 9th of December, which was yesterday (as I write this). I asked if he'd like to go and he said "YES!!", so I got on the phone and ordered a couple seats. They were in the Loge, stage left, top row. Best unsold seats they still had.
I asked about getting VIP passes, so Isaiah could meet Victor, but there weren't any, and the Orchestra Center seats .. the best in the house .. were all gone. But they said keep checking in, to see if any got turned back in.
The 8th, I called and they said they had two Orchestra Center tickets, so I upgraded. They said stop by the Box Office when we got there and swap them out.
Parking had been a worry, as the Alys Stephens Center is right in the UAB campus and parking can be scarce. But there were some lots not too far away, and I figured I could suffer the walk OK despite my arthritis.
WELL. Yesterday, I picked up Isaiah at 4pm, we went to Dreamland BBQ at 4:30 (3 blocks from the venue) and we ate a slab of ribs, and eventually got to the venue about 5:30.
There was a parking spot on the street, 30' from the Box Office. Hmmm .. praise GOD!
We went to the box office and the nice lady took my tickets and went to get my new ones and I asked for a seating chart. A young man brought it, and pointed out where our seats were, theater left aisle, 4 rows from the stage! He'd heard we were Wooten fans and he said "He usually sets up on that side, so those will be great seats." But then he said "You might rather have B114 and B115 " .. and pointed out the two FRONT-ROW seats in front of the others. Someone had turned in THOSE tickets, and He said we could have THEM, if we wanted them!
WOW. You betcha, and thanks!!!
So help me. We were on the front row, immediately in front of Victor Wooten!!!
When he played a rather long solo medley, he was standing literally 6 feet from my nose! Directly
in front of Isaiah's seat.
His performance, and the performances of ALL the musicians, were simply beyond description.
After, the band went to the lobby and stood in the area where all the band stuff was on sale. They called it their "Meet & Greet". Now, I'm not into standing in line, so I just sat to the side on a nice comfy padded bench, and Isaiah went through the line.
About an hour later, we left .. Isaiah had the autographs of everybody in the band, Victor Wooten had signed his ticket and the pick guard from Isaiah's bass (he brought it just in case...), and Isaiah had his picture taken with Victor.
The entire concert was so wonderful .. so outstanding .. that I wrote a thank-you note to Victor Wooten, and asked him to express my gratitude to the rest of the band. But if I want to REALLY thank our benefactor, I need to send another thank-you note. So here it is:Thanks, God.
Your performance was the best of all.