It’s a fact of life. Great times often don’t start so well. Like the story of my summer. It started off ok. Some time on the river with my fly rod, cleaning up the woods after my son’s wedding. Preparing for Jan’s birthday in June. I gave her a dragonfly necklace like she had given me when we first got together.
All the pieces were in place. There was Jan’s early retirement and our 38th wedding anniversary plus some Brewer and Shipley shows in Minneapolis and a tour back east.
Screech, bang, crunch, and thank the heavens for not being another roadkill on Interstate 44. I was returning from the airport after our Minneapolis shows. Somehow a hit and run driver sideswiped a car which spun out, hit me, and allowed me to do a 180 on a busy four-lane interstate. I finally came to rest as my van slammed into the concrete divider. I walked away without a scratch but my poor old fishing buddy, the silver van, was officially roadkill. I loved that old girl. She had taken me to places and times that will forever be warm spots in my heart.
So there I was, sitting in a police station waiting for my son to drive to St. Louis and rescue me. The officer involved was a great help and gave me a ride to the police station so I had somewhere to hang out until help arrived. If you don’t have to spend two hours sitting on a hard, straight-back chair in the waiting room of a police station I advise you not to do so unless absolutely necessary. Not even a candy machine. Just a nice lady behind a glass window who never said a word.
I had just finished playing Minneapolis and I was preparing for another trip, a long one. Michael and I were playing three shows on the east coast after which Jan and I would be headed to places she has never seen back east. I had a little over a week to finalize the plans I had made for this journey which was to be a combination celebration. Jan’s retirement and our anniversary.
I had some ideas about cool places to take her. I asked where she would like to go. Main she replied. She wanted to see a lighthouse and eat a lobster. Or eat a lighthouse and see a lobster. Either way, we were going to end up in Main. From the pines and greenery of the Catskills and the Adirondacks to the shores of the North Atlantic. That was the plan.
The Brewer and Shipley shows involved four days at a music camp, Camp Cripple Creek at the full Moon Resort near Woodstock, with members of Levon’s band and the remaining members of Little Feet.
I also had a class reunion coming up. I was excited to know I would be seeing the folks I had grown up with back in Bedford, Ohio. I won’t say what year we graduated but I believe it was shortly after God invented dirt. We go way back.
Now that life has settled down a bit, I have are a lot of stories to tell in the coming weeks. Stories about a trip back east with a really cool retirement/wedding celebration for my wife Jan, some family traditions, and a whole lot more. The bad news. My fishing buddy, the silver van, is now in a scrapyard somewhere. The good news is that I didn’t end up as roadkill on Interstate 44. The Brewer and Shipley tour was a rousing success. Jan and I had waaaay too much fun back east, and my class reunion was a heartwarming trip back to my childhood. And, of course, Jan got her lighthouses and some lobster dinners.
So if you get a chance, check out One Toke Tom again. He looks forward to telling you some more stories.