Monday, November 26, 2007

tonic nora

I’m always overwhelmed and so dang tired after the Tonic Ball that I never write about it properly.

It is my favorite day of the year. The day that I feel the most complete. A day of generosity, good will, community and music. It is the one day of the year where almost everything that I hold dear is in one place. The day when I feel the most like myself.

I am thankful that founders Ken and Becky Honeywell invited me to join them after the first year. I get to soak in all of the bigheartedness from the musicians and fans. It just blows me away that over 30 bands donate their time and talent on a Friday night. It amazes me that I’m able to convince a few musician friends to lend their equipment for unknown people to pound on their drums and plug in to their amps. I’m stunned that we can convince over a 100 musicians that they can do 10-minute changeovers and hold them to it. I am humbled that people will wait in line to get in to the venues – and pay a $20 cover charge. I stunned by all of the love the media gives to the event.

This year I was also a financial sponsor. When I committed to it this summer, I was feeling flush. Pre-mortage. Before I knew that I had to empty my savings account for the down payment. But when I wrote the check for $1000 it felt good - because I was giving 'til it hurt and I knew the money would be used wisely.

We got to set up all of the back-line equipment at Radio Radio on Thursday night, which was a huge weight off of my shoulders. That saved a lot of scrambling before the show on Friday.

Tonic Week started off in a great way with the Barfly cartoon. On Tonic Ball morning WTTS (a local radio station) arraigned to have Mick Jones of the Clash give a message to the Tonic Ball musicians, “don’t murder his songs.” It was really cool and he talked about Second Helpings and how great he thought the Tonic Ball is.

I worked most of the day and ran home to change. I was nervous about it, but I wore a short black dress, fishnets, biker boots and the same black (heavy in weight and with zippers) leather jacket that I wore twenty-five years ago.

The Tonic Gallery was a blast. The bench that Dad made sold right away for $400, the “buy it now” bid price.

The Tonic Ball was a blast. Over 600 people poured in to the two venues. The enthusiasm was palatable. I got to be in my best “Nora” mode – project management. Making sure bands were in the right place, volunteers were doing their thing and everything was relatively on time. I got to run around like a nut for a good cause.

Tons of my friends (bloggers included – Kim, Bad Influence Girl and Jerry) were there. Another friend from Evansville surprised me by coming down. Dean emceed the Madonna room and did a great job – even introducing me from stage and announcing that I was single (I don’t know if I could have blushed any harder). I got to announce the bands in the Clash room a few times. It is such a rush to hear all of those people cheering for something as simple as “I’m Nora Spitznogle, director of operations for Second Helpings and I have the best job in the world.”

The icing on the cake was when Barfly gave me the artwork from the Tonic Ball cartoon.

Yes, it is the day that I feel the most like myself.


Cliff said...

Wow Nora. I've read every word I've missed and you are one busy lady. I'm so glad the Ball was a smashing success. It's folks like you that keep this old world turning. It is very generous of you.
I loved the vacation stories and pics. Yes I've thought of starting a restaurant many times. I think I would love it.
Take care now. I hope the decompression doesn't get to you..

Kim said...

I've said it before, but it bears all did a FANTASTIC job with Tonic Ball again this year. It's always such a good time for a great, great cause. I was happy to be there this year, and I'll be there next year too!

Once again, kudos and high-fives to everyone involved.

BTW...I brought up the problem of female singers/bands with a deep enough catalog to sustain coverage by 15 bands with a few of my friends. The consensus was that Heart seems like a winner. Maybe you can consider them for next year!

Jamie Dawn said...

This is SO GREAT, and I found myself so excited and happy for you as I read about the Tonic Ball.

You were a $1000 donor PLUS you worked your tail off. You are racking up some huge jewels in your heavenly crown, my dear.


The event sounds wonderful.
I am glad it went off spendidly and that lots of money was raised. Well done!!

It's great that Jerry was there too. One of these days, I plan to meet both you and Jerry. I just missed him when he came through AR.
If not before, then I will surely meet you at Blogstock '08 - when we are both Skinny Minnies... PLEASE oh please Lord - take the calories out of my food!!!!!

Really, Nora, you are one special lady!

Granny Annie said...

Ditto Jamie Dawn. You said it all for Nora The Great!

Jerry said...

I'm way behind on my blog reading. I must catch up...some day.

I'm in Houston now for a month, back for two weeks at Christmas, and then back to Houston for 3 weeks.

Loved hearing the guy bands singing Madonna's songs. Stacia did a great job with La Isla Bonita.

Rachel said...

I am just catching up on reading all about your vacation (which looked wonderful from the pictures I might add!!!), and now to you being back at home and back to being oh so busy Nora!!

What a wonderful cause and you were so generous!! Maybe the announcement that you were single will bring on the men!! :)

gel said...

Hi Nora,
Wowsers! Music and retro costuming combined w/ raising $ for a good cause and loads of fun: great combo. I may have to vote for blogfest to be the Tonic Ball the following yr!

As I just replied on your May post where you met Cliff, I'm here via his links. Been enjoying his blog for a few yrs now and reading your comments there. Nice to meet you.
I saw there that Jerry convinced you to blog. Well, you're a natural! WONDERFUL post! You must have worked so hard! I'll be back. (Scary, huh? ;)

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

That sounds like a really fun event. I can't imagine anyone saying no to you when you ask then to help out with the event. Nice that Jerry and your friends made it down. As for your donation, you will always be able to make more money and you are so right it went to a good cause.

Tee said...

That is AWESOME. So much generosity. I hope that you are all blessed 10 fold for all the good you do.

Jamie Dawn said...

I guess you're still plum tuckered from that Tonic Ball.