On Bargains, Strippers, and Dreams Come True

Strippers? Okay, now that I have your attention, let me share with you a travel tale of woe, but one that has a happy ending…and a bit of laughter, too. If you have read my blog for a while, you know that I- like my mother Heavy D before me- have…things…happen to me. Crazy goofy things that don’t happen to most normal people. Mom was a magnet for stuff like that, and it must be genetic, because, dear lord, sometimes…

Heavy D and Coops sharing some love four years ago…

As I prepared for my recruiting trip to the Florida Music Educators Conference in Tampa, I was mindful of saving money for my university. I hopped onto Priceline and was dismayed to see the prices of hotels anywhere near the convention center were sky high. I shook my head, squinched up my eyes and clicked on the mystery hotel option, which I swore I would never do again, as last year it took me to a horrible Ramada Inn that smelled strongly of Indian food (which I love, but I don’t want to sleep in it), was noisy all night, and was literally right next door to The Doll House…a “gentlemen’s club,” aka, strip club.

Tampa, a strip club on every corner…the pole contest was a nice touch.

I found a really good price on a place that was not too far away and looked pretty decent:

Not too shabby!

Hmmmm….I was only going to be there for two nights, and then really only to sleep and shower. I didn’t need fancy- just clean and safe, so I clicked the purchase button and said a prayer that I’d not made a mistake. What could go wrong? I should always remember my dad’s saying, “you get what you pay for.”

I even looked on Google Earth and looked around. However, upon arrival I discovered that Google Earth hadn’t been forthright; they had neglected to show me what that building hiding behind the truck was…drumroll, please…

A freaking strip club. I, Mary Poppins, had yet again cast my lot in with the underbelly of society thanks to Priceline. I’m no prude or anything, but I’m just not a pasties kind of gal. At this point, I just want to know- is someone trying to tell me something? Things got even better at 5am when I awoke to the *melodious* sounds of two people in the room next to me going at it like cats in a bag. I didn’t know whether to applaud or laugh at the end of their impressively dramatic performance. Wow. It was definitely a moment when I wished I’d have been able to bring my clarinets with me to the conference. Oh, the possibilities…

Ready to recruit!

Things got much better after I made it over to the convention center after my sleepless night. I reconnected with several former students and colleagues and enjoyed walking around the raucous exhibit area for a bit. But the very best thing of all was this:

After years of work, blood, sweat, and tears, I went to my publisher’s booth in the exhibit hall, Carl Fischer Music, New York, and received the best gift ever; the first copy of my book on my mentor, Kalmen Opperman: A Legacy of Excellence. Holding it my hands brought tears to my eyes, and I stood for a moment absolutely humbled that this dream had come true, wishing that both Kal and my mom were still alive to share in the excitement with me….and then I realized that they had been with me on the journey all along.

Oh, my gosh- it’s on Amazon! What a strange and wonderful feeling to see that.

What a great trip this has been, strippers and all. Okay- maybe not the strippers part…or the hotel from Hell…but the rest of it. Priceline and I are going to do things differently for my next trip to Tampa. I’m all about saving money for my school, but as a newly published author I think I at least rate a room without pole dancing options. And maybe thicker walls. Heck, I’m even holding out for a breakfast buffet.

Tampa Convention Center…


6 thoughts on “On Bargains, Strippers, and Dreams Come True

  1. That is absolutely fantastic! My goal in life is to be a published author, and it’s never too late, I always tell myself. Congratulations to you on what is a wonderful achievement. (I would probably pick that book up and down a zillion times, just to feel it in my hands and look at the cover w/my name on it…)

  2. Congratulations! The book looks wonderful! As for the strip clubs, well, it is better than having the stripper pounding on your door looking for sanctuary ( I wrote a post about my mother’s experience on Xanga back in 2015)…

    1. How awful about the stripper pounding on your mother’s door- yikes! I am going to choose my hotels very carefully from now on. 😉 Thank you about the book- I am so excited and grateful. ❤️

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