Friday, October 19, 2012

All Dogs Go To Heaven

It's been a busy week of training and I'll have a real post that's more administrator-ey in a couple of days, but I've come to the conclusion that if all dogs don't go to heaven, at the very least, everyone eventually becomes an election worker.

My latest reminder came Monday with a flashback to my college days.

Back then, I had learned of this musical group of guys my age from Ireland called U2.  They had odd names, like Bono and the Edge and the strangely normal Larry Mullen, Jr.

I bought their album, "Boy," and I listened to it in its entirety at least twice a day.  Most of my friends laughed at me (maybe it wasn't because of U2, come to think of it...) and everyone I knew disliked their music.

They came to concert in Kansas City and I was the first person to buy a ticket, for $1.  Actually, it was $1.02, sponsored as a "Catch a Rising Star" concert by radio station KY-102.  I bought 4 tickets.  I convinced two of my friends to go; my girlfriend and now wife passed.

We had to sit in the balcony because we weren't 21.  Floor seats were 21 and older.  Bono joked that night that the band members weren't 21 so they shouldn't be allowed downstairs, also, as he sprayed a bottle of champagne onto the crowd during the encore.

The band had so few songs they played some of them twice.  My two friends who went became U2 fans for life.  And, if it was possible to be any more OCD about the group's music, I continually lamented that no radio station would play U2's songs.

In particular, I thought KY-102 should play U2.  They sponsored the concert.

So I called and requested, "I Will Follow."  I called anytime I had a free minute, always being told it would be right on.  I stayed tuned it and, of course, never heard it.

It was devotion I gave to help this struggling group out--this group that later has made several gazillion dollars.  At one point, as I drove to school my senior year, the station played "Pride," and I was giddy.

Well, actually, I was annoyed that it took so long and wished it was another, earlier song playing, but U2 on KY-102 nonetheless.  But after the song, one of the morning DJs groaned and said, "I hate U2."

Wow.  For me, it was an unforgettable moment from a song from the album, "The Unforgettable Fire."

Fast-forward more than 25 years later and that DJ was 10 feet away from me in election worker training, saving democracy.  Despite the U2 memory, here he was, a piece of my youth, and I thought it was so amazing that he was now with me and our office working the election.

Just a month ago, I stood at the Kansas City Plaza waiting for a 10k race to start as the album, "The Unforgettable Fire," was being played and I was thinking of those days when no one would play U2.  My day had come, I thought, and then I sadly realized that I never actually had a day--but they did.

And now, seeing this DJ, I wanted to go up to him and thank him for being an election worker and tell him this entire boring story that would likely make him wonder if he did the right thing by signing up to be an election worker for this crazy guy who can't let go.  Having OCD tendencies is admirable when tending to a detail-oriented thing like an election, but when speaking about a rock group, not so much.

Another Time, Another Place, I guess.

Oh, that's a U2 song reference.  For now, back to focusing on The Unforgettable Fire that is the 2012 presidential election.

Ticket Stubs From the First and Second Concerts U2 had in Kansas City.


Jim Severance said...

Great post. I received my advance ballot in the mail yesterday. Good luck with the election.