Friday, July 4, 2008

On the Road Again


Somebody cue the Willie Nelson and then follow it up with Ricky Nelson and "Lonesome Town."

And then bring me the world's smallest violin so somebody can fiddle it for me.

What can I say? Been home barely 24 hours and I'm not quite ready to go yet. But as of 9 tonight, we're off to Kalamazoo and points beyond.

Maybe it's just coming home, and knowing the time I have with Katie and Jonah is going to be scrunched by the necessary rituals of laundry and repacking and all the chores I left behind -- lawn, weeds, catbox, bills -- and on top of that, a nice gooey layer of exhaustion that doesn't quite leave you with such a quick turn-around between arriving and back out the door.

And yet, I've got it lucky, since the corps and most its attendees were tromping off to three parades today after a mere eight-hour furlough in the Windy City yesterday afternoon. And I had my own bed to collapse onto last night, and my own coffee brewing this morning.

So hit me with the fiddle. My 30-hour homestand qualifies as being spoiled in the rigorous drum corps summer. But with my batteries recharged, I'm ready to get down to it again.

Being on the road has been FUN. Seeing the shows, meeting fans of the book and newcomers alike, slinging T-shirts and DVDs and hats and pins when I get a chance to climb aboard the CPI trailer, and yeah, even the nightly bus rides and a cold shower or two have a certain charm to them.

It's why you get attracted to an activity like drum corps in the first place -- all the places you go, and the people you meet. And that, too, is why I bother to pick up the pen or twirl the typing fingers as a writer: to collect other people's stories, to tell my own, to connect.

OK, I'll stop with the deep stuff and tell you where we're going to be next:

Saturday, July 5 -- Kalamazoo, MI
Sunday, July 6 -- Michigan City, IN ***
Monday, July 7 -- Louisville, KY

*** Means that The Old Man will be there as well, probably your only chance to pin down Don Warren for an autograph until DCI Finals week, and maybe not then, either.

So, hope to see you on the road. I'll be back July 9 with a fresh serving of DRUM CORPS LUNCH, when I'll be chatting with former Blue Knights tour manager Greg Kuzman, who published a diary of his 1994 summer as a member; and with Cavaliers driver Bruce Miller. If you don't think Bruce tells some whoppers, well, you haven't hunkered around the cook truck with him about 8 p.m. on a long rehearsal day.

Well, and now I'm about to go do just that. Tally ho!


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