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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rain o'er me.

Burchfield 3rd Grade sings the National Anthem at PNC Park

I'm a little late in posting this story, but it's better to tell it now that not at all. For the past few years, the music teacher at Lauren's school has arranged for the 3rd grade class to sing the National Anthem at PNC Park where the Pittsburgh Pirates game. When 3rd grade began, one of the first things that Lauren said to me was, "I am NOT singing the National Anthem." So I was pleasantly surprised that she changed her mind once April rolled around.

The big day was scheduled for Wednesday, June 11th. Tickets were purchased and the kids practiced there "O'er"s. When the day arrived, it was sunny and warm. Except the forecast was 100% chance of rain and a tornado watch for right around the time the kids were supposed to sing.

Since Lauren had to meet her classmates at the park no later than 5:30 PM, Mark left early to drop her off. Mel C, my dad and I headed down separately about an hour later, around 5:15 PM. As we arrived in the city, we could see that the sky was very dark, and just as we entered the park, it began to sprinkle. As we headed up the ramp to find our seats, we stopped to look across the park towards the section where we would be sitting. There we saw a lone person sitting in our section - Mark. We waved and continued on to meet him.

Our seats were in section 308, but once we got to around to section 320 the rain and the wind was so strong that the PNC Park employees waved us into an elevator hallway. There was a small window at the end of the hallway, but you couldn't see anything outside because the rain was coming down so hard. I called Mark to let him know where we were and to find out if he had gotten to safety. Everyone that was sitting in the stands were told to take refuse in the kitchen of a nearby concession stand. He didn't get any free food though.

After about fifteen minutes, the rain subsided enough that we could leave the safety of the hallway, but it was still coming down pretty good. We eventually met up with Mark along with some of our family and friends and spent a good bit of the evening speculating if they were going to cancel the game. Eventually, the rain stopped completely, and they started to remove the tarp from the field. The show really was going to go on, just like in the song!

At 8:30 PM, an hour and a half late, the moment that I waited three years for finally came:

About a half inning into the game, Lauren made her way to our seats no worse for wear, but very hungry and a little irritated for having sat around waiting for three hours. After a hot dog, cotton candy and a drink, she was ready to enjoy a few innings of the game and even got to cheer for a couple of runs scored by the Pirates.

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