A couple of days before 14 time Grammy Award Winner Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder came to perform in Cannon Falls, I was exchanging phone and e-mail messages with his staff to find out how I could cover his concert as a photo journalist.
Their legal statement seemed to say there could be no flash photos and no audio recording.
But how do I report on this public event to the newspaper and cable channel with that prohibition?
The result was that after they checked out my request including my website (www.paulrosie.com) so they could see my previous programs, columns, etc. they decided to allow me to take photos during the first three songs only. They requested approval rights of all photos to be published. Any video would have to be pre-approved.
This was getting a little irritating for someone who has been a journalist for 50 years. But on the other hand, I could understand their concerns.
And I have had so many wonderful stories resulting from frustrating circumstances in the past that I just figured there's another good one hiding in here somewhere!
(Not the paparazzi point of view perhaps.)
So why not respect their request? At the worst I would still get to hear some fantastic music.
Now consider that it was my first exposure to an entire concert of bluegrass music. I didn't recognize any songs. But you had to be amazed at how fast they were played!
And I got to thinking of all the work involved in the performance. It was a fundraiser for the local Shepherd's Center and involved a lot of effort and dedication from sponsors and volunteers. I'm sure it was a scary venture too because it costs a lot to get a world famous group like this here.
Then I pondered all the work the musicians had to do to perform.
Consider all the years of practice to get to be the awesome performers they are.
Consider the energy they need to set up their equipment, the travel time, and what about if they aren't feeling so good? What if they had worries of their own? The show goes on... you've got a lot of folks depending on you.
After the performance on this night, the happy crowd milled around outside the auditorium as the musicians manned the tables selling and autographing their CDs.
Several local folks kidded me that although the audience had been warned not to take pictures or record the performance, they had seen me with my camera videoing close to the stage.
And they chuckled when I told them some of the restrictions I had been given in order to do this. I revealed that I had been a bit frustrated when flashes from the audience betrayed "illegal" photos being taken and I couldn't let myself be tempted to do this!
Later some folks were getting their pictures taken with Skaggs himself. So when I was talking with him I decided I would do that too... to prove to my kids that I really met him.
After my photo was snapped, I started moving away so others could photo Skaggs. But one local resident called out, "Stay there Rosie!"
So I was in their picture too. And Skaggs commented, "They know you here."
I just smiled.
You don't have to be famous in a small town.
Many years ago, after we moved to Cannon Falls from a big city suburb, I had coined the phrase: "Everyone in a small town is a Somebody... even if you're a Nobody."
That's the fun of it.
(Check for video coming on www.paulrosie.com and cable channel 12.)