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One Photo; One Story: Sponge Of Springsteen

“You’re jealous of a Sponge!” My wife chortled.

I said, ‘No, it’s just a dirty sponge.”

“We have Bruce Springsteen’s DNA.” She squealed and she squeezed it, the remaining water spilled out over her head just feet from the stage at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia on September 7, 2016.

We were exhausted, for four hours and 4 minutes we danced, sang and moved to a rock n roll revival. Bruce Springsteen had just finished his longest North American Concert in history right here in Philadelphia.

We stood on the floor as the lights came on, our ears ringing from standing in front of the stage, we knew we had experienced something special.

We lingered as the crowd filtered out of the ballpark. A man walking on the stage began to toss guitar picks out to the crowd. Kelly wormed her way to the barrier. She got the man’s attention and pointed to a small yellow clump laying on the floor. The man said, “You want that?” Kelly nodded an exuberant “Yes”. As he went to grab the sponge, another man tried to climb over the barrier and rip the sponge from the stagehand’s grasp. He just ended up annoying the guy who handed Kelly the sponge over the top of the other man’s head.

“We got the sponge”. Kelly yelled. With that I said, “What the hell are you going to do with that? Take a bath with it?”

Kelly looked insulted and said, “You’re jealous of this sponge.”

“No, I’m not, It’s a sponge”. I replied.

Kelly was recently looking for the sponge. I told her I haven’t seen it in a really long time. She got a strange look on her face as if I were lying. “You always hated that sponge”. She said.

“I didn’t hate the sponge”, I said as she turned and walked away.

In the past two years we’ve moved to a new home twice. The sponge became collateral damage as we downsized and decluttered both times.

“I would have never thrown away that sponge and you know it”, she exclaimed. We were now in a serious discussion over a sponge.

“You washed your truck with it, didn’t you”? She accused.

“No, I didn’t. I haven’t seen the sponge”. I shot back

So here we are in a stalemate over the Sponge of Springsteen.

The sponge came from a historical Bruce Springsteen show. The longest show in North American history. A show that I was willing to miss.

When tickets for the show went on sale, Kelly asked if I would help her get tickets at the designated time. Two computers and two cell phones would certainly be enough to get through the Ticketmaster matrix.

I said something like, “I’m not giving Bruce Springsteen another dollar of my money”. I think she said something like, “Yeah, right”.

Discussions such as this continued for the weeks leading up to the concert. I was in “downsizing” mode at the time. Cleaning up my credit and trying to sell a house in a terrible real estate environment. So, in a brief moment of insanity I uttered, “I’m not giving Bruce Springsteen another dollar of my money”.

I heard Kelly calling friends and contacts over the next few weeks trying to buddy up on getting tickets for the show.

As September 7, 2016 approached, many friends began to ask where I was sitting for the Springsteen show. “I don’t have tickets yet”. was my feeble response. A few days before the show Kelly put her foot down, “I’m going on Stub Hub and getting tickets in the last row in the last two seats. What if it’s the last time we get to see HIM?”

I had to agree.

I have lost count as to how many Springsteen shows I’ve seen since I first heard his voice coming from the radio during the Capitol Theater broadcast on WNEW in September of my Junior year in High School in 1978. I imagine it’s well over 75. Kelly probably in triple digits. We have a joke that the “No parking or Stopping” sign in front of Bruce’s home in Rumson, NJ was put there because of her.

I knew in my heart despite my money saving ideas and bold declaration that, “I’m not giving Bruce Springsteen another dollar of my money”, we would have to see Bruce at Citizen’s Bank Park. Kelly bought the tickets in the last row.

When we got to the concert Kelly said we were going to meet someone who was giving us a wristband to meet in the pit. “Where did you get those?” I asked. “I got a guy”, she said.

From the last row to the front we saw a historic night in Philadelphia. As for the sponge; it’s still missing and Kelly castes a cold eye wondering if I hated that sponge.

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