Tonights the Night

When I heard Neil was really going to play Coronation Hall in his hometown I planned to spend the evening. I brought my bike just in case the road was blocked. I packed some leftover pizza, and 

a headlamp for the ride home.

Arriving late in the afternoon I walked a few of the backstreets, all seemed black and white and quiet.  As I neared mainstreet the buzz of something really huge gave me whiplash. Staging trucks from Chicago, lighting trucks from Toronto, Televsion trucks from, I’m not sure where.  People were gathering, lining up, singing songs, drumming and sharing their stories of the legend and his music. Someones Uncle who went to school with Neil was telling stories  about childhood days. Locals, teachers and others who seemed form far and away had gathered on the mainstreet with coffee mugs and hand rolled cigarettes. How amazing this was for the town, the country, Neils global fanbase, and the music department at Scott Young Elementary school. I envied my 2 friends who had tickets.

Security and police were everywhere, the paramedics where giving oxygen to an older man who seemed overcome. Santa was getting ready to light the tree, Daryl Hannah was directing the cameraman, Randy Backhman was roaming around and locals were drinking those mystery drinks out of thermoses. I went into the convenience store and asked the young Korean family if they were Neil Young fans, The young father replied, “oh yes, today, now we are Neil Young fans” They were all smiles and I took their portrait. 

There were finely dressed uber chics from the downtown of some city,  wearing leather pants and puffy jackets standing next to locals with Canada tukes and homemade signs. There were kids and adults drumming on the skin covered canoe. Old hippies arrived with fringed jackets and wrinkled smiles. It was a sepia toned circus.

There were two young guys up to no good being yelled at by a neighbor for trying to hop the fence into the blocked off back lot area. They seemed on a mischievous mission. It was appropriate that the moon was spectacular, - it was Neil after all. Around 7 pm the crowds came in, Omemee swelled and the smell of soon to be legal weed started to make its way all along main street. The cops watched from the sidlines and left us all alone. At the 8pm hour the sound of Neils guitar was heard. It was fantastic how he completely silenced and focused the crowd, it wasn’t blaring outside, it sounded sweet and dreamy . Everyone listened. A friend called and asked if I by chance I was in Omemee. “Of course I was” and although he imagined it cold I told him how I’d never felt warmer…or more Canadian. This was the real deal, standing in the parking lot of a gas station watching Neil Young projected on the side of the Legion Hall! 


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