The Good? That’s easy. Two or three hotels filled with men who love to sing barbershop harmony! Everywhere we went, we saw or heard singing. We were in the right place at the right time to hear a singing telegram serenade for a birthday. The quartet sang well, the recipient was so surprised she cried, and barbershop harmony sounded great in the large atrium lobby of the Mayo Clinic. Later on, we were making arrangements for a to-go order when we heard another quartet singing “Let me call you sweetheart” to the restaurant hostess.
To follow in the “Good” category were the many short but wonderful conversations we had with other barbershoppers. (Get used to it, spell check. In my world, that is a real word, so knock off the red squiggles.) It was hi, which group are you with, did you sing already today, how did it go, have you been singing long, and more. Barbershoppers are a friendly group.
But then, the bad. We had one bad experience that put all three of us in near-anxiety mode. We ordered from a pizza-type restaurant, getting assurance that the food would be ready to eat soon, and we’d be on our way to hear one of our quartets. Our order wasn’t ready, we were getting tense as we watched the clock, so we decided to ask for it to go and eat later, after seeing the quartet perform. Amigo and I hit the pavement (the Skywalk) and headed for the auditorium while Chuck changed our order and complained heavily to the manager. To make a long story short, we all made it to the performance, but not without some stress on the way. We informed the rest of the chorus of our experience so they wouldn’t be stuck in a similar tough spot. Barbershoppers? They stick together.
How about a little more “good”? We decided to make the long weekend a family vacation of sorts. We didn’t rush to get to Rochester, we relaxed in our hotel room when Amigo wasn’t singing or watching other groups sing, and there was a Starbucks down the road. Er, hallway. I’m a morning person, where Chuck’s second shift work puts him firmly in night owl mode most of the time. When I woke up Friday morning, I showered, dressed, and strode down the hall to get coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I spent a while relaxing (there’s that word again) and reading the morning paper.
Oh, well, the ugly. We forgot swimsuits. That was okay, though, because we really didn’t have time to swim in the hotel pool. What else – oh, yeah, the Chinese restaurant was never open when we wanted it. That’s not too bad, though, because there were so many other options. Ugly? Amigo’s tux pants are too short. But he stands in the third row, so that’s not serious, either. We can get that fixed later. Maybe there weren’t any truly ugly moments. Maybe music, as they say, soothes the savage ugly. Or something like that, anyway.
As for more good, the chorus placed 4th out of 18 groups. They sang very well, and even went home with the award for Most Improved – it could have said Well Deserved, too.
Ah, barbershoppers. They’re a great bunch of guys. So spell check, get used to it. Barbershoppers is a real word.