Even though it was a stormy evening, I did not want to miss the opportunity at hand. The rain began while we in route to our destination, but it was not yet uncontrollable. We parked the car and were barely inside the building when my husband’s phone rang. It was his friend asking if I had my camera as there was a double rainbow. How disappointing! I did not have my camera as it was not allowed where we were headed. The last double rainbow we had viewed was on our Colorado trip and was between mountains. We had to pull our car over and just take it in that day. We would miss this one. I was on a mission to see an old friend. We were to celebrate his 79th birthday. An old friend that never even knew me. But I knew him ~
We entered the intimate setting of The Joint, at Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (http://www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com/thejoint/Pages/default.aspx) Having been here before, we knew that no matter where the seats were located, they would be great ones. What I especially like about this night, was that we were in the “younger set”. That doesn’t happen so often anymore.
Finally, it was time. The legend of country music appeared on the stage, Mr. Roy Clark. He donned a blue embroidered western style jacket. I wasn’t certain it was him. And then I saw that smile, and that sparkle in his eyes, and I knew. I was taken back to when I was a little girl and watching him on Hee-Haw. He could sing and play just about any instrument, but mostly, he made you feel good in the moment. He made you laugh.
Tonight his band manager helped him get situated. Roy Clark was not comfortable. He walked a bit stooped over and I worried that he would trip on the chords strung all over the stage. He said that he had recently had a hip replacement. That explained a lot. The fiddle player stayed near him at all times, as if to “be ready” in the event he needed him. Each person on that stage loved him and they were there to help him through the evening. We in the audience felt the same way.
When he picked up that guitar and started playing….He was the young Roy Clark I once knew. Playing “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. He needed no help. I looked to my right and to my left, and all I saw were knees going up and down, most of them in beat. 😉 People were clapping and smiling. All were immediately taken in…
Several friends and celebrities came on stage to share in Mr. Clark’s birthday celebration. One group that joined him on stage, was the Tulsa Playboys. (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003404373357&ref=ts#!/pages/Tulsa-Playboys/116882751733410) They were extremely polished and dressed like cowboys should be. If there had been a dance floor in that place…we would have been attempting our two-step! Just awesome. Another “friend” that joined him on stage was a former Hee-Haw fiddle player. Her name escapes me, but the fiddle did not play her. She was a master of that fiddle. Roy Clark was handed a fiddle and kinda forced to join in….it was quite the duet. He smiled and as he played with much concentration, you could see that sparkle in his eye again.
Eventually, a server from Hard Rock wheeled out a huge and beautiful guitar cake ( you can see it here, https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tiny-Cakes-Truffles/149856551725943 ) all aflame with the 79 candles! Roy Clark leaned across that stage and shook hands with the young man who brought it out. Now doesn’t that say a lot about the character of this man. It did to us. Several on stage helped him blow out the candles. The crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to him. He thanked and “God Bless” ed all, once again. And he meant it.
He didn’t do many songs. But the ones he did, were treasures, just like him. We giggled when he started “Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone”. Everyone sang along. It’s just that kinda song!
It occurred to me later, when I thought about that double rainbow before the show, that I had NOT missed it. Nope. My double rainbow happened right before my eyes that night. Seldom. Unique. Priceless. Holding hands with my hubby and listening to Roy Clark, live. It couldn’t get any better than that.
Our Colorado Rainbow ~