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Trips to Radio City

My stories are usually about our traditions revolving around food, family and holidays. Maybe I’ll try something different this time
Maybe some of you watched the Radio City show on Netflix. I did, and watching it made me think about  a family tradition, which started in 1988 and ended in 2001. When I was a teenager our family went to radio city, at the time I never wanted to go, because I was more interested in staying home and listening to records etc. It just wasn’t ”cool” to go with my parents.   Going back to 1988, Alayna was 4, and one day Sharon said we were going to see the Show. We got up and drove to the westside highway, and then into the city. We ended up with tickets in the second row of the orchestra section on the right side.
Well! When I saw the show, I absolutely loved it. I can remember telling Sharon, that I was a dummy for not going with my parents, I missed out. That however prompted me to convince Sharon that we should bring as many people to see this show as I could.  I had run buses before, to rock concerts. (a completely different audience, but the business was about the same) so I knew how to go about getting a bus and buying and selling large amount of tickets. No one better than Sharon at selling tickets.
Most were sold to Family and Friends. We were blessed each year to sell the bus out. A couple times we did 2 buses. We always did this on the day before thanksgiving. Tickets were always half price on this day, and there was a  matinee show. I don’t remember exactly what the price was but as a group we would get orchestra tickets for about $30.00 to 35.00 per person. And the bus and insurance came out to about the same per person. Therefore the price ended up about the same or a little less than just the orchestra show ticket on another day.  In those days we used a telephone call to request a group order form, and then to order tickets you had to either make a second phone call on a specific date or mail in your form.
Sharon would sell the tickets and I always would take care of the itinerary. Family would help out too, Donna, cousin Peachy, and other close family would bake cookies, and other special treats for the bus ride. Peachy would tell us jokes  and have everybody laughing in no time.
I would always make sure we would leave by 8am even though the show time was 2pm. I wanted everyone to have some time to walk around and get some lunch and or shop. Rockefeller Center is between Radio City and 5th Ave. There are many other famous stores and places within 2 or 3 blocks. Radio City is on 6th Ave between West 50th  and West 51st  Streets. They don’t let buses park there so we can only drop off and pick up. We’d always  get off bus on West 51st  Street in front of Radio City or as close to that as we could get. The reason for this was the elevators in Radio city all lead to the West 51st street exits and entrance. The drop off was always very organized or easy. The challenge was the pick up. I had to make sure everyone understood, that after the show, they had only one priority, find Me, ,Sharon and the bus and get on it!
I still have my instructions for after the show. This is what I made sure everyone understood
The show was 90 minutes. It starts at 2pm sharp!! Try to get to your seat buy 1:30. The organ players start 15 minutes prior, and the theater lights are still on, it’s a wonderous theater.  By all means go to restroom before show Starts! Remember to exit and head to west 51st Street. The best way to figure out which exits went to 51st street was the Elevators all exit to 51st Street! If you don’t see me or the bus or feel overwhelmed on exit, stay as close to the exits on west 51st street as possible, I’ll come and get you. It worked out great. We had a few people who I had to find over the years, I won’t name them but I probably remember that the most.
The last time was in 2000 because, the following year I was afraid to chance it because, of the 911 attacks.  We did one trip to Radio city with Lodge in 2008. When this is over perhaps we should go again. We’ll see!

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