Yesterday was Jason Castro Day in Rockwall, complete with a parade through town and a free "concert" at the amphitheater at The Harbor. The boys and I went with our friends, the Thompsons, for the concert.
We got there early enough to let all the boys play in the sprinkler park for a while. It was so crowded, but they had a great time. Caleb, Jacob, and Mason mostly stayed together on the fringe of all the activity, but Matthew got right there in the middle of everything. He had a blast! It was hard keeping an eye on all the boys, but Caleb and Jacob had on bright orange and yellow shirts, so they were fairly easy to spot.
After about 20 minutes or so, we got the boys rounded up and went to find a place to picnic while we waited for the concert to begin. After we ate, we found a spot closer to the stage. The boys were disappointed that we couldn't see Jason from where we were. We couldn't hear from there, either, so we moved again. As it turned out, we weren't missing anything yet. There was about 30 minutes worth of speeches (from his "manager", the mayor, and a few other local bigwigs) and presentations of a key to the city and other awards. Then there were a few interview questions. The boys did remarkably well during all this. I think it helped that they found a small cedar tree nearby they kept trying to climb.
Finally it was time for him to sing! He started off with "Daydream", then proceeded to sing something I didn't recognize. Then there was a brief "intermission" - a short speech and prayer by his pastor. Jason took to the stage again to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", complete with ukelele, and ended his set with "Deep in the Heart of Texas". I thought for sure he would sing "Hallelujah". I was really hoping he would. But no, he was done. Another band started tuning up for their 7:30 performance.
At one point during the concert, we found a spot where we could catch a glimpse of him. We took turns holding the boys up so they could see him, too. I think that satisfied them - and thankfully they didn't ask to be held up too many times. They're too heavy for that! Oh, and when I got my camera out to try to snap a shot of him onstage, I realized my battery was dead. Go figure! That always seems to happen...
I thought it was really neat that Jason arrived at the amphitheater via sailboat on Lake Ray Hubbard. Once he reached the pier, he walked along touching hands until he reached the walkway leading to the stage. I wish we had known he was coming in that way! We heard several girls talking about how he had touched their hands or how they had touched his hair, followed by, "I'll never wash this hand again!" It was funny seeing the teenage guys there, too. Mostly they were following their girlfriends around and saying (in high-pitched voices), "Oh! Jason Caaasssstroooo!"
Jason did really well at his "concert" - much better than he did on his last few appearances on American Idol. My friend Kim goes to his church and had heard that he wasn't happy in Hollywood, that he didn't like the fast pace or the pressures of being there. Apparently he intentionally didn't do well during his later performances because he wanted to come home and was trying to get voted off. I recall Simon saying something about him looking relieved when he had been voted off. He did, and apparently was.
It was interesting seeing all the people there, all different ages and races. The news reported "thousands of fans" were there, but I don't know if there was much of a way to count that crowd, unless the news helicopters circling overhead were doing it somehow. There were those who went to see and those who went to be seen... I saw one woman (probably late 40s or early 50s) strolling around in a bikini. Her motto must be you can never be too dark. She didn't have a healthy tan; it was more like she'd burned to a crisp, only she wasn't red.
All in all, it was a fun evening. My only regret is that I didn't think beforehand to recharge my camera battery!
And a bonus: I got home in time to watch the last hour and forty minutes of the LOST finale. When it was over, I went back and watched the first 20 minutes. (I remembered to record it so Billy can see it when he gets back from his trip.)