Lakeside, Ohio….more than just a David Cassidy concert!
I had never heard of Lakeside, Ohio until I saw it on the 2013 concert list on David Cassidy's website.
Naively, I tried calling Hoover Auditorium as this was the venue listed for the concert, but I could never find a phone number or website for this venue. Eventually, I found a website for what I believed to be the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce. I called the phone number and on the other end of the line was a very nice woman, Ann Miller (who I now consider to be a dear friend).
I began asking Ann how I might purchase tickets for David Cassidy's concert. She started explaining about gate passes, Chautauqua and how I had reached the Administration Office...there is no Chamber of Commerce. A little baffled, I kept listening.
She went on to tell me more about the history of Lakeside and how it was originally a Methodist community.....WHAT??? I am a Methodist way down here in TEXAS!!! How could I not know this?
Within the week, I received brochures, a newsletter and a DVD from Ann telling me more about Lakeside and the Chautauqua Movement. This sounded like an unbelievable place! As soon as I could, I ordered gate passes and made reservations at the Fountain Inn for myself and a friend who would accompany me on the road trip from Texas to Lakeside.
The minute we drove through the gates, I knew God had led me to Lakeside for more than just a David Cassidy concert! We had stepped back into time and were immediately enamored by the streets lined with picturesque Victorian houses, the Christian themed sidewalk chalk art, the quaint shops and restaurants, the historic Hotel Lakeside, the beauty of Lake Erie, and the laughter of children enjoying time with their families (NOT TEXTING OR WATCHING VIDEOS).
And the people of this wonderful community were the icing on the cake! EVERYONE we met was friendly and welcoming. Shirley Stary introduced my friend and me at the Friday night jazz concert as the two girls who had driven from Texas to see David Cassidy (the following night). From then on, we were celebrities. Once people heard our accents or found out we were from Texas they asked, "Are you the girls who drove here from Texas for David Cassidy?"
I cannot even begin to tell you how welcoming Ann Miller in the Administration Office made us feel. She was our "go to" person for everything, and she even sat with us at the concert (sorry Ann...hope you don't mind me sharing that).
We shared enough about our own personal lives and situations that, as I said, I now consider us to be dear friends! I took about a dozen or so Lakeside brochures home with me and began telling everyone about this beautiful place.
Surprisingly, I discovered a few folks in my church that had visited Lakeside as children or who had taken their own children there when they were young.
I managed to deplete my brochure supply in less that a week. Ann sent me a second batch, which is now almost depleted as well.
I laughed and told her I was the Texas Chapter of the Lakeside/Chautauqua Administration Office! So don't be surprised if y'all see an increase in the number of Texans and Oklahomans in Lakeside over the next few years!
I think even David Cassidy was aware of the uniqueness of Lakeside as he stated at his concert that it was a setting straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Looking forward to my next trip to Lakeside!