The first even marginally attractive girl of the opening night of Summerfest 2013 just happened to be the year’s top Summerfest girl. Now the sighting was disappointingly, and infuriatingly, cut short in the cruelest way, but the storyline of the sighting’s early demise was the key component that will put this sighting in the Summerfest Hall of Fame. Confused yet? Allow me to set the stage…
The comparatively sparse Thursday night crowd in the beer gardens is mostly bad news as you stand out more looping around the same general area, but it worked to my favor that night as the back corner of the beer gardens where smokers tend to congregate was wide open…..with a middle-aged woman smoking a cigarette in the back and a much younger crowd in front of her. As I approached, with my eyes focused on the younger trio, I couldn’t help but notice that the girl with her back to me looked about 14 from her rear profile…and she was the only one of the three smoking a cigarette!!! I was admiring this profile and getting more excited with every approaching step while studying her from head to toe….her light brown hair held down by a head band with a very feminine ponytail in the back…..a utilitarian purple tanktop above the waist and a pair of skin-tight pale blue jean shorts below the waist. But I started to get cynical the closer I got. I’ll just bet when I get there, she’s gonna be a mid-40s gal with a petite, girlish image, I thought to myself. But the turning of her head and the raising of her cigarette as I arrived on the scene proved my cynicism wrong.
An out of this world wholesome face emerged, perfectly matching the body below it, and in the early stages of a rapist drag on her two-thirds smoked cigarette that would go on for a good five seconds. I walked past her and quickly found a stalking spot against the fence, missing most of the exhale yet still seeing a bit of residual smoke spilling from her sweet little face, and I settled in for an abbreviated show. I pretended to text while watching her, in disbelief that this tiny little thing was publicly smoking, and still assuming that she was older than she looked. But just as I was getting comfortable and she was taking her next drag, from out of nowhere comes some burly and loud bouncer-type guy who told both my girl and the middle-aged woman behind her that there was no smoking allowed. He wasn’t a jerk about it, and even told them to go ahead and finish the cigarettes, but that this was “school grounds” and they don’t allow smoking. My little brunette seemed befuddled at the news, as any sane person would be, unable to process that in a beer gardens full of people guzzling adult beverages, smoking was not allowed for the lame excuse that it was on “school grounds”. She was gonna make good on his offer to finish the cigarette, but I could see based on who was approaching her from the rear that she wasn’t gonna get that chance. Two police officers that were both a head taller than her combined with the bouncer dude to form an effective circle around her, with the cops more aggressively explaining that she couldn’t smoke there.
So here was this tiny little brunette girl, about 5’1 and 110 pounds, looking very intimidated as she looked up to these three big guys bearing down on her like Hitler’s Gestapo. Her friends, one guy and one girl who looked about 21 but who I had barely even noticed began to walk away, but girly lit up my night when she tilted her head down and put the cigarette in her mouth to take one more drag, kneeling down to crush out the mostly smoked cigarette on the pavement as she exhaled with the cops watching from above. Even three beefy dudes demanding she put out her cigarette this instant wasn’t gonna stop this girl from taking that final drag. She held the cork filter butt in her fingers as she walked behind the friends towards the nearest garbage can to toss it, with residual smoke still spilling from her face several seconds after walking away from the cops. Much as I despised, hated, and resented the cops for taking away a more extensive sighting for me, I must confess that the scene created and her response to it made the sighting that much more awesome. If the cops were anything like me, they were probably wondering if this girl was even legal to smoke!
I made a point of passing by this girl and her group several more times that night and the closer look at her face made it seem possible she was a few days removed from her 21st birthday, but honestly I still don’t know as this girl could have passed off as a middle-schooler in study hall. Her trademark look, including the purple top, the adorable headband, ponytail, and tight pale blue jean shorts made her easy to spot in the sparse crowd. At one point about a half hour after the big encounter I had just walked into the beer gardens and watched emerging from outside the fence, kicking myself that she probably wandered off to the boonies somewhere to smoke another cigarette and I missed it. I basically only saw two drags, but they were enough to assure this girl a blog spot in my Summerfest Hall of Fame.
And as a final aside, Summerfest follows a strange pattern every year where the police enforce the smoking ban on opening night only before conceding defeat the next three nights when the crowds get larger and smoking occurs right under their noses without incident. That pattern held up again in 2013, but unfortunately I didn’t get a full sighting on subsequent nights from my defiant little girl in purple.