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A little urban exposure

Suzanne Davis poses with a group of guys called the IDSFA at the NAMM Show in Anaheim recently.
Suzanne Davis poses with a group of guys called the IDSFA at the NAMM Show in Anaheim recently.

Mick, Lance and I took a little trip to L.A. a few weeks ago. Mick is my first husband, and Lance is our anthropomorphically-inclined travel trailer.

Lance hates to be left at home, so despite the specter of the 405 and RV vs. commuter, we gave in. Besides, we’ve got a quaint little campground at the end of LAX runway 24L to which we’ve grown attached. Nothing says Los Angeles like jet airplanes taking off directly overhead day and night. We weren’t really that enamored, but it’s the closest “camping” spot to UCLA, where I was headed for a little medical procedure.

To make the journey a tad more palatable, we decided to combine two missions and include a trip to the OC and the NAMM Show. The NAMM Show, for the uninitiated, is for music merchants and the like. We received tickets by the largesse of Lightning Joe, the Arroyo Grande guitar shop owner. Mr. and Mrs. Joe were very generous to send the passes our way, and while I confess the event had never been high on my bucket list, Mick was beside himself with anticipation!

I figured I’d go along to keep Lance company and demonstrate spousal support. I’m here to tell you, it was worth the trip. Living in an area where the Pismo Beach Vets Hall qualifies as a large venue, I was suitably impressed by the size of the Anaheim Convention Center. We followed the masses to the entrance but were a little nonplussed by the dudes with signs that screamed, “Sin Brings God’s Wrath!” and “The Wages of Sin is Death!” I decided to approach one of the prognosticators and ask to be excused from impending doom because, after all, I was a mere guest of a rock-and-roller.

Then I saw a third sign that read, “Jesus Came to Save You!” and I decided to take my chances and hope that I might run into Him inside the building. God knows I could use some saving, and when wrath and death are involved, it’s always better to talk to the guy in charge.

Mick and I walked through the door and entered one gigantic cacophonous hall. Five minutes in, when I found myself on the fifth exhibit and Mick still on the first, I bid him, “Sayonara, see you at 6.” With that, I was on my own in sinner’s paradise. It was fabulous.

Sure, there were a bunch of guitars and drums and even the odd cello and French horn, but the people watching was sublime. All attendees wore a tag emblazoned with their name in a giant font and an explanation as to their connection to NAMM: That is, buyer, buyer’s guest, exhibitor, exhibitor artist, etc.

I glanced down at my own tag expecting it to say, “Sue — Old Lady Out of Her Element,” but it said “buyer’s guest.” I did my best not to embarrass my sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Joe. I’m still not sure how that worked out. At one point I passed another gray-haired woman with short hair and sandals, and we shared a look that said, “You don’t really belong here either, do you?” At least it was too warm for socks.

I also ran across “Zach Fury” looking splendiferous in black leather and silver spikes, “The Reverend” sporting full sleeve tattoos, and “Claudio” in a $2,500 Italian suit. My favorite group of boys was called IDSFA. I’m sure they were mortified when I chased them down and asked if we could take a selfie.

I promptly sent the pic to my adult children with the text, “I don’t know what IDSFA stands for, but it’s probably something obscene.” My youngest replied, “It doesn’t stand for anything.” I responded, “Oh really? How can that be?” His reply, “Mom, It.Doesn’t. Stand.For.Anything — IDSFA.” Well, duh. I liked the idea though. If I had any talent, I’d start a geezer group called “WCRS” We.Cant.Remember.S&@#.”

I never did find the booth wherein I could be saved, but so far, so good — I see no wrath on the horizon. But oh dear, here we are at the end of our time together, and I never got around to describing the joys of runway camping. There’s always next time.

Sayonara for now, and BTW, Lance mentioned that in future trips south, he’d prefer to stay at home with the dogs.