July 13, 2001
Stevie Nicks Drags His Heart Around, But Mark Doesn't Mind
By ALAINE GRIFFIN
Stevie Nicks will try to cast her spell on fans in Hartford tonight, but she's already got a hold on Mark, among the first in line when tickets went on sale not long ago.
I met this most ardent of admirers while waiting on line at Strawberry's in North Haven. He could hardly contain his excitement about "his" goddess' summer tour.
The man, balding and slightly hunched over, stood there by himself, peering through thick glasses, clutching a Connecticut Transit schedule in one hand and a crumpled ball of $20 bills in the other.
I got in line behind him. "So, what did you get Stevie?" he asked me.
"Huh?" I replied. People around me laughed and rolled their eyes. Some walked away. Perhaps he had tried that one on them already.
"I made her a CD of songs I wrote for her," he said. "Maybe I'll get her some flowers. It's so nice of her to come to Hartford for us." I didn't know what to say but in an effort to be nice, I discussed news about her latest tour.
He replied with more information, then offered, "I got her flowers last year for her birthday."
"You are a fan," I said. "So, when is her birthday?"
He continued to spout Nicks trivia with the agility of Dustin Hoffman counting cards in "Rain Man." I spent the morning learning about Nicks and the stories behind her often sad and troubled songs.
"I know when she sings at the Meadows, she's gonna look right at me," Mark said.
I think he really believed that.
After several customers purchased multiple tickets for the concert, Mark stepped to the counter. Proudly and loudly, he said, "One, please," and handed the cashier the wad of bills. He didn't have enough, and while searching for coins in a small change purse, he dropped his bus schedule. The cashier rolled his eyes.
"How long do you think the concert will last?" Mark asked the cashier while settling his transaction with a pile of coins.
The cashier rolled his eyes again and sighed.
"Um, how long do you think the concert will be?" the man asked even more nicely.
No answer again.
"I would say about two or three hours long," I said.
"Thank you," he said as he extended his hand. His eyes, blurred from the thickness of his glasses, looked to be going in all different directions. "My name is Mark."
"Nice to meet you," I said as I felt the stares of the other concertgoers.
"Maybe I'll see you at the concert," he said, then left.
"All he did was ask you a question," I barked at the cashier. "He's taking the bus from New Haven to the Meadows and needed to know what time he has to catch the bus back."
"Huh?" the cashier replied.
I bought my two tickets and left.
Maybe I will run into Mark at the show tonight at the ctnow.com Meadows Music Centre. I just hope he doesn't miss the bus.
I'm not even sure if it will get him there.