Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Tribute for Lucky Tomblin
My dad's tribute concert was on Sunday. I don't know if I have the right words to describe it. It was a big deal around here. Denise worked so hard to make it happen and did a great job. Starting last week, all the attention on the ranch shifted to the event. We walked through the venue on Thursday. Friday people started arriving. The combination of dove hunting opening weekend and dad's event was a huge draw and we had a lot of ranch visitors! Saturday we made assembled a hundred fifty gift bags. I visited with family and friends. Sunday we welcomed more family and friends to the ranch and I went early to the venue to move hundreds of tables and chairs up and down and all around. We got pretty and lined up the sitter and dashed off on Sunday afternoon to get the flowers for Denise and Nancy and get to the venue before my parents arrived so we could be there when my dad saw his street sign.
They named the street in front of the Texas Music Theatre after my dad for the day. It was Lucky Tomblin Way. We kept joking that in our family we all do it the Lucky Tomblin way.
This whole tribute was put on in order celebrate my dad and all his work in this town and area to support the arts. So many people came to celebrate him. All the money raised went to CASA and we raised lots of it.
It started with a VIP cocktail hour. We all had great badges on lanyards and everyone was so happy and excited and pretty. I ran all over that venue in the first hour, wobbling on my high heels, hugging, smiling, chatting, making small talk, trying to make sure I said hello to everybody and make them feel welcome. There were so many familiar faces! It was wonderful. I also had a stressful situation, trying to handle some TFF business, but it worked out and hopefully I made some new friends and made the principal of Davis' school happy so all is well that ends well.
There were some beautiful appetizers donated by Cool Mint that included some killer watermelon gazpacho, but I was too busy to eat and most of it I was allergic to anyway. I didn't drink or eat, I just ran, smiled and chatted. The music was fantastic. It was blues band and they were rocking!
Finally the doors opened for general admission and our friends started arriving. I was so glad because it had been very hard to save tables for them and now I could relax about that and just start having fun! We saved a corner for our friends right next to our VIP family box upstairs. It was perfect. All our friends came out and it meant so much that they were all there. I felt so lucky and blessed.
My friend Daniel, who is also the mayor, got on the stage and declared Sept. 2, 2012 to be Lucky Tomblin Day. There were a few more short speeches and then the music kept going. Michael and I settled in upstairs with our friends. I finally got myself a cocktail and began to just really enjoy the night. There was a great piano-rama with all these amazing pianists. I think there were five pianos on the stage! After that we had Delbert Mclinton, an almost Texas Tornadoes band, Terri Hendrix and finally my dad's band. I wish I could do that music line up again. I want to hear it all over again.
In between each set, different people got up and said nice things about my dad. Susan Antone said some words and so did Lloyd Doggett and Bobby Arnold. Bobby played a piece of a rap album my dad recorded in the early eighties. I cracked up! I did not know that was coming. Also, between each set, there was a slideshow of pictures of my dad from grade school to the present. Michael and I made the slideshow, and I was glad it turned out well. It was very moving to keep looking up and seeing my dad how he used to be.
At the end, my dad got up and sang three songs. One of them was a song he wrote for my mother last May called Becky's Song. It was before his shunt surgery. This was the first time he's sung it in public. I knew all the words from listening to him practice over and over these last few weeks.
When he got up to sing it, the whole audience got quiet. Dad started the song, and it was so emotional. He got off a little on one part and Terri slipped in behind him and got him right back on track and that caring and love she showed him was really powerful. He sang up there surrounded by people who loved him and only wanted him to succeed. The force and power of that emotion seemed to fill the venue. I was so proud of my dad and who he is and the love he has for my mom and the love that all the poeple had in the room for him. I bawled like a baby. It was just too much, in a bittersweet, good way.
After he sang, the night was over. We hugged our friends and thanked everybody and headed for bed. The morning after we hung out with Martha and Clark and then went to my parent's house for a brunch where all our family and friends who had come from out of town to the gig to meet one more time, relive the night and say goodbye.
It was an amazing event. I am so glad it happened. Our family is so blessed. We had a great time. Denise really does know how to throw a party.