Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Big Weekend

The band which we call the Law Firm set out from various points on Friday last to meet in Johnson City, TN and play a little show at a place that we helped open back in '76, the Down Home. It's a great acoustic music venue, a beer bar with decent food of a kind of mountain/Mexican variety. They've tuned their sound system over the decades to a place of near perfection--every instrument and voice is there, perfectly in the mix, on stage and off. We did a little sound check about 5:30, consumed our comped meal (enchiladas with beans and rice por moi), put on our stage shirts, cranked 'er up about 8:15 pm. It turned out that there were too many other things going on in Johnson City that night, and our audience was sparse, although a collection of genuine fans of the band assembled from far and wide, who deserved by their dedication the very tasty extended set private concert they received. It was a pleasure to play, and I got back to the Red Roof Inn in time to see the last inning of the Series Game of the day and savor a nice shot of Dewar's neat. We had an early start to look forward to, a great Shoney's breakfast buffet to get the day started, and a second show Saturday up near Galax, VA, at a beautiful music stage literally on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

That's me at the Down Home back in the summer, when we played their 40th anniversary show, sporting my new Kyle Busch Martinsville Sweep tee-shirt. He won both races back in April. Tom Watts has posted a bunch of neat photos of the Friday night gig over at Facebook:

Up there on the Parkway the draw was much healthier, nearly a full auditorium. The sound was again terrific, a room engineered for acoustic properties, a built-in sound board, a good engineer, good mics. I could go on. The Down Home show was a perfect rehearsal. This is how you get better "on the road." So we played again, and set out for home about 8 pm, the last weekend of Daylight Savings, I met Libby in Graham, NC for the last little bit to our house in the woods, and I got to bed by midnight. Because we were to be up and on the road again for Martinsville, for Sunday's NASCAR race. Libby stayed up some later and finished up a birthday cake for our pals the Overholts. She'd already got together a cooler of waters and sodas and sandwiches, and we indeed made it up the road to the little Virginia mill town with the big time little track in time for the race.

This is our view. That's Danica in #10 passing in front of us. We sit in the first turn. At Martinsville, everything is pretty close and sometimes bits of grit blow off the track and into your eyes. The winner was Jimmie Johnson, who is Libby's favorite driver (and a good pick he is). By winning Sunday he has made it into the championship finals at Homestead, Florida, one of four drivers who will move into that final bracket by their finishes in the upcoming races. It's actually all pretty complicated, this championship "chase." You can look it up. It was a beautiful day in the autumn sun, nearly 80 degrees, and at times it's been more like 40 up there. We got back on the road in time to get back once again to our house and our cats and the woods, none the worse for wear, but pretty tuckered. The cats were glad to see us.

That's it for our adventures this year, unless something comes up. Libby and I had set up two contra dances to play this fall. The first was cancelled by Hurricane Matthew, which flooded the town where the dance was to be held. Then we booked another dance down on the coast, but the promoters decided there were too many conflicts that weekend to get a draw. Sometimes things do come up. I'll let you know.

In a week we'll find out who the new President will be. Susan Sarandon has announced she'll be voting for Stein. She can afford to pay the full ticket for any health care she needs, and can drive a car that runs on used french fry oil if she wants to bother. Her hands are clean and well manicured no doubt. For the rest of us, it seems to be a choice between a ruthless authoritarian with fascistic tendencies and a racist streak a mile wide, or a corrupt vulgarian couple one of whom has already been impeached, who assure us that she really loves children and always has. As I opined in last week's missive, I'm of the opinion that Mrs. Clinton needs as strong a popular victory as she can get in order to at least make the new impeachment rabble think a little while before they start wasting our tax monies on investigating the Clinton Foundation and how deals are really made in the big time. There will be an absolute din of howls for so-called bipartisanship, which will mean a further abdication of any efforts by a Clinton administration towards a greener and more just world. If Mrs. Clinton can halt efforts to destroy Social Security and Medicare, she will be a success even if she's ultimately impeached.

What sparking prospects await us in the new year. It must be gold, it's so shiny.

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