Saturday, Sept 27 I attended the Harvest The Hope Concert nine miles north of Neligh, Nebraska. This wasn’t any ordinary music concert. It was a benefit headlined by none other than Neil Young and Willie Nelson, on behalf of a handful of grass-roots groups fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline in my home state of Nebraska.
The event was massive. Over 7000 tickets were sold and many acres of cornfield were sacrificed on Art and Helen Tanderup’s family farm to allow for parking, vendors, stage and seating. Even with a handicapped parking permit, my recent leg surgery meant I needed a little help from my friends to make it all the way to a location for our lawn chairs.
But I was on a mission. I’d recently harvested my own hope: a golden delicious bounty produced by the industrious little honeybees given to me by an elderly friend as a birthday gift. I had a handful of small bottles labeled with my apiary name, Bees Against the Pipeline, and I was determined to deliver them to concert organizers, and, if I could, the performers themselves.
So not long after settling in I decided I had better get busy. I crutched my way up to the front, only to meet with the first line of security defense who demanded my badge to enter the preferred seating area in front of the stage. I didn’t have one, but I had plenty of friends in that area. As luck would have it, one of the most physically imposing and friendliest was near enough to hear me call him over.
My friend eventually talked the security guards into letting me pass, not only into the preferred seating area but all the way back stage. He left me there and wished me luck. The small open ground behind the stage was a busy place. As soon as I recognized venue landowner Art Tanderup from his TV appearance on The Ed Show last week, I made a beeline to introduce myself to him.