Wanna know about something that just happened today. . . . Ok I’ll tell you!
I got asked to sing the National Anthem at the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall opening ceremony here in town. Maybe some of you aren’t aware, but I guess they have this traveling brigade of Veterans that set up shop at various venues and show off there replica of the famous wall in Washington DC.
All fine and Dandy my padre is a Veteran, and served in the military for quite some time and has instilled in me a love and respect for those that have fought for freedom, so I was more then happy to oblige even though singing the national anthem isn’t my favorite, because it’s more about quality of voice rather then entertainment. And as you all know, entertaining is more my bag, but I was appreciative of the opportunity none the less.
So the guy told me to be at the fair grounds at noon on Thursday and then again at 1 on Saturday. I made arrangements with work to have someone cover the front desk, and my Supervisor Steve told everyone at the meeting this morning I would be performing, so it was like all anyone talked to me about almost all day.
I left at 11 to get the pipes warmed up, and showed up ten till and looked for Pat (the guy that asked me to sing) Finally found him about 4 minutes to noon and told him I was here to sing the national anthem, and the dude was like “Oh OK” an continued on with his conversation. So I thought ok, I guess he will let me know when he’s planning to start. Then my Mom called and informed me, the ceremony didn’t start until 1. . . . “No Problem” I thought “More time to warm up”
An hour and a half later, the flag guys start assembling and there’s some hustle and bustle around the podium, so I go up to Pat and say “Is there anywhere you want me to stand?” and he was like. . . . “No your fine” . . . . . then I see him walk up to this white haired guy that looked like Sam Elliot and ask “Bill West’s Daughter? She was here earlier?” So I walk up to him and inform him of who I am . . . . . again! And the bugle started, the flags start to come in and I lean in and ask him “you just want me to go up there?” and he was like “yeah just go up their and sing your heart out” . . . . . and blah blah blah!
Now here’s the thing, I don’t know much about the military color guard thing, I don’t understand what they are saying, and if I was supposed to get some kind of cue from them about when to go up there, it was a little ambiguous, because there was long pauses in between their little presentation, so when it was finally over, Sam Elliot was looking around the audience, I made eye contact with him a few times but he just continued to look around, and I thought is he gonna announce me? Every other time I’ve sang the Star Spangled Banner, there is some kind of announcement. But nope, not this time! Mr. White beard looks up one final time, and announces the first speaker.
I looked over to my Mom and I was like. . . I think I just got skipped! So I stood in the same spot for almost the whole time, that guy was speaking, thinking maybe that Pat guy would notice what went wrong; communicate with the other dude, but nope! I went and stood by my Mom and the next thing I know Sam Elliot announces a change in plans and has some guy rockin’ a POW shirt sing the anthem! And I was like “Are You SERIOUS? I’m right Here!!!!!!”
So crazy right? Well really no skin off my back, it was actually kind of a relief. And I’m pretty sure that POW guy should just sing it for them all the time. Because A) He’s an actual Veteran and B) He had a really great voice! Any who . . . . I’ve never been looked over like that ever in my whole life, but oh well. . . . Can’t be the star all the time! And it was probably divine intervention coming in and saving me from a potential embarrassing situation, meaning as the chords are still a bit out of shape.
Well until next time!