By Patricia Davison Special to The Franklin News Post

Everyone needs a break from the daily routine, and I was well past the point of my needed pause. As a child of the 80s, I stumbled across a Rick Springfield concert that was going to be in Rocky Mount within the timeframe I was able to get away.

I thought to myself, “This is perfect!” (Ok, so I really thought, “I love Rick Springfield!”)

Living outside of Richmond, I knew that Rocky Mount was a short enough drive for me to conquer. After purchasing the ticket I went to book my hotel and it was only then that I realized, it was Rocky Mount, Va. not Rocky Mount, N.C. I thought, “Oh no! Where the heck is that?”

After some googling, I found that it wasn’t that far away, I had just never heard of it.

Then, after viewing the Harvester Performance Center on Google Earth, I was elated to see that this was a smaller venue.

“Great,” I thought, “I won’t have to wear my glasses during the concert!” (I know, there is a little bit of vanity within.)

The drive from the east was absolutely beautiful — great windshield time to think, decompress and just breathe. Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised with all of the restaurants and stores available near my hotel. The people were super friendly, no matter where I stopped.

I was fortunate enough to have Taunya at Oasis Salon and Spa, create a nice finished hairstyle before the concert. While she worked her magic, preparing me for a windy and possible stormy evening, we talked about the similarities in our journey from California to our small towns. It was like talking to a dear friend.

Getting to downtown was a breeze, and what a cute downtown it is. I stopped for a bite to eat at Rocky Mount Burger Company before the concert, and what a welcoming place that turned out to be. Music overhead was none other than Rick Springfield, and the crowd inside was like meeting up with old acquaintances. I talked with so many local folks, who were interested in where I was from, and advised me on the best places to visit around town. The food and service were great too.

The line outside the Harvester was more than personable as well. The wind had picked up and we all huddled together like family. Mostly to protect our hairdos, but nonetheless, just trying to shield each other from the elements until the doors opened. I had a meet and greet with Rick Springfield before the show, so this was very important for me to share.

Once inside waiting for Rick Springfield to arrive, I was surprised to see that the Mayor of Rocky Mount, Steve Angle, and his wife, Lisa, were waiting too — how fantastic! I introduced myself and shared with them how great the town had been to me and that I hoped to come back.

Then I met Rick. Yikes, I was 12 again – stuttering and surprisingly shaky, but what a thrill. I hope my hair still looked good.

I was expecting to stand in the back of the venue after the meet and greet since everyone else with standing room only tickets were already through the line. Adult beverage in hand, I ventured in the double doors. What? I was right next to the stage? Only three deep? This is crazy! I love this venue! Even Rick commented on stage how intimate it felt.

I introduced myself to a couple folks and once the music began I was able to dance around with elbow room. (Hope there isn’t video of this.) The energy was fantastic! People that I met earlier were waving at me and periodically coming over to talk. Just like old friends.

So, this is my heartfelt thank you. All in all, I got what I needed, a much-needed rest and a chance to rejuvenate. I’ll be looking for more Gen-X era concerts at the Harvester, so I can interact with all the friendly locals and enjoy more of the downtown that I didn’t get a chance to see. Bring me back Rocky Mount!

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