“All the world is ours to take…”
Dateline: New York, Ireland, Arkansas
I don’t know about you, but I need a love story.
I need to read a story about holding hands, about slow dances to music only two people hear, about daytime texts of just a heart emoji, of opening doors for her, of knowing the name of one perfume...hers, of being able to cry, of binge watching the Hallmark Channel with her.
I don’t know about you, but I need to know, to read, stories of gentlemen.
I don’t know about you, but I need to know there is still love, not just lust.
I don’t know about you, but I need an old fashion love story.
I need to know, love wins.
"To get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with."
It was on I-81 North in Virginia where I was told a love story I’ll never forget, a phone call that began simply, “My fiancé wanted to see U2 again, she saw them in 1987 during the Joshua Tree tour…”
At the time I had been away from home for five weeks, I’ve been married now 43 years, in my life as a journalist I’ve probably been away from home, from the love of my life, Barb, maybe when added all up 15 to 20 years.
Could be more.
I don’t think less.
“…turns out they were coming back out on tour this summer and near us…”
I had never talked to this man before in my life, only knew him as Greg-something, didn’t catch his last name when he called. The call came through my “Keep db Awake While He Drives,” phone line…anyone on my Facebook page can see the route I’m driving, see the time I’m driving and can call and just talk, helps me stay awake.
“…so I’m sitting at my desk at work and I see where the band is playing and I think, huh, you know what…”
U2, love The Edge as this Greg guy is talking I can hear in my head a killer riff by lead guitarist The Edge.
“…you know what I say to myself, just do it, just do it, a once in a lifetime chance just do it man…”
“Do what, um, Greg?”
“Go all out.”
“All out for what?”
“…I just said what the heck, and hit the button, hit the button I did.”
“Button for what?”
“The U2 concert, my fiancé wants to see U2 again, well lets do it right…”
“…I hit the button I did, and then I called her up and told her I bought her the U2 concert tickets, she loves them you know, told her I got the tickets…”
“…yep, two tickets for me and her, two tickets down on the field…”
“…down on the field of Croke Park…Dublin, Ireland, db, Dublin db…”
“…she’s so great she needs to see U2 in Dublin, she needs it to be special you know.”
And with that began, for me, Greg and Wendy’s love story.
Right out there driving north on I-81.
Trust me, I was awake now.
“…you and me…”
"Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze."
I’m a romantic. Even in my wildest biker moments it wasn’t always about “that night,” but deep down more about “that week” or “that month,” finding lust was easy, finding love though, that was tough.
“db, I’m just a hopeless romantic you see, it wasn’t about the cost of the tickets and all that, it was about making Wendy happy…”
Finding love was tough, finding happiness, impossible.
“…for a man I’m an unusually sensitive guy, I’m a guys guy as well, it’s tough to explain tough for guys to get…”
Nope, no it’s not.
“…but get this, the concert was only a few weeks away, we needed to get passports, flights all of that when it hit me…”
I knew what he was about to say, I would have done it too.
“…I told Wendy, lets get married there, in Ireland, in Ireland lets get married and then go to the concert in Dublin…”
Sounds cool, but not that easy, turns out if you are citizens of here and want to get married there, Ireland, you’ve got a bunch of hoops to jump through with both governments to make sure you come back home here with more than a U2 tee-shirt, come back here with a marriage license that works here as well.
Romance meets reality.
As does the road, told Greg I had to go, rest stop, next one 65 miles, gotta stop, “…dude let me know how it all works out…”
And Greg has, just recently brought me up to speed, seems a “hopeless romantic” was an understatement.
“Hey db, it’s me, it’s Greg, remember Greg and Wendy and the U2 concert I called you a couple of months back…”
I’m somewhere in South or North Carolina, possibly Tennessee…I’m in the eighth hour of a 12-plus hour ride…trying to get home…trying to get home.
“Yeah dude I remember, a little hard to forget. Are you married now?”
“Yep, it was great, the concert was crazy good, we got married in a castle that once belonged to pirates and had a Celtic Monk marry us and…”
“Hang on dude, I’m pulling over.”
And so I did, and so I listened and wrote stuff down.
“…we'll find a way…”
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."
Wrote this down:
Greg is a B.A.S.S. Nation member, some club in New York State (forgot to write that down but most of what I wrote is on the back of a McDonald’s bag). Even with the world trippin’ he did fish the tournament that qualified him and his teammate to fish the B.A.S.S. Team gig in Mountain Home, Ark., where he is now and frankly why this story is running now rather than Valentine's Day.
Wrote this down:
Celtic monk wore a B.A.S.S. hat???? (wrote it just like that too)
Something about Guinness beer in Ireland is not like Guinness beer in say, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., where he used to live.
A castle owned by pirates???? (see two sentences above)
Something about finding an amazing wedding photographer in Ireland who likes to fish and will shoot their wedding.
And who knew that Wendy could bartend and pour Guinness draft beer.
Do this, click here and you’ll be able to see some of the wedding shots, just come back…
Glad you came back, now here are a couple of U2 pics.