Friday, July 17, 2015

Some old stomping grounds, another trip to Texas and a catastrophic event

The American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA

A few sights on our road trip to Jefferson, TX

The Texarkana Municipal Building, home of the first performance of Johnny Cash in support of his 1st Sun single, Hey Porter!/Cry Cry Cry

The Perot Theatre, Texarkana, TX

The 1894 Grand Opera House, Galveston, TX

The Long Center, Austin, TX 

The Hamburger Store, Jefferson, TX

A couple of new shots from sound check

A great shot, thanks to Megan Moore

We ended up having the day off on Monday in New Haven, so I spent much of the afternoon with my parents before they headed home to Maine.  After a missed attempt to get a burger at Louis' Lunch, home of the hamburger, I took my parents to get a couple of great hot dogs at Jake's hot dogs around the corner from the Shubert.  After they left, I ran a few errands and went to a local diner with Jake before spending much of the day off in my room at the hotel.  

On Tuesday, we made the moderately long drive to Lancaster, PA.  We were staying relatively far from the area of Lancaster that I was so used to, but within walking distance from our venue.  I was a little irked that I was so close to an area I had spent so much time in without time to hang out, but it was at least nice to be in familiar surroundings.  Colte and I had quite a few people from the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre coming to see us that night, so we were both very much looking forward to that.  We didn't have a whole lot of time at the hotel before the show, so I grabbed some quick food and headed to the theatre.  The American Music Theatre (above) is one of the few theatres I hadn't been to in town, but I was looking forward to playing there that night.  I had had quite a few friends work at AMT over the years, so I was glad to be able to check it out.  The show went really well that night, and it was great to be able to catch up with all of the DA people.  Once I got back from the show, I opted to grab some terrible yet awesome food at Waffle House, and then headed back to hang out with some of the boys.  We had a long day of travel all the way back down to Texas the next day, so I made it a pretty early night.  

Our travel took much of the day on Wednesday, as we headed to the Philadelphia airport, and took a couple of flights into Shreveport, LA.  We got into our hotel in Texarkana in the early evening, and shortly after that we all decided to head out and get some dinner.  I took Colte, Patrick and Jake to Olive Garden where we met up with Chuck for a great dinner.  We were there for quite a while before heading back to the hotel for the evening.  I didn't do a whole lot that night, which was probably good considering the crazy week we had ahead.  

Jake had spoken highly of a tiny little town about an hour away from Texarkana, so Colte, Patrick and I decided to join him on a little journey there.  Jefferson was a quaint little town, with a lot of antique stores and little shops along the way.  We looked around for a vintage record player shop that Jake had found years ago when his family retreated to the the area during one of the threatening hurricanes.  We also stopped in for lunch at the Hamburger Store (above), where Jake had taken his family almost a decade before.  It was more than worth the stop.  We wandered around for quite a while taking in the sights (above) before we headed back to Texarkana.  I wanted to check out (or, at least see) the Texarkana Municipal Building, where a few of the guys actually played, and Cash did his first performance with the Tennessee Two there in support of their first Sun single, Hey Porter!/Cry Cry Cry.  We couldn't get inside, as it is now all town offices and such, but at least we got to see it.  We fought through the rain to get back to the car, and saw where Texas and Arkansas meet at the post office in town (above).  After that, we headed home to chill a while before opening the show in town that night.  Our one show at the Perot Theatre (above) was great that night, and the boys and I headed to Buffalo Wild Wings (again) for a little food and convo that night.  We were joined by Justin and Jeffrey a bit later, and we all rejoiced in the TERRIBLE service that we received.  And by rejoiced, I mean gritted our teeth and shook our fists.  Once we FINALLY got our food and our checks, we headed home in preparation for the early morning the next day.  

We had an early call for a long travel day on Friday, as we made our way south to Galveston, TX.  I had been looking forward to this stop for quite a while, as I had heard a lot of great things about the 1894 Grand Opera House (above).  We had a bit of a random lunch stop that day, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  Gabe and I headed to one of the only options for some not so great Chinese buffet, before jumping on the bus for the rest of our journey.  We got in with a smidgen of time to spare and chill before having to make the extremely long drive that night.  We made a stop at Starbucks before our meeting, and barely made it to the theatre in time for it, but we made it nonetheless.  The venue certainly did not disappoint, and neither did the audience.  It was definitely one of the best audiences we had had in a while.  Following that, we were a bit mobbed by fans at the stage door (that rarely happens) who were mostly Jake's friends and family.  Even with Johnny Cash printed on my forehead and a CASH t-shirt, I somehow always seem to avoid the crowd.  I made my way back to the hotel on my own that night, as the other boys went out with friends.  Jake had been trying to figure out a night to play poker, so we picked that night (ironically, Jake didn't end up playing).  I set up the chips and cards in a meeting room at our hotel, and we had a nice little group doing a bit of gambling that night.  Briggs, Lou, Skye, Frace and Colte all came down to play, with assorted other people stopping in to hang out.  I ended up going out on what seemed to be a great hand; a straight....but Skye had a full house.  He ended up winning that night, and after a long night of talking and cards, I was ready for bed.  

Saturday brought the usual busy double show day, and with the long drive we opted to stay at the theatre in between shows.  The matinee went extremely well (though, there were some septic problems in the theatre, causing a bit of a flood in our dressing room....gross), and following that I did some packing and unpacking with my trunk before heading in search of food.  I walked around a bit in the blistering heat before taking an invitation for Meghan and Johnny to join them for lunch at a nearby gumbo place.  It was a great little dinner, filled with some tasty catfish and raw oysters.  I then headed to a nearby vintage store to check out there records.  Not having the time to look through hundreds of unsorted LP's (my pet peeve), I opted to grab some coffee on my way back to the theatre, and then sat around for a bit before doing another great show that evening.  The fans at the stage door were a bit unruly that evening (there was a lot of pushing and pulling and demanding; not exactly what we look for in gracious fans....), so I was glad to get safely to the car and be on our way home.  We had another travel day on Sunday, so I decided to lay low that night.  

It was a bit of a later call that day, as the drive to Austin wasn't all that long.  We did get a bit delayed however, so we didn't have much time to sit at the hotel before we needed to leave for the show.  This time we were a bit closer to downtown, which we were all looking forward to.  We made our way to the massive and gorgeous Long Center (above) that evening for regrettably our one and only show there.  We had played Austin nearly two years before, and I got to go on for a few shows while we were playing on campus.  Though our week there had been great, the audiences were no match for the powerhouse of enthusiasm we got that night.  It might have been helped by the fact that there were a slew of theatre arts students there, and we would be meeting them later for a talkback organized by the theatre.  The show done, and all of us feeling great about the audience that night, the Quartet, Bryan and Frace headed to a nearby space to talk to a large group of students.  We were there for quite a while, talking about our careers thus far, the show, our training, and answering all sorts of great questions.  We all left the theatre, and headed our separate ways.  Our plan was to drop Jake off at the Continental Club to catch a show, while Gabe, Colte and I planned to head to the Mean Eyed Cat, a restaurant named for a Johnny Cash song.  I had wanted to go there the last time we were in town, but didn't find out about it until it was too late.  The boys and I were on our way there, when the unthinkable happened; we were in a head on collision.  It was a very scary experience, and aside from us being very shaken up, the car being totalled and not really sure of what happened due to how fast it happened, I was in pretty rough shape.  The EMT's and police released us, though in hindsight they should have sent us to the hospital.  Still in shock, we headed back to the hotel.  I was sore and still reeling from what happened, and I had a feeling that a doctor's visit would be in my near future.  The crew met us at the hotel when we arrived, and showered us with well wishes and hugs.  All I wanted to do was ice my wrists and sleep.  Though, that would prove a challenge.  I had a long travel day to look forward to the following day, and at that point I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through.  It also looked as though my plans to go to NYC for our days off in New Jersey would be foiled.  But, that's a story for my next and final installment of my blog.  

Thanks for tuning in, I'll be in WAY overdue.  I realize that the end of this blog is a bit heavy, and honestly I needed to be a bit removed from the events of it before I could write it.  Not to worry, dear friends; it all turns out well in the end.  Again, thanks for your continued patience and for reading.  The last blog will be on it's way soon.  

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