Tomorrow, I leave for Cooperstown and Gettysburg. As part of my final preparations, I logged onto the Gettysburg Reenactment website to order my tickets for the event. My assumption was that I would purchase and print my tickets. I was surprised to learn that my only option is to order the tickets and pick them up at Will Call in Gettysburg.
At most events, dealing with Will Call isn't a big problem. However, I anticipate the probability of a major hassle for this event. First, the event is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators. It's likely that the lines will be very long and disorganized. Next, I'll be with my 12U baseball team in Cooperstown on July 4th--over 300 miles from Gettysburg. I plan to stop in Harrisburg to photograph the Pennsylvania Capitol building on my way to Gettysburg. But, Will Call closes at 6 PM on July 4th. This forces me to accelerate my plans and to skip the Harrisburg portion of my trip.
Literally minutes before placing my order for tickets, I received the following message from a fellow member of a photography internet forum (the Fred Miranda Forums) who I have never met:
"As it turns out, I will not be able to attend this year's Gettysburg Reenactment, so if you have any use for some tickets or know someone who might use them, I'll send them over. I have General Admission 4th through the 7th and Grandstand for the 5th and 6th am and pm on both. I'm in Chicago this week Tuesday through Thursday so I'm sure we could connect easy. Let me know if you can use them, free of course."
I replied immediately as securing these tickets in advance allows me to avoid the whole Will Call situation and also gives me more time on July 4th in Cooperstown and Harrisburg. Given that the Fred Miranda Forum members live all over the country, and the world for that matter, it is highly coincidental that this Wisconsin resident would happen to be arriving in Chicago for business on the day before I am leaving for the trip!
We then determined where to meet to exchange the tickets. I assumed that I would be driving downtown, dealing with heavy traffic, parking in some expensive lot and meeting this individual in some office building--which would have all been worth it! Instead, he is spending the day at the Original Rainbow Cone--one of the oldest ice cream parlors located on the south side of Chicago. Coincidentally, this is a place that our family visited quite often when I was a kid--and a convenient place to meet.
My Cooperstown/Gettysburg photography trip is off to a great start!