Lines of traffic backed up along the road in the rural area leading to the Blossom Music Center. We should have allowed more travel time. We pulled into the parking area minutes before show time and fast-paced the trek toward the amphitheater.
On the first Saturday night of summer, from the stage of Blossom Music Center, Garrison Keillor said, “Anyone who ever grew up on a farm never, ever, felt bad about rain falling from the sky.” Watching the rain clouds rolling above, I was charmed with the rest of the audience by Keillor’s attempt to help those of us with lawn seating roll with the punch of the evening’s weather.
Receptive to his thought at first, I soon recalled many a week in summers past when wet weather kept all plans to make hay in check long enough to lay waste to the crop at hand. I dismissed his comment as well-meant but just not true. Farm people can be just as disappointed with rain as the next guy, and I was disappointed now.
Moments before, we hurried from the parking lot with our lawn chairs, blanket, and basket of snacks. We set up a spot on the sloped lawn above the pavilion when the wind kicked in. We refolded the blanket we’d just spread over the grass and unfolded our chairs instead. The show was starting and so was the rain. Up went our umbrellas, which blew inside out, leaving us like sitting ducks under the storm.
Slicker-clad Blossom patrol made the rounds among the lawn patrons encouraging us to get under the pavilion. We must have looked determined to wait it out. One man kindly insisted we leave our stuff and take cover.
Our foreheads dripping a bit, but not soaked through, we sat at the back of the pavilion to enjoy Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion performed and recorded for broadcast at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. Our tickets were birthday presents for me and my brother Tom from Josie and her boyfriend, James. The two of them went along.
The show was wonderful, complete with added allusions to Ohio and the rainy weather. I was thankful to be under roof, since the rain pelted down for some time.
Thunder and lightning added very real sound effects to the radio-show-style format that was planned. When the power went out briefly, we held our breath waiting for it to return. At the end of the show, they did over the parts that had been interrupted to be edited into the recording for rebroadcast.
How cool to tune in the following morning, warm and dry at home, and hear the entire show again. I picked up on a few bits I didn’t get the first time. Long live public radio!