A local couple's big adventure at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rex Rumley, whose bucket-list wish to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame touched several readers last month, has seen his desire fulfilled.

Thanks to donations from generous readers and the hospitality of the Rock Hall itself, Rumley and his wife, Rose, had a grand time on their visit to Cleveland. (That's them in the photo at left in front of the Hall, holding up a copy of the Dispatch.)

He describes the whole adventure better than I can. Here are excerpts from the email he send to me today about his trip this week:

Hi Joe:

I wish you could feel what we felt this week. I am so, so, so, just over the top!!! . . . Yes it was a dream come true.

Wow. Today is Friday and I am still just, so high that I won’t be down for months haha. I just feel like that old Sly and the Family Stone song, “I wanna take you higher” but I can’t get any higher. I will give you kind of a break down of the day, best I can, haha.

We left the house about 5:30 am. (Wednesday). We got into Cleveland traffic about 9 and it took a half hour to go about 3 miles, haha. But the trip was great. Our contacts (at the Rock Hall), Ruthie and Kelli, told us to use the VIP Gate. So we did, and as soon as we told them who we were at that gate, it opened for us. We hardly got parked until Kellie and Ruthie were out there at the van. They are the ones who sent us tickets and said they had a special day arranged.

They called it Mr. Rex Day! I guess there was even a memo that went out to all their staff calling it Mr. Rex Day. . . They took us in the VIP entrance as if we really were rock stars.

Every time an employee saw us, they called us by name and asked if there was anything they could do to make our day better. . . . Kelli started us with a quickie walk through of the 1st floor. I could tell she was “filling time” but had no idea why, YET! At 11:15 she said we had somewhere special to go. We went thru a couple of special access doors requiring a badge AND a code to enter. Then she knocked on an unmarked door. The curator himself came out to greet us and talked to us briefly. OMG. Then he asked if we would like to go where only a handful of people had ever been since they opened and maybe only one percent of the staff had ever been, THE VAULT!

I am just shaking now trying to tell you all this. This is where all artifacts that come into the Hall go first. Then they are measured, photographed and I am not sure what else, then they go on display. Then when they come off display, they come back there until they are shipped back to their owners (many loan items to the museum) . . . .

He showed us one of Elvis’s guitars that was valued at around $500,000. He showed us a cape worn by John Sebastian and just so many items. There is where they had the “Meat Dress” that, I think it was, Lady Gaga wore. As expected, security was very tight there. Then he hit some buttons, and the wall moved! Just like right out of a spy show. The wall moved to open up a series of what looked like lockers where more items were being stored. How cool is that?

Then a quickie lunch on them and...

We were escorted back to where we stated, and the CEO joined us there. He said he wanted to introduce himself and just hang out with us. Now how cool is that? I soon found out why. When we came up the elevator we came into a big room with a stage. It was obvious that there was performers there and a crowd. It looked like they were about to start so we kind of snuck up alongside of the stage. No, they weren’t having that. The two ladies pushed my electric scooter right up in front of the stage and everyone else was at least 50 feet back. There were three women on stage, and the leader said ‘Let’s all welcome Mr. & Mrs. Rumley. This concert is for them!' ”

Then they went right into several songs from the Supremes. Every time a name was in their song, they used my name. They came off stage and sung to me and hugged me and everyone applauded. They even called it Mr. Rex Day at the Hall. They were a semi-professional group that plays the Cleveland area as the Tra-La-Las. They were pretty good, and I was just bowled over.

Next thing I knew someone was shoving a Kleenex into my hand as it was pretty obvious to everyone that my feelings were right out there on my sleeve. They sang several songs, and then they posed with us for pictures and that was it...I THOUGHT! I was wrong. The day had JUST started!

Then they whisked us back to the beginning of the tour and we were introduced to Jim who gave us a Docent Tour. . . . He took us thru all seven floors and then we ended up at the Sirius Studio at the Rock Hall.

There -- I believe her name was Nancy -- was doing a show, and we were invited into the studio to watch and listen.

She was thrilled to have us there. She said they really don’t allow guests in there as there really isn’t a place to sit and “watch” the show. It is all studio. (My mind raced back to the early '70’s at Miami University Middletown where between classes I was a DJ on their radio station on campus.) Wow, how exciting, and she had so very much experience in that genre of music. We spent about 20 minutes talking to her and then we were again whisked away back to where it all started.

Here is the part that is hard to type. Not hard to type, but just hard to see thru these darn wet glasses, haha. Ruthie and Kelli presented me with a paver brick that was to represent the brick they would be installing in their walkway this next spring. It is encased in a clear plastic box. On the brick is printed “ Rex Rumley, Rocked the House, November 6, 2013” There, on their walkway, Rex Rumley will last forever. I may not leave much when I leave this world, but there will be a brick in my honor. But they weren’t done. They realized that I could not have made that trip without my wife, Rose. So they gave her a book of the Hall that sold for about $99.95 along with a makeup case in the shape of a guitar case. It was so unique!!! So I had to share my Kleenex with her too. Haha.

It was about 5 and Rose and I were both tired but still wanted to see more.

There is just way too much to take it all in, in one day. Ruthie and Kelli made me promise to return another time to see more. We didn’t want to leave and it was open until 9 so we left them and went back out on our own to see more. Just so much to see.

I could go on for HOURS!!! . . . Now I better say that our trip to the Rock Hall was the second best trip of my life, with the best having been our honeymoon, haha. But the trip to Cleveland will be a memory for as long as I live. A great memory!


Rex Rumley

And all I can add to that is: you rock, Rex.