Checking one off the bucket list

John Mueller,

Everybody ought to have a bucket list, things you want to see or do before for whatever reason you can’t see or do them. It goes to the idea life is short – live it as best you can.

The items in a bucket list don’t have to be exceptional or so extravagant they’re not realistic for some. Bucket lists should be unique to the individual. Maybe the items in a bucket list can be formed after years of experiences, or perhaps it’s something you saw once many years ago from afar or heard about and would love to experience it yourself.

Several years ago, the idea of seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band made its way on to my list. With children in school and work, the idea of seeing The Boss was just there. It’s not like you just jump on a plane and catch a concert in a packed arena in a city in another time zone. Some folks might do that, but it just seems a little extravagant when there’s family and work stuff to try and squeeze into a week.

Although my younger brother, David, during his youth thought nothing of driving across Wisconsin on a Friday with friends in the early-1980s to secure tickets to see The Grateful Dead perform at Alpine Valley Music Theater. It’s a 341.8- mile drive to southeastern Wisconsin he made several times during the carefree portion of his youth.

The idea of seeing The Boss seemed headed for the not-gonna-happen section of the bucket list.

And then, last fall, the announcement was made Springsteen would be coming to St. Paul. The announcement captured my interest for sure. But then again, there’s always a lot to do, especially when you’ve just started a new job. The idea of buying tickets for it and its place on the bucket list came up in conversation with David. He said he probably shouldn’t tell me he’s seen Springsteen three times.

Checking prices of tickets did little to inspire confidence. Just to be in the building, even in the nosebleed section, each ticket had three digits left of the decimal point. Trying to be sensible, the idea went back to its place toward the bottom of the list. Trying to rationalize it, there was the idea his voice isn’t as strong as it was at the concert from New York City 20-plus years ago. YouTube would be the continued conduit for seeing Springsteen. That would be OK.

Sure it would. That’s a line of bull feathers.

And then Christmas morning rolled around. My wife, usually the really practical member of the family – oftentimes the lone adult in the room – surprised me with two tickets to see The Boss in St. Paul next month. Never saw that one coming.

But the tickets created a dilemma. Knowing she has little tolerance for bright flashing lights and loud noise, a concert probably isn’t her idea of an enjoyable evening. Having thought about it for a minute, there seemed only one person to call to see if he’d be interested in joining me. It’s not exactly a trip across the Badger State, but then again, he’s older now.

The days until the concert are counting down and anticipation is building. We need to find an acceptable option for dinner since David is a heart attack survivor and eats sensibly these days. White Castle and Mickey’s Diner are probably a no-go. Oh well, we’re going to see The Boss.

There are other items on the bucket list – seeing a baseball game at Fenway Pahk (don’t forget the accent), seeing the aurora borealis up really close, visiting the hockey arena where a bunch of college hockey players beat the Soviets Feb. 22, 1980, and a few days later won an Olympic gold medal and acing a par-three hole on any course without a windmill . . . stuff like that. They’ll likely never come off the list, but that’s OK.

If you have a bucket list, hopefully you’ll be able to check a few items off it sooner than later.



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