And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

November 19, 2005

Best of Times

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 10:36 am

One of the best times Michele and I had together was going to Chicago in the Fall of 2003 to see Eddie Izzard perform live. Eddie, for those of you who don’t know, is British comedian Michele discovered while we were living in South Carolina. She had been ill for months and wasn’t able to sleep well. The sleep pattern that worked best for her was going to bed around 3 or 4 in the morning, and sleeping most of the day. Consequently she watched a lot of late night television, and one night stumbled on to the middle of Eddie’s ‘Dress to Kill” HBO Special. She said she laughed so hard she cried. Seeing that it was repeated, she taped it and showed it to me. Before the end I was laughing so hard I thought I would need oxygen.

In the years that followed we collected all the video performances of Eddie that we could find. Michele always said she would be willing to travel a long way to see Eddie in person. As luck would have it, his 2003 “Sexie” tour came to Chicago – only three hours drive away. I remember spending 30 minutes on the phone dialing, and also online refreshing the ticket ordering page, until I got a pair of tickets in the tenth row, on the right center isle. Absolutely perfect seats. We would be close enough to see, and Michele wouldn’t have to sit next to anyone but me. Next I made reservations at the Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago, as the map online showed it being the closest to the theater.

The day of the show we drove up to Chicago, stopping on the way to see my brother and my two youngest nieces for a few minutes. The hotel was sumptuous, and, having learned how all this works, I was able to smoothly allow the valet to park the car and the bellboy to carry the bags. We had dinner in Trader Vic’s (still the BEST egg roll I’ve ever had) and casually walked 1/2 a block to the theater. Yes, it was practically across the street from our hotel. You could see one entrance from the other. Our seats were indeed perfect. As we sat waiting for the show to start, enjoying some Tom Jones music on the PA, Michele struck up a conversation with the two women in front of us. They were also long time Eddie fans who had traveled (flown actually) to see him perform live.

The show itself was simply fantastic. Eddie was on that night. We both laughed and laughed. His encore was superb and I was literally gasping for air before he was finished with us. In the morning we set off to find the village of Canesteo New York, a favorite childhood home of Michele’s. That trip was also special, but that is another story.

I am so glad that Michele got to see Eddie perform live, and that the accommodations, seating, and everything were perfect for us. This is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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