photo album

Fall 2001 - Post Bridge Re-Opening and the Garth Report

Causeway Re-Opens in time for Thanksgiving

first cars

very first cars over the newly-opened causeway

tom and jerry's welcome

the Crew at Tom & Jerry's welcomes traffic back to SPI

Welcome back to the Island!

The Queen Isabella Causeway is officially re-opened and to say that traffic has picked up in the neighborhood would be a bit of an understatement....

Are you as smart as me?


garth set up at sunset

garth set up 2

some 20,000 fans are expected to show up for this event!

From Dennis Barrett: "I'm a b-roll camera man with the Coast to Coast (to Coast) Tour ....
This has already started out pretty cool.
I think I've secured my back stage pass ....... cool."

Dear sandy,

We watched the Garth Brooks concert on TV and didn't me and almost williesee you in the crowd?????? It looked like a once in a lifetime event for sure! Give us the scoop!
- D. from San Marcos

11/28 - 9:03 AM - It is a cold, yucky morning. I flip the switch from AC to heat and hope something warm happens. I briefly ponder the injustice of the nastiest weather of the season coinciding with the BIG Concert Day and the fact that all those people watching are going to see our lovely little sub-tropical island at its absolute worst...

2:45 PM - The sounds of increasing traffic heading north on Padre Blvd. cause me to set foot outside. The wind-driven rain coming straight out of the north causes me to quickly reverse course. I look again at the red wristband on my kitchen table, sigh, then head back to the spare room to dig out the winter clothes I know are buried in there, somewhere. They smell funny.

5:05 PM - I shut down the computer, pull on three layers of clothing and head over to Kelly's Irish Pub to meet some buddies, wondering if it is even possible for me to down enough anti-freeze before concert time. No worries... the list of pre-concert festivities is extensive. Rumors abound: Jewel will be joining Garth onstage... no she won't. Willie Nelson is in town! Jerry Jeff Walker was at Jake's earlier, and then made an appearance at Kelly's as well! At 1 PM about 300 people were huddled on Hwy 100 awaiting entrance to the concert site.... can this possibly be true?
Time to go to a pre-concert party at M.'s, but first a quick stop home to pick up another layer of clothing and the red wristband.... just in case.

7 or 8 PM - Details are sketchy but I think I am having fun. Here's a photo of me at Coral Reef with Willie Nelson... or maybe he was just a Willie impersonator. The vehicles have been abandoned -- with cabs still easy to conjure up, why take a chance? The rain seems to have let up a bit... Should we go or not? If Garth is willing to get out in this stuff, well.... so should we. At about 8:30 a decision is made and a cab summoned.
We disembark at the convention centre entrance and follow the other late arrivals to the flats. The rain has picked up again, with massive gusts of arctic wind swirling it around the huddled masses. The garish lights, the ankle-deep puddles, the blaring speakers and crowd noises lead me to briefly fantasize that a free concert... or hell?I have descended into one of the seven circles of frozen spring break hell. It is very exciting! We make our way to the edge of the crowd, where I can - sort of - see the stage. After a few minutes of this, my companions and I peer closely at each others hooded faces in the gloom and hesitantly ask - have YOU seen enough? A consensus is reached.
We are picked up by the same cab that has dropped us off, giving our driver a well-deserved chuckle.

9:05 PM - Garth at Kelly'sCozy warm, safe and sound back at Kelly's with front row seats at the bar, we watch the rain swirl around Garth in his cheerful yellow shirt on the TV screen. He has a big grin on his face. Look at that silly girl wearing nothing but a T-shirt! The highlight for this non-fan is Jerry Jeff singing "Mr. Bojangles." As the cameras pan the audience, I see that most of those in attendance do not appear to recognize this classic but are smiling politely nonetheless. Everyone looks happy! The next morning I will get an urgent ask sandy e-mail, "Please settle this bet for us- was that rain or snow swirling around Garth during the broadcast?"

10:15 PM - The steady stream of traffic south on the boulevard drives the usual suspects into Kelly's. They are cold and wet and grinning ear to ear. Some guy who had a backstage pass says Garth was fuming the whole time the camera wasn't on him, and that he will never be back to SPI. Why is that? Surely he doesn't think we ordered this weather...?!! The guy shrugs. Did you go to the concert, sandy feet?

Have you ever known me to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? I'm surprised you didn't see me there ...

the usual suspects

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