Me & My Tickets
What happens when you start rummaging through that old box full of ticket stubs?
Story by John Davidson | Photos by Allie Hine
I keep all my ticket stubs in my memory box, a plastic tub full of high school news clippings and ribbons and little stray pieces of my life, things I’m worried I might forget. Pulling out the tickets is a visceral peek at my past, cherished treasures buried by the sands of time. Although the ink is fading and the paper is starting to fray, the memories in those tickets are carved into my mind.
And what memories they are — amazing nights where legends were made, shows that brought unexpected greatness from the warm-up act, nights filled with beer-fueled tomfoolery, moments filled with goat-horned enthusiasm and, of course, concerts that somehow let me down. I also can’t help but daydream of the many other missing trinkets, shows where I drunkenly lost the ticket or where the privilege of being on the guest list cost me the stub. It’s a whirlwind tour of my life that I’m reluctant to acknowledge as the past.
That’s because in beginning, a ticket is a promise. It is a dream to connect with something magical, and the greatest of all tickets fall into your hands as if from the foil of a Wonka Bar. And so as I roll backwards with these mementos, I also remember the tickets I camped out for, the tickets that caused me to circle a faraway date in my calendar, the tokens that I saved for a special girl who didn’t even know my name yet. My ticket stubs aren’t just memories; they represent the potent dreams of possibility.
Back in the day, we used to say, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old!” Music was the sport of youth and damned be those who got in the way. But we were wrong: To be young isn’t about volume; it’s about having more dreams than memories. Rifling through all these ticket stubs, I am not overwhelmed with nostalgia for my past youth. Instead, I’m inspired to new dreams — and to buy more tickets.