I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Charlotte. I stayed in the uptown area and it is wonderful there. There is always something to do. I pulled into Charlotte around 2:30 am and it was still hoppin’. Thought about taking Gilda and playing right when I got there, but I needed to get some sleep, it was a long day.
I went to a coffee shop early, and on the way back, there was some excitement in one of the buildings. The fire dept was there and it turns out there was a small fire in the basement. I don’t know what building it was, but they closed it for the rest of the day.
When my brother-in-law and I were making the itinerary, we saw it was going to be Gay Pride Week in Charlotte, ending on Sunday. So, I could only imagine Saturday night was going to be great. When I went out in the afternoon, it was very windy. I found a good spot and went to work. The wind kept blowing by tip box over, even with my water bottle to weigh it down! I was out there for about 40 minutes when I was asked to move. Turns out I was on bank property, I just had to move 6 feet over and I would have been fine. I left anyway. I was having some kind of problem, I couldn’t stop squeaking on the higher register. So I told him he was doing me a favor. Eventhough, I only had to move 6 feet, I was just as happy to go back and figure it out. I have a chip in my mouthpiece, it has been there for a while, so I don’t why that was a problem. I changed mouthpieces.
There were a lot of people celebrating at this festival. They blocked off two blocks of the street and everyone was having a great time. Unfortunately, (I don’t know how to say this any other way) Christians, who make Christians look bad, were out there on a megaphone, preaching the gospel. They were calling them sinners and deviants, but they seemed unphased by all of this. Security was really high so there weren’t any incidents, but I just find this sort of thing unacceptable. How I feel about religion, or sexual preference or anything else is irrelevant. I guess my point is, here is a group of people just celebrating who they are. Instead of raining on their parade, just go celebrate who you are.
I got back to playing around 5:00. It was in a different spot, but it was a great spot. I was 3 blocks up the street from the festival. I got started and I hadn’t used this mouthpiece in a while, it took me a little while to get use to it. I love my Jody Jazz but had to go with my Meyer. It took me about 15 minutes, so when I started, I wasn’t exactly “on”. After that though, I was! I played for over 2 hours and wanted to take a break. Someone had given me a ticket for a beer at the festival, but I had to be there by 8. Turns out, it was actually 7:30 and I got there at 7:34, oh well. What was really cool though, I ran into a couple I met when they on vacation in Savannah, Laurita and The Novie. They live in Charlotte and it was good to to run into them. We talked for a few minutes and caught up. Then it was time to go back to work.
On my way back to my spot, I asked an officer how late I was allowed to play. He found out and there was no time limit. I only wanted to play until 10:00, just wanted to make sure. I got back there before 8:00 and just wailed until 10:00. All night I got to talk to a lot of people. One man walked by me and said facetiously, “What do ya got there, a Bundy?’ I said back to him, “No, this is a 1928 Conn” He stopped and turned around and came over to have a look. I told him her name is Gilda. He fist bumps me and says “Respect!” I thought that was an interesting interaction.
It was 10:00 and I got going, the festival was over at 8:00 and it was slowing down. I didn’t sleep well at all the night before, so I wanted to get some before I went to Greenville, SC. I would say if you have never been to Charlotte, it is a great city, especially the uptown district. I never saw downtown, so I can’t comment on that.
Thank you for reading and following along on my journey!