As I write this it is December 24th and my 48th birthday. The number 24 has always been my lucky number, and now my age is 24 doubled.
I am not a numerologist, I just have weird things happen to me regarding this number and then….there is Streisand.
When I was about 9 years old I first saw the movie Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. Her tour de force performance blew me away. With Babs you either love her or hate her and for me it was love at first sight! In one scene, as Fanny is racing to her love, Nicky Arnstein, she is aboard a tug boat on the Hudson River. She is singing Don’t Rain on My Parade and as the camera pans around, you see it is the number 24 tug boat. Knowing now about Streisand, what I didn’t know then, that 24 was no mistake. Streisand was born on April 24, 1942 and 24 has always carried weird luck for her as well.
On February 24, 1987 Babs won the Grammy for best pop performance by a female. In her acceptance speech she went down a laundry list of great things that had happened to her associated with the number 24, including the award she was accepting. That is when I knew for sure that the number 24 was one thing Barbra Streisand and I had in common!!
Through the years I have seen all of her movies, good and bad. I have bought or downloaded all of her music and watched every TV interview, scant as they are.
I love music of all types, I have pretty eclectic taste, from Nine Inch Nails to Andrea Bocelli, but Streisand is the mainstay.
In 2006 Streisand announced a rare tour. I had missed her tours in 1994 and in 2000 because of varying reasons, but now was my chance! On November 18th she was singing at the MGM in Las Vegas! I booked the trip and purchased the seat online. Needless to say, it was the most expensive concert ticket I have ever bought, at $700.00.
My partner, well, …let’s just say she doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the perfection that IS Streisand. She stayed home. I have no problem going to Vegas alone, have done that before, but my friend Bob decided he would meet me there. He lives in Minnesota and the chance to thaw out in November was appealing to him. Mind you, he would be engaging in all types of debauchery while there….and during the concert, I understood the agreement.
The big night arrived. I was going to be in the same enclosed space as my musical idol. Albeit with 20,000 other people, but damn it, I was going to be there!! I was staying at another hotel on the strip so I grabbed a taxi and headed to the MGM at the appointed time.
Upon arrival, the crowd was being directed to the back of the casino where the entrance to the Grand Arena was, more like “herded” as we walked the center isle, thousands strong. Streisand fans are varied, old and young, gay and straight, terribly weird, and freakish. Picture Richard Simmons being “subtle.”
Right at the last turn to enter the arena was a roulette table with two men seated at it. Now I am a gambler, so the fact that I chose to place a bet is not unusual, but what followed is…
I walked up to the table, looked at the dealer and made the following statement. “I have waited all of my life to see Barbra Streisand. Her lucky number is 24 and so is mine. I am walking into the concert right now. I am betting $20.00 straight up on 24. Roll 24 please.”
The two men at the table looked at me like I was at the “freakish” end of the Streisand fan demographic. They had one dollar chips scattered about and continued to scatter. My twenty bucks was placed on black 24 and the dealer let the wheel spin.
I wish I could have taken at picture of the three of their faces when the ball bounced all around and then snuggled safely into the black 24 slot! I just started laughing, joyously laughing!
The dealer asked me if I knew how much money I had just won, as the odds on a straight up bet were 35 to 1?? I just won one ticket, to the show of a lifetime, I replied.
I had tears in my eyes that night as Streisand sang Don’t Rain on My Parade just as strongly and clearly as she had on that tugboat so many years before…..and $700.00 in chips in my pocket. Lucky, huh?