Indiana State Fair – Tales of Happenstance
Location: Indiana, USA
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 800 • f 5.6 • 1/40 sec
(Note: This photo is from a previous concert at the fair)
I’ve always been fascinated by stories of people who avoided tragedy by not being where they should have been. For example, the man who was late to work at the World Trade Center because he stopped to get a band-aid to cover the blister caused by his new shoes. After the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair this past weekend, I am already hearing similar stories of “happenstance” – circumstances that happened to keep people away from those front rows at the stage. One of them was my boyfriend’s.
I was planning on going to the Fair with my parents, as was our family tradition. However, a week ago, my dad was in a car accident. No one was hurt, but the car was totaled. He also threw out his back the next day for a separate reason. Because of this, I had to change my plans and ask my boyfriend Andy to take me to the fair last Saturday. We were on a ride at the midway when the storm hit, so we ran and hid safely in a building until everything was over. Only later did I find out that he had planned to go to the concert that night, but had chosen to spend time with me instead. His ticket would have put him in the front row.
Another story comes from the band itself. Right before the stage collapse, the organizers made an announcement that they were considering evacuating (the storm was not supposed to hit for another 15 min). The Sugarland duo wanted to go onstage to look at the weather themselves, but their manager stopped them for a last-minute prayer circle.
In the crowd, a lady and her friend were in one of the front rows, but didn’t like the look of the approaching storm. Following the announcement, they made an on-the-spot decision to walk back to the grandstands for more shelter. They were only a few rows away when the stage started to fall. They were unhurt, but the chairs they had been sitting in were under the stage. They went back to help others who were injured.
When has an annoying delay or change of plans become a blessing in disguise?