When this dichotomy was realized, I bid adieu to my friends, and stuck out my thumb in an attempt to hitch the remaining 50 miles or so. Shortly later, I was picked up by the sweetest lady you could imagine. She said she was heading within about 20 miles of Clinton where the school was and she'd be happy to take me as close as that. Once we got to that location, she said, 'Ah heck, I've gotten you this far, I may as well take you to town where you can hop the local bus to campus'. Sweet! I may make the beginning of the show after-all.
As we approach town, she says the same thing....'Oh how silly of me, since I got you to town, it can't hurt to zip you up to campus'. We drive the remaining five miles and she doesn't just dump me off at the edge of campus. She rolls down her window and asks, 'Excuse me young man, where is the rock concert?' This happens three times or so until she navigates right to the quad where the show is. I jump out, hug her, thank her profusely for driving me all that distance and dance right into the quad where the opening notes of Fee were just gracing the air.
After a blistering Reba, and given the college graduations about to take place, a very appropriate Alumni Blues > Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, I reach for my wallet. Horror! I remembered I had taken it out of my pocket since it had been bothering me and left it in the lady's car right on the backseat. So I am without a penny, no car, temperatures plummeting, no ID and finals tomorrow. Despite the misery of being 'walletless' and 'carless' and alone, I do my best to enjoy the remainder of the set. (Mike's, Split Open, Coil, Jim and others). The sky continued to get darker and darker. And colder. And drops of rain started bouncing off the makeshift stage. It looked ominous. And then the sky totally opened up and the rains came in force! Remainder of show: CANCELLED! Now: no wallet, no car, no way of getting back and no second set.
I start walking from group of people to group of people asking if anyone is driving South. As I make my way around, I bump into a guy I recognize from a show at the Haunt a few weeks earlier. As I start to open my mouth, "Hey Parker, what's happening!" he bellows at me. I give him my story and he says he's heading back to Ithaca. Sweet! Ride home! As we head to a dorm room to pick up one more guy for the ride, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I spin around....and it's........the Sweet Lady! With a massive shit eating grin on her face and holding my wallet in her hand. I saw her with a wallet in her hand! I saw her with a wallet in her hand! She explains that when she got home, she noticed my wallet in the back seat & that she planned on mailing it to me. Then she figured I would need it, so she drove all the way back to deliver to me. If it had been one more minute, I would have been inside and she never would have found me. So now I have my wallet back (and money), and a lift home. As the band is schlepping their gear out, we say, 'Hey Trey, why not play inside?' After a quick laugh, we continue to ask. 'Seriously..why not?' Trey chats it up with the rest of the band and agrees. We bring all the gear into the basement of a dorm hall and get set up pretty quickly. Before you know it, Phish is playing a private show for about 30 of us or so. Requests? You bet. A hat passed to collect money for a keg & pizzas? You bet. Frenetic, balls out playing with a reckless abandon? You bet. 'Contact' played as a perfect way to punctuate this day that centered around my car that got towed? You bet.
The joy of Phish.
Epic from the beginning. Epic still today.