It was a super busy Saturday night at the restaurant. Window Four was a fun group of three gentlemen who had just been sat in my section. It was love at first, “Can I start you guys off with something to drink besides water?” Before putting in their drink order, they mentioned needing to put their food order in right away because they were heading to a show. I told them no problem. I had their back and asked them what show they were heading to.
My jaw dropped. I had no idea Tom Petty was in town. And why would I? For the last six months, I’ve been spending all of my free time hiking, training to hike the PCT next April, teaching yoga classes multiple times a week and working at the restaurant on the weekends. I hadn’t had much time for anything else, not even practicing yoga on my own mat.
After seeing the look on my face, they asked me if I was a Tom Petty fan. I LOVE Tom Petty. He’s one of those artists I have on my “Must See Play Live Before I Die” list. In fact, I had a couple Tom Petty songs on my yoga playlist for this week’s classes and have countless Tom Petty songs on my hiking playlist that I listen to all the time. I’ve been a Tom Petty fan since I was old enough to watch MTV. The first time I discovered Tom Petty was while watching his “You Got Lucky” music video playing on MTV. That was in 1982 and I was six years old. I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
One of the guys at Window Four then asked me the craziest question, “Want to go to the show with us?” At first, I thought they were pulling my chain. When I responded with a laugh, he proceeded to pull out four tickets. Did I mention there were only three of them sitting at the table? He was serious.
Of course I wanted to go to the show! Reality quickly came back to smack me out of fantasyland though. It was a busy Saturday night at the restaurant. My entire section was full of people and we had a line of people waiting for tables at the door. There was no way I was getting out of working this shift without getting fired. I needed this job. Without it, I wouldn’t have enough money to hike the PCT in April. Just one more sacrifice I’d have to make in order to hike the PCT. I had to stay and work my shift.
I’d be lying though if I said I didn’t start thinking up a bunch of excuses on how I could get out of working my shift that night. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one crafting up excuses. Each time I’d approach Window Four during their meal, they’d offer me another excuse on why I needed to leave work for the evening:
You don’t look very good. Are you feeling okay?
Where is the fire alarm in this fine establishment?
Where’s your manager? Let us talk to them.
“F” it! Just come with us!
They pulled off the extra concert ticket and told me to bring it to my manager to show her. OMG! I loved these guys and their persistence. They were making my night even though I was heartbroken about not being able to go to the show with them.
Later on that evening, long after Window Four had left for the show and I was home, in bed, I got a text from my co-worker. “You’re never going to believe what happened!” she said. The guys who were sitting at Window Four had come back to the restaurant right after closing time to bring me not one, but TWO Tom Petty t-shirts from the concert. They said it was because I had been so much fun and had taken such good care of them while they were at the restaurant earlier. They were just as bummed as I was that I couldn’t go to the concert with them. With the t-shirts, they had also left me the concert ticket that would have been mine. How awesome is that?
I almost got to see Tom Petty live. Almost. Now every time I wear the t-shirts, which is quite often BTW, I think about these guys at Window Four and their incredible act of kindness they bestowed on me. I’m also reminded that there are still amazing people out there in the world. I may not have gotten to go to the show, but I have an awesome story that I’ll never forget.
Upon learning about Tom Petty’s passing, I realized I’ll now never get another chance to see him perform live. I had my one chance, but chose to be responsible and work my shift instead. Tom Petty will forever live on in my heart, on my t-shirts, in my yoga classes and on the trail whenever I’m hiking. RIP Tom Petty. You were hands down, one of my all-time favorites. May your rock and roll soul rest in peace.
As a tribute to Tom Petty and the incredible impact his music has had on me over the years, I’ve put together an all Tom Petty playlist for my Hot Power Fusion classes this week.