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Rock On! Harold Meets the Rolling Stones

Harold, 71, grew up on the rural outskirts of Memphis, TN. The son of sharecroppers, he spent his childhood years in wide open fields, picking cotton and listening to blues music with his family.

Although Harold couldn’t envision life beyond the farm, he knew deep down that he wanted something more for himself. “I wanted to get out of the situation I was born in,” he said. “I needed to get out of the house.”

One day, Harold came to town to pay a speeding ticket and encountered a U.S. Air Force recruiter. At that moment, he seized the chance to change the trajectory of his life and enlisted.

Harold’s new path in the military took him overseas. As he traveled the world and gained new skills, his worldview expanded—and the soundtrack of his life changed along with it.

Harold fell in love with the Rolling Stones, whose vibe matched the energy of his new life. “I found out I was a rocker at heart,” he recalls.

Harold served in the Air Force for over two decades, eventually achieving the rank of Captain. With the help of the GI Bill, he took college classes and eventually received a master’s degree in counseling. After 23 years of service in the military, he found a new way to give back to others, building a successful career as a teacher, school principal, and adjunct college faculty member.

In retirement, Harold has hardly slowed down. He supports the Memphis VA chapter, mentors emerging teachers, is a Deacon in his church, and actively volunteers with AARP as the AARPTN Congressional District Lead.

“I pour a lot of myself into others. I’ve always wanted to make sure everyone else is okay and able to experience things that bring them joy,” Harold shared.

When Wish of a Lifetime heard Harold’s story, we were inspired by his service and dedication to supporting others. And we realized it was time for him to get a dose of his own medicine! We began crafting the perfect experience that would spark joy to last a lifetime.

Since the very first time he heard “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” while serving overseas in the Air Force, Harold has been a die-hard Rolling Stones fan. And what better way to honor his military service and dedication to others than by seeing the Rolling Stones live in Las Vegas?

 “When I found out I was going to the Rolling Stones concert, it was just a flood of emotions. I never really do anything for myself,”  Harold said.

You can’t always get what you want… but you just might find yourself meeting your rock and roll idols someday! Harold and his wife Barbara could hardly believe it when they were escorted backstage of the massive Allegiant Stadium for a VIP Meet and Greet with the Rolling Stones.

Harold and Barbara remarked on how kind and approachable the iconic rock stars were. It felt like a dream as they shook hands and said hello to original band members Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.

“We grew up with them, and now here we are together again, at this age…”Harold shared, almost at a loss for words.

And then, it was time for the show. Dancing to the music, Harold was transported back in time as they watched the band perform iconic tracks like “Get Off My Cloud,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Gimme Shelter,” and “Paint it Black.”

It was unlike anything Harold had ever experienced when he felt the 55,000 fans roar and cheer for the band to return for an encore. And the experience truly felt complete as Mick Jagger swayed his hips while the band closed out the night with Harold’s favorite song, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

Harold’s night with the Rolling Stones was meaningful on so many levels. It allowed him to reconnect with his past while creating joyful memories he can treasure for a lifetime.

“At my age, to see someone I grew up listening to and to know that person is still performing is uplifting. It inspires me to continue to do what I love until I can’t. Just like Mick,” Harold said.

And to make the experience even sweeter, Barbara shared that it was her first time at a rock and roll show.

“For this to be my first rock and roll concert, and to see the Rolling Stones… this is it. It doesn’t get much better!”

“Just iconic,” Harold added. “We are living our best lives right now!”

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