So the four of us sure had fun during the ride back to Madison that night! Lots of giggles, to say the least, and lots of fatherly questions that were both semi-serious and not even close to being semi-serious. It turns out that Sean had never done this before; he's a bit shy and when I contacted Chris's mother and related the story she was amused by the thought of the rest of the band urging and prodding him to take the step! (he did have the great taste to pick out an outstandingly beautiful and talented young woman...I will give him that! >g<)
In the next couple of years Monica and Sean got together quite often...Monica would fly to several of Nickel Creek's gigs and went on a couple of bus trips with them as well. She got to go to some fabulous festivals...the Newport Folk Festival and the Austin City Limits Festival come to mind. She called me while walking around the Austin festival and she knew that her Daddy would be mighty jealous of where she was! When she came to Merlefest with me she warned me up front that she wouldn't be hanging around with me much on Friday.... Over the course of her hangin' out with Sean she got to meet many famous musicians; just the other day I mentioned Lyle Lovett for some reason and she told me: "he's a really nice guy..." Oh. The time I was the most jealous was when she got to see a Mark O'Connor concert that I would have LOVED to see! She was able to get Mark to sign the cd for me, though....>g<
Monica is not the kind of person that gets starstruck, in any sense of the word. She does appreciate folks with talent, as we all do, but would never put a person on a pedestal for only that reason. So it was very refreshing to hear that she really liked the members of the band and that they had no ego issues at all. She told me that she would get a charge out of Chris, for he took an extreme interest in everything that was goin' on around him. She also really liked Mark Schatz, who was playing bass with the group during this time. She told me that after the Newport Folk Festival they were all sitting around on the bus when Sara noticed a large group of people waiting around for the buses to take them back to the parking area. It was apparently a long wait so she exclaimed: "Let's go play for them." So the entire group grabbed their instruments, hopped off the bus and gave an impromptu concert for the folks waiting....which actually set the bus schedule off; the security folks had to shut the concert down because the people were not that interested in getting on the buses anymore! There was another time when they did the same thing for a bunch of folks who were stranded in the rain, waiting for it to let up.
And in the course of this time that Monica and Sean were seeing each other (I don't know how many times I heard: "we're NOT dating, Father...we're JUST friends..."), Nickel Creek won a Grammy, so I of course had visions of having a Grammy-winning guitar player son in law. (yet another >g<) It was a fun time, to be sure, and a great family source of humor and speculation.
And in the end I suppose that they were "just friends", for Monica met a man who she fell in love with. And while Jeff doesn't play a guitar, he is a wonderful husband, son in law, brother in law, etc....and for the last year and a half he's been a wonderful father! Monica and he became the parents of Malia Mae, my more than beautiful precious granddaughter and come June they will be parents again when my next more than beautiful and precious granddaughter Keeli Ann will be born! (Monica is an ultrasound tech, so she knows exactly whats' goin' on inside her!)
Monica and Jeff and Malia Mae