Boy, I'm gettin' really bad at this...I do apologize for the space in between entries lately, but I won't deny it, I've been having a blast! While I found our first trek into Midwest America, let's just say, less than fulfilling, our latest journey thru the heartland was full of fun and frivolity...and a string of really good shows.
After a much too brief stop in Chicago, really wish we could've spent more time there, what an amazing town, we were off to Nebraska. And since the trip was a little too far for one day we had a stopover in Des Moines. But first we had a very special lunch date. Nope, it wasn't going to be the usual McDonald's or Burger King stop for us. Alex Jorth's parents live in Davenport, Iowa and they invited the whole cast to stop by for a home-cooked meal. Imagine that, our big tour bus pulling up to the curb in front of this very nice house on a crowded street in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and we all pile out of the bus with passersby staring at us with confused looks on their faces, very amusing. Well, what a meal we had and Alex's parent's are both very lovely people, very supportive of Alex, so nice to see.
Well, I can't really say anything about Des Moines (sorry Des Moines) because I never got out of the hotel to take a look. First, it was laundry day, you know the story, so I was busy with that. And second, they were serving free drinks on the veranda til 7:30! And you know, anything with free in the conversation and I'm there. But I can tell you that the state capitol building is very impressive, quite imposing in a sort of quasi-imperial kind of way.
Our next show was in Kearney, Nebraska, a....you guessed it....smaller town in the middle of nowhere. But they had quite a nice little theater. I have overlooked telling you about a few stops like this because of the unremarkable impressions they have made, but I have to say the crowd there was great! They ate that show up with a spoon! From beginning to end they were absolutely jacked to be seeing the show and that was a lot of fun for me. I'll remember that stop.
From there it was north to the Dakotas, with a stop in Sioux Falls SD, a rather nice above average size town with interesting buildings dating from the late 1800's and early 1900's, and one curious side-note. The town was once home to several cigar manufacturers, the Phillips company being one of them, which if I'm not mistaken, is one of the brands my father used to smoke. Being a stopover (no show) was also is an excuse to let our hair down a little and we took every advantage of that opportunity...with the usual results felt the next morning.
We then traveled to North Dakota which, I'm sure you have been aware of, has been plagued with a fair amount of flooding this past month or so. So it was no surprise to see a bit of that on our way to Grand Forks. What I was unprepared for was, on both sides of the highway we were traveling on, right up to the pavement in some cases, was water, sometimes stretching out for a miles it seemed. And I'm guessing in places where water is not usually supposed to be...very disconcerting. But we had a great show in Grand Forks, at a very nice, good sized theater on the campus of the University of North Dakota.
We then swooped down on the unsuspecting hamlet of Platteville WI, which I was unaware until after we got there, is the home of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. A very unremarkable downtown area for a college to be calling home until I came across " Second Avenue"... now here was a college kid's nirvana...a city block length bit of street housing at least a dozen pubs and clubs all right next to each other. AND, it was Friday night! Now, these days that bit of information would be irrelevant to yours truly, being at the age when these sort of people have started calling me "sir". Hell, my own daughters are probably older than most of them. But today was a special day, it was Matt Jameson's birthday! Matt is our tour supervisor. And after a company frolic in which there was a beer bottle decorating event and Karen Pappas jumping out of a cardboard cake dressed as a stripper, we weren't going to stop until we hit at least a few of those college bars. At the club we decided to patronize I was treated to yet another sign of my impending old age. After watching "kid" after "kid" go in unchallenged, the pleasant looking,muscular, 275-pound, college age young man took one look at me and jokingly motioned that he wanted to see my I.D., then offering up a very pleased with himself smirk. I smiled and patted him on the shoulder and thought to myself... 'Heh, heh, cute joke...screw you!" Well, now I remember why a person my age no longer goes to these places anymore, they're loud, obnoxious, smell bad and full of people you don't want to be around. But they did play "Footloose", I'm assuming in our honor, and most everyone who went got up on the dance floor. Have to admit, it was fun.
Well, enough of the fun and carrying on, I'm going catch up on my sleep.
Be back soon