Multiple Sclerosis is always impossible to predict. Armed with her new winter hat and mittens Patti was suddenly up for a street party with temps in the low 30’s and a ‘winter mix’ intermittently falling.
I had intended to take her to a movie but instead we headed to Carlisle’s “First Night”. It’s a festival that combines outdoor activities with a half a dozen shows available in venues around the town square. 2,000 people attend, on average, annually.
Accessibility in historic old towns is not exactly a strong point but everyone was simply extraordinary about ‘making it possible’. For example the first show we wanted to attend was a rock and blues concert held in the old historic courthouse in the main courtroom. Upon arriving we discovered that not only was seating not wheelchair accessible but you had to walk up three flights of stairs to get to the old courtroom.
A police officer overhearing our dilemma offered a solution if Patti didn’t mind riding a freight elevator. He walked us around to the loading dock were we joined the band and equipment in the elevator. Once on the correct floor, then the problem was the only way to seating was through the band. ‘Stamper Lumber’ (that’s the band’s name out of Oregon) were so accommodating about making room for Patti to roll through their set. It was genuinely a welcomed feeling and teamwork that got her there.
It was like that anywhere we encountered an accessibility challenge. People were unbelievable.
The clopping of hoofs on the street from horse drawn carriages amused Patti and the horses found her intriguing. (Animals always seem fascinated by wheelchairs.)
No champagne and midnight but Patti did make it to 10:30 playing in the streets on a freezing damp night to end 2005.