A Cold Coliseum Night


It was a very very cold December 6 in 1978. But that’s not where the memory for me started now that I’m 39.

I was 10 and wanted so bad to go to my first Neil concert. Growing up though, back in the neighborhoods of
Cleveland, such a thing was considered a luxury. Especially with a father that worked night shift and a mom that took care of her ailing mother and two girls. That would be me and my sister Christina.

I started writing Neil letters almost weekly and my mom would walk them down to the old mailbox at the corner of our street along with her own letter. She had become pen pals with Wendy and the wrote back and forth once a month. It seemed she was my mom’s only friend at that time since she couldn’t do too much away from our house and she never belong to any groups. She found out about his tour and told my dad. He pulled many overtime shifts just to be able to get enough together to buy 3 tickets. My sister wasn’t as huge a fan as I was and was a little young my parents felt to be going with us. Plus, she wanted to stay home and watch Jerry Lewis with my Grandmother lol.
My Dad stood outside the Coliseum for hours that morning when tickets when on sale. It was way before you got wrist bands so you had to be there first thing. He had just come off of one shift, stood in the rain and then went on to do another…all of us.

When the day finally came, Mom and Dad got all dressed up and dressed me in my best Sunday outfit and off we went. Freezing. It was one of the coldest days in December that year, or at least it felt that way when your car doesn’t have heat. We sat bundled in blankets but it didn’t bother us one bit. We were so excited. They talked all the way there and I just sat in silence, not believing that I was actually going to be in the same building as Neil. I felt that since I wrote to him each week and told him all my thoughts, what I did that week, I sent him some tests that I did well one and even talked about being sad and fears…well with all that info he had I felt I could call him Neil.

When we got there I couldn’t beleive how huge the building was. I got scared. How would we know where our car was, how do you walk down those steps…omg I am here. I’m here finally.
Then we were escorted to our seats. We kept being taken lower and lower down the aisles….we were so close to the stage. We looked at Dad and told him he did good.

Then it began..lights down…”Ladies and
Gentlemen…Neil Diamond.”

I screamed…sang…danced.

It was special…cause it was with my parents. T

Neil is the one thing we always did as a family. Any concert was shared with them. This past tour they couldn’t go due to my mom’s health….so I called…and called….and called. They heard this concert..not well but at least I knew that when Neil sang my Mom heard some of it.

Neil will always be an integral part of my family – such wonderful memories that I wanted to share.

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