First the semi arrived and parked on the front lawn near the Middle School. Next came the chairs, in stacks like huge concertinas, followed by the unloading and set up of the actual venue, and we all watched in wonder as the stage unfolded, growing bigger and taller by the hour. Then the chairs lined up in rows, wires were laid across the lawn, the tent for sound control was in place, and lights went up over the stage.
Saturday morning held the promise of sun as the food trucks lumbered up the driveway, lining up like great brightly decorated creatures, ready to disgorge their delicious bounty. Security guards gathered at entrances, the production crew added finishing touches, and with instruments and equipment in place, we were ready.
And then the people came by train, by bus, by car, and on foot, streaming through the gates, onto the front lawn, and even the short rain delay and a brief confinement in the gym could not dampen spirits and exuberance. Finally it began – Paul Simon and his Band playing the concert of a lifetime on our front lawn, against the backdrop of the Sound, blue and sparkling, and in front of 3,000 dancing, cheering, adoring fans, all part of our GFA extended family. Paul Simon was as great as ever, the consummate musician and performer. It was a rare and magical moment in time for GFA, and Paul Simon gave us this extraordinary gift, not only of his creative genius and talent, but also of a community building experience like no other.