For anyone born in Indiana basketball is part of the DNA. Thus it’s Big News with the Final Four right next door in Glendale.
And the March Madness Musical Festival is a stone’s throw away from my apartment. I can see the ferris wheel turning from my balcony. However windy weather had blown in some aches and pains for my 89 year old bones and I didn’t think it wise that I walk close to a mile for the action.
I watched about ten minutes of South Carolina and Gonzaga. The sun came out. I couldn’t miss the chance of a lifetime. I changed shoes, put on a pullover for warmth (a mistake), put cell phone, ID and a few dollars in a (no larger than) 5x8” pouch and got a bottle of (unopened) water out of the refrg. If the aches got bad, I’d turn back.
Anticipation took over. The heavy grass on the west part of Hance Park slowed me down, but I could see the action ahead. I entered the airport-looking security gate about a quarter to four. Here the plastic sack, a handy way to carry my water bottle, had to be thrown into the garbage barrel. Music sounds came across the park; I could hear Capital Cities on the stage.
The price tag for the three day event – FREE. That’s my kind of admission. The information sheets read “Come early, Seating is on a First come, first served basis.” The only seating I saw was of the BYOB type, that is Bring Your Own Blanket.
Capital Cities belongs to the type of music called “pop.” I didn’t know what this sound would be like since it would not be my kind of pop. If they played Tommy Dorsey’s “Boogie Woogie,” I would understand it. It didn’t matter, I liked the beat, and my feet kept moving. One of the official “March Madness” photographers – the man carrying the big camera on his shoulder - recorded shots of me taking pictures of the crowd and he also has a couple of minutes of my feet dancing.
My biggest surprise – and I don’t know why – the age of the crowd. I’m mixed in with teens and what is called the “Millennials.” (18 to 29’s) I doubt if anyone even came close to 50 and definitely not near my 89. Well, it pays off to get old. These kids were super polite. I was allowed and helped to get closer to the stage. Longer arms held up my camera. And amazingly, these youngsters wanted their picture taken with me. In return I got my picture giving big hugs.
The last time I was on a ferris wheel was in the 1950s at Riverside Park in Indianapolis and with a date. I didn’t plan on standing in that long, long line to get on a free ride, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to get pictures from a top angle.
After the ferris wheel made a couple of circuits and the Capital Cities band had moved off the stage, the time had come for me to head home. The last picture I took is probably my favorite – four great big beautiful policemen protecting me. That can’t be beat!!!