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The Parking Ramp

December 28, 2010

Poor Ricky Nugget. He’s bored out of his mind. Surgery and recovery aren’t fun for him like they have been for me. I could write an entertainment manual on the fun a person can have while recovering from major surgery.

I took pity on him and his inability to entertain himself, and took him out for a day of adventure. Well, a few hours of adventure. He’s not ready for a whole day off of the couch just yet.

We went to lunch at Burger Jones. It was The Big Nugget’s first time there. He wasn’t impressed. Which pretty much made me want to turn around and take him home. But then I should have known this would be his reaction to my favorite burger joint. He feels this way about most food. Which explains why he’s still wearing the same sized pants since the day I met him and I am not.

After lunch I took him into downtown Minneapolis for some shopping at Macy’s. Which used to be Dayton’s.And still should be but some times, the world just ain’t right.

To make it an even more adventurous adventure, I parked in my old parking ramp at the IDS Center. A parking ramp that brings me lots of memories. That I couldn’t rehash with The Big Nugget because he’s already heard those stories too many times and he was too busy focusing on the fact that I parked in the most expensive parking ramp in Minneapolis. The next most expensive parking ramp was over in the Sears Tower, in Chicago. Maybe. I don’t know. But probably. It’s not in Fargo or Des Moines, I’m guessing.

So I’ll just share an old IDS Center parking ramp memory with you:

Back in 1983-ish, I worked for Oxford Properties (Hi Kristine!) who owned the IDS Center. I was a secretary. I got a call one afternoon from Vern, the parking ramp manager – “You better get down here, quick! Bruce Springsteen is waiting for his limo!”

I bolted. To the elevator, wishing I could just open the damn elevator door and drop 28 floors for a quicker trip. Then I had to bolt to the parking elevators through the crowds of the Crystal Court.

Thank god for polyester dresses of the 70s and 80s! No wind resistance – I could streak across the Crystal Court. I can’t believe I didn’t kick off my sensible high heels!

I got onto the parking ramp elevator and beat the heck out of the P1 floor button. When the elevator landed, I bolted out the door and ran smack dab into Mr. Springsteen. Slam!

There was a quick “It’s nice to meet you!” before his people stepped toward us. I apologized, told him I was with the building owners and was just heading over to the parking ramp office for some parking ramp business and walked away.

Then I went into the parking ramp office and screamed a very excited thank you in Vern’s face.

Who then told me to chill because Clarence Clemmon’s car was just pulling up.

And Vern, being cool – unlike me, said, “Hey Clarence! Have you met my friend Kathy?”

So I got to meet Clarence Clemmons.

And I just about died.

Because we don’t get that many celebrities in the Twin Cities and I don’t know how not to act the fool.

I loved working in that building. The Big Nugget said I should work there again. Sure. I’ll just walk into the management office and tell them to make room for me. Demand free parking again.

Funny thing? The Operations Manager that’s there now is the same guy who was the Assistant Operations Manager when I worked there. (I googled him) Maybe I’ll give Thom a call and see if he needs me! Think he’ll remember me some 25+ years later?

Probably not. Besides, I doubt they give employees free parking anymore and with it being the most expensive parking ramp before you get to Chicago, I’d have to work a second job just to cover parking.

Never mind that I can’t just go walking into offices, demanding jobs.

I wonder if I’d get more than the original $12,800 annual salary I made back then.

Man, I thought I was rich when I got my first salaried job. $12,800 – medical and dental. No kids! No house! I was!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2010 9:47 am

    Oh the stories about Bruce Springsteen and the IDS parking ramp! I spent many hours waiting to see those limos pull up, but we didn’t ever bump into Bruce or Clarence. And the night they got into town before security was set up Molly Walsh and I crept down the floors listening at doors to hear if it might be Bruce. We heard someone who was undoubtedly Nils Lofgren and were too chicken to knock. Good thing really, since we were only 16 and could have gotten into all sorts of trouble we were not prepared for..

  2. December 28, 2010 10:36 am

    You have to be in Connecticut (though New York City is really a better place to fine people). So many celebrities live or visit Connecticut that you never know who might be there. Ask the girl who got her picture taken leaning against Paul Newman’s car. Or the woman who met him in the post office. (She said his eyes were really that blue! And he was very polite.)

    My middle daughter wisecracked with people like Arlo Guthrie. (Well, she’ll wisecrack with just about anyone.)

    These were real celebrities, not just manufactured for the latest tabloid blitz.

  3. December 28, 2010 3:10 pm

    I would’ve died on the spot. I love Bruce.

  4. December 29, 2010 8:46 am

    Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce! *Swoon*

  5. December 29, 2010 12:36 pm

    Kathy – you totally blow me away – Ive just read over some of your posts from the last few weeks and I don’t know where you get all the energy to do all you do.

  6. drhoctor2 permalink
    December 31, 2010 1:59 pm

    Just jumped over here because I loved your comment on Jane’s I have criticism entry and YOU MET BRUCE and CLARENCE ??!! You are a hero …I’m not any sort of good groupie but that is one of my favorite bands and Clarence is definitely my favorite saxophone player of allllll timmmmmeee. His Jungleland solo kills me dead every time I put it on..I am officially in awe of you. Officially, I say.
    Sorry about the lymphodema..that sounds pretty grim..let me know if any bloggers make fun of you for it and I shall troll them severely !! Happy New Year anyway.

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