2008 CAMPBELL SUMMER CONCERTS end this week 🙁
Sadly, yet another great Campbell Summer Concert series comes to a close today. The good news? The good news is that local band, Sage, is bringing us home!
But as much as I dislike the idea of no more fresh music in the Ainsley plaza area, that’s not why I’m making this post. I’m writing because over the past 4 or 5 seasons there has been an ever-increasing contingent of people who bring and set up lawn chairs, large blankets and tarps in the primo tiered, grassy seating area for (what appear to be) everyone in their group of friends who may (or may not) attend the concert that evening – and then they leave for who-knows-how-long, only to return an hour or two before the concert and take their places… while people who have shown up on a more timely basis (say, 2-3 hrs before the concert) have to take the less desirable, sun-drenched and root-encrusted remaining seating areas.
And to tell you the truth, as the number of people and the space they’ve “reserved” has increased with each year, I’ve gritted my teeth a bit more with each passing concert. Not for me or my need for space (I sit in the same sun-drenched and root encrusted place I have since the series began) but for the people who can’t take off early in the afternoon – or aren’t so rude as to think it’s their right – to “save” a space for themselves and all of their friends. (Let’s not forget the ever-increasing coolers, table / chair set-ups and bbq’s these same folks impose on other non-participating attendees., “You don’t mind if I put my 100qt cooler in front of you, do you? We’d put it in front of us, but the bbq would melt it. Thank you sooooooooo much.”
This being the last day of the series, after my morning coffee @ Orchard Valley, I headed over to the City Offices to see who was responsible for the Concert Seating goat-rodeo to see if we couldn’t find a way to return to “must be present to hold your seat” thinking that we’ve all grown up with. Guess what I found: Yup, you’re right – there were already blankets, chairs and coolers set up right in front of the dancing area on the lawn… and it was only 9:15 A.M.
Into the City offices I went and, wouldn’t you know it, I started with City Planning (ahem) because that’s the department I always visit when I come in to the building. Yup, it’s true: I’m a misguided creature of habit.
Nice folks in Planning. But they said they’ve got nothing to do with the Concert / Seating. I should try the Museum folks. Ah. Off I went to the Museum… just in time to see a woman setting up 2 big blankets and a couple of chairs in two really primo spots. IT WAS 9:27 A.M. <- THAT'S IN THE MORNING and the concert didn’t start until 6:30 P.M. <- THAT'S IN THE EVENING.
Just for fun, let’s do some remedial time-keeping math, ok? If a concert-goer sets up their chairs for the concert at 9:27 A.M. <- THAT'S IN THE MORNING but the band didn’t begin playing their music until 6:30 P.M. <- THAT'S IN THE EVENING, how many hours would that be? Class? Bobby, is your hand raised? Yes, son, you’re right – it would be almost 9 whole hours before the band began playing their music.
9 Hours. I can drive to LA and back in 9 hrs. I can almost drive to Salem, Oregon in 9 hrs. I can drive to visit Incline Mike and take a lap around Lake Tahoe in 9 hours.
To the lady setting up her stuff I said: Excuse me (says I), do you work for the City? No. Do you work for the Museum Society? No. Are you planning on staying with your blanket and chairs until the concert begins? No. Who are you? Well, I’m a 25 year Campbell resident who’s tired of seeing people like you drop off their crap to reserve space every Concert Thursday so they can waltz in whenever they want to join the concert. (She began walking away. Apparently she’s married, too.)
So I trundled over to the Museum Society where kind young lady said they weren’t involved in the seating-stuff, either… try the City Manager’s office. Ok, well, it’s another 100 ft, but I’ll walk back over there and give it a shot. (Note heavy dose of sarcasm in my voice.) Nice folks in the City Manager’s Office but it turns out they’re not the ones, either – it’s the Recreation Department that is the place to go.
I hopped on my old guy, restored-bicycle (photo’s coming here soon, I promise) and pedaled down the road to the Heritage Center and met The Man. (As I was telling Incline Mike on the phone later, having been in that position, oh… more than a few times, sitting outside The Man’s office, I felt an awful lot like I did the first day of 7th grade sitting outside the Principal’s Office at Glenbrook Intermediate School. Great way to start the 7th grade. Not 🙁 )
Despite my bad experiences 40+ years ago, The Man and I had a great talk about the subject at hand (turns out people had begun leaving their crap in place just after 8 A.M. – I wonder if Ms. 9:27 AM knew she was late?) and he informed me of the common-sense policies being implemented next season that should help some folks remember their manners and others get a shot at decent seating when they show up for concerts.
Rant mode off.
Thanks for visiting, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.