Well, I have never done the Song Contest before and thought I would give it a shot since there is one summer in my life that will be the most memorable EVER.
It was 1984 and I had just been accepted to Penn State - at the very young age of 16. I had lived overseas for many years in Oman, Seychelles and Germany. At this point I was back in the states and my adoptive dad was still living overseas. He and my adoptive mother did not get along AT ALL! Obviously, I had a passport and I was stuck in a true bo-hunk, no red-light town in Pennsylvania listening to Amish buggies track up and down the street all night long waiting for my freshman year at Penn State to start. I missed my father tremendously and took every opportunity to call him and write him.
He decided that for my last fling he would send me a ticket to meet him. Could it be called kidnapping? Possibly, as that what my adoptive mother tried to prosecute him for. Was it? No - it is the summer though that I will never forget. It started with a simple ticket to California - LAX. I was by myself and remember flying into the airport with instructions to meet a Pan Am agent in the airport where they would take me to the next gate. I wasn't told where I was going. When I got to the gate I knew. Oahu, Hawaii. I met my dad in Hawaii where we spent a few days and then always stayed one step ahead of my mother tripping the globe. That year I saw the Great Wall, Tokyo, The Taj Mahal, The Pyramids, The Berlin Wall, was on the Autobahn, Big Ben, Notre Dame, watched a model shoot on the Seine River, visited The Opera House in Sydney and so much more.
I can say that I visited Germany, Spain, England, Scotland, Denmark, France, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Thailand, Pakistan, India, Egypt, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Phillippines, Syria, Saudi Arabia and I am sure there are others. I bring out my passport from time to time to relive that trip and there are songs that will ALWAYS remind me of that summer.
I remember that everywhere we went in Europe we heard U2 - it had just released in the UK the year before and had barely made it to the states yet. Their new album, The Unforgettable Fire, was leaking out and I heard, to this day, the most haunting song of my life that will always remind me of my dad.
The following year I heard a song that will stay with for the rest of my life. I remember seeing the video nd screaming- I was There and I was There and I was There, too! I tell my husband when I die I want this song and only this song played at my funeral.
You may wonder how did the world-wide trip end? HAHA With my mother finding us and knocking on the hotel room door in Cocoa Beach, Florida. There was a huge scene as one would suspect but it all ended peacefully. My dad went back to the Seychelles and me to my dorm room at the Altoona campus of Penn State.
I never graduated Penn State. Instead I left after two years in 1986. I took a summer job in Hershey PA at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in J.P Mallards which was a lounge. I showed up for work one night before the lounge opened and was helping the manager get "set-up". The lounge wasn't open yet and no one was allowed in. I was behind the bar and I kept hearing this whisper trying to get my attention. "Hey, psst, hey, lady - can I get a drink?" I turned around and saw my dad and went hysterical. Needless to say, I got the night off and he took me to dinner. Before he left he slipped me a ticket. It was blank and he said to tell him when and where and that we would meet. He left a few days later. Just a few short months after that my dad passed away. He had told me that he was tired. What he didn't tell me (or anyone for that matter) was that he had cancer. He had it since our world-wide trip and it was spreading rapidly. He made it back to the states and I was able to say goodbye. He laughed as he held my hand and I will never forget, "We had fun, didn't we Pixie?"
I never did get to use that ticket and I still have it tucked away with my old, tattered passport.
So, while you make think this story sad - DON'T! It was the most memorable, fun and spontaneous adventure of my life. I will never forget him and I swear he still comes to see me when times are tough. He always was the one that told me to never give up, believe in myself and to NEVER let anyone tell me I couldn't do something.
I love you dad and always will!