The Magic Ticket – Episode One

From Dallas Doctor’s “World Without Love ~ A Collection of Short Stories that Together Tell a Story” (pages 60-61):


The Magic Ticket ~ Episode One
by Dallas Doctor

(Summer 1965)



I couldn’t believe it was real. 

When she handed it to me, all the air left my body. 

It took me several seconds to figure out what was happening. 

When all that air finally came rushing back in, I almost jumped up on her kitchen counter and started dancing around.  But I was afraid she might not let me keep it if I did that, so I just danced up-and-down in place, waving the ticket wildly over my head. 

As soon as I could manage it, I leapt up, threw my arms around her neck and gave her the warmest, most meaningful, most thankful, most sincerest, most heart-felt hug in the entire history of hugs. 

Then I steadied myself and readied my eyes and carefully inspected every detail of that incredibly wonderful magical ticket again and again and again.

“August 22nd, 1965, Portland Memorial Coliseum, Section 208, Row A, Seat 3, Entry TT, Main Floor, $6.00, In Concert, The Beatles.”

Un!  Be!  Liev!  Able!

Toby Fuller’s Mother bought me a Beatles ticket. 


The Beatles. 

I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t even know she liked me.  I had always only said, “Hello, Mrs. Fuller,” to be polite whenever I came over and then I always went straight down to Toby’s room.  Toby’s room was where I learned to play guitar.

Toby Fuller showed me my first chord.  He explained to me which three chords went together.  He taught me the names of each string and which notes were on which frets.  Toby Fuller taught me how to tune my guitar and how to keep playing even when the blisters on my fingers started to bleed. 

And now his mother had bought me a Beatles ticket.

When I got home, I was so giddy with excitement that I was absolutely blind-sided by the reaction (which in hindsight, I should have known was coming).

“You’ll have to give it back.”

“What?  No!  Wait?  What?  No!  Why?”

“First of all, it’s The Beatles.  They’re just a fad.  Secondly, you’re too young to being going to any concerts – especially Rock ’n’ Roll concerts.  But most importantly, and this is final, August 22nd is a Sunday.  I don’t know what the Fullers do on Sunday in their house, but as for us and our family, in this house, we remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” 

All the air left my body again. 

But this time, it didn’t return. 

It was over. 

I could have argued that The Beatles were more than just a fad.  And I could have pleaded that my tender age shouldn’t disqualify me from experiencing such an important historical event.  But I didn’t even try, because I knew I was never going to get around that third thing – the Sabbath thing.

Numb, I knocked on Mrs. Fuller’s door.  She answered.  I tried to hand her back the ticket.  She wouldn’t take it.  I explained about the Sabbath.  She still wouldn’t take it.  She offered to talk to my parents.  I told her it wouldn’t do any good.  She was sorry.  It was her turn to gave me a hug.  She told me to keep the ticket anyway, to put it away, to save it, and to not tell my parents.

I didn’t tell them.  I saved it.  I put it in my treasure chest with my Baby Book and my school pictures and my birthday cards and my Certificate of Baptism.

Toby Fuller told me that the concert was the best thing that ever happened to him in his whole life and that someday my unused ticket would probably be worth a lot of money.  He told me to keep the ticket in what he called “…mint condition.”  He explained I should put it in plastic, keep it pressed flat and away from the air, and to be super careful with it.

I did everything he said.  I kept it stashed secretly away. 

Through the years, I dug through my treasure chest from time to time to make sure it was still there, but I never actually touched that ticket again.  I only looked at it through my deep disappointment and its protective plastic covering.




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