On June 11th, 2016, my husband and I went to see Frank Turner at the Beacham, a very small local club in Downtown Orlando:
As I recall, we had stopped for dinner before the show, and thus, we had parked a good walk from the Beacham itself.
But it was a nice night, not too humid, good for walking, so we did not mind.
And as we were walking down the sidewalk, we happened to pass by another local nightclub.
I remember looking at the nondescript black and white sign with its simple logo – a large letter P – and I remember that my husband and I joked that here was another tiny nightclub whose sign looked larger than its building.
We wondered if that night club was as small a club as the Beacham was, and then we kept walking toward the Beacham, which my phone’s GPS had calculated was about 1.7 miles from there.
As you can see above, The Beacham’s lineup that night featured Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, followed by Gogol Bordello. (There was also an opening act at 6 pm, that isn’t listed there: Walter Screifels – I thought his set was surprisingly mellow and acoustic for a musician listed as being a ‘hardcore alternative/punk musician’)
Though we arrived in time to see Walter Screifels’ set, and definitely enjoyed Frank Turner’s performance, Frank and his band had done the last encore by 8:50 PM*
(*i.e; by punk standards, that was still rather early on a Saturday night!)
I remember being unsure if we were going to stay to see Gogol Bordello, who were slated to be onstage by 9:00PM.
But my husband had had a tough work-week of long hours and a very long day already, as a late Friday night server meltdown had bled into his working earlier into that afternoon.
So when we walked out into the tiny lobby to see that even more people had arrived, cramming themselves into an already overcrowded front room, my husband sighed
….and we decided right then, that we weren’t going to stay to see Gogol Bordello.
So we went home and went to bed.
And when I woke up on the morning of June 12th, the first news I heard was that there’d been a shooting at a local Orlando nightclub…
And 50 people were injured, perhaps dead….
That same little nightclub that we’d joked had a sign bigger than its building – at 1912 South Orange Ave:
And the first thing I thought was – if we had stayed to see Gogol Bordello…
We would have walked right past there, on the way to our car…
Likely either during… or just after the shooting.
And that is why my cell was blown up with calls.
People wondered if we were all right. People were worried.
We were heartbroken that morning two years ago.
And still breaks my heart even now, to think of that morning.
But a friend of mine – Brandon – wrote this morning:
“But even as I did begin to rise and start my day, I remind myself that although we are another year separated from that morning, those of us that can remember that morning only do so because we have been given the gift of another morning ourselves. We remember the lives that were cut short, and live our lives to honor those that were ended too soon. We heal, but we keep the scars as reminders of what happened. The world may dwell in hate, but love will always win. Let your actions be guided by love and wear your scars proudly for the world to see.
You are here at the start of a moment.
It is my sincere hope, my prayer, that in our lifetimes there will be a generation that does not know hate, only love. And it will be our responsibility to show them why that love is so important and to never take it for granted. Never take love for granted.”
And then this past Sunday, I had the wonderful opportunity to see Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls perform again:
Like Brandon, and like Frank…
I hope that we could all learn to be a little more kind.