Notes from the Road

This is a great new feature from Cheryl. Holpefully, we will be getting regular updates of her travels and her experiences


May 15, 2003

Kenny made the best discovery of this trip as He, my manager Tony and I were driving from Tony's house to the Bluebird Cafe. It concerns the Hertz Never Lost GPS. When you scroll through the menu options, a voice speaks them to you. Kenny switched the language to Japanese, much to my annoyance. Then we proceeded to behave like 10 year old boys when we heard "Yellow Pages" in Hertz Never Lost Japanese. Ah the sophisticated world of traveling folksingers...

Tonight is our 2nd night in Chicago, then Kenny flys home. I'll miss him, he is a highly excellent traveling partner and a beyond highly excellent musician. I'm continuing on to Oshkosh and Lacrosse, WI. After that I'll drive up to Minneapolis and fly home. Where I intend to be totally slathered in Border Collie, Chinook and Jack Russell greetings.



May 14, 2003

Kenny White and I have been having a fine time traveling around together these past 11 days. We've driven a little more than 2500 miles so far in the giant Grand Marquis we rented to accomodate all our gear. I started out in Providence, picked him up at the Vince Lombardi rest area just south of the GWB and then we headed southwest.

The gigs have been in Chattanooga & Nashville, TN; Cincinnatti & Columbus, Ohio; Bloomington, IL; Cedar Rapids, IA, and now we're in Chicago.

We've had incredibly intense midwest weather almost every day and are constantly scanning the sky with what must be typical east coaster wimpy paranoia.

On the drive from Columbus to Bloomington we encountered the hardest (and scariest) rain either of us had ever seen. We pulled over, everyone did, even the trucks.

That night there were tornados in several of the neighboring towns, really severe ones. At the gig, after the show, an announcement was made that more were on the way and people who had far to drive were invited to stay there. Since our hotel wasn't far we left.

The hotel staff told us they'd call us if a tornado was approaching, (at which point ALL of the hotel guests would be advised to crowd into the little breafast room). There was intense thunder and lightning, but fortunately no need for the breakfast room cram.

The next day we drove by what a tornado had left of what looked to have been a series of small farm buildings. All were in utter ruins and there was a big, flipped over farm truck, about half of which had been jammed into the ground. Neither of us had ever seen anything like this.

Tough stock these midwesterners.



March 19, 2003

Today I had a day off in Portland, Oregon, really a fabulous town. I was walking around, working on a Penrod song, and I needed to be sure how to pronounce "Feng Shui" (happily for me it's as I thought, Fung Schway) and make sure it made sense where I wanted to use it.

I was walking by a bus stop when I decided I needed a bookstore. I asked this guy who looked like a reader to me and he sent me to what he said was the biggest bookstore in the country, Powell's City of Books. It was just a few blocks away.

Talk about died and went to heaven, it was HUGE, when you walk in you can pick up a map ... of the store ... and you'll need one. I found the info I needed, (the staff at the info desk was outstanding) as well as a used hardback copy of a book called "Duncton Wood" which I'd been told, in prior attempts, I'd have to order from England, on line. They have new and used books together on the shelves. I also bought a new paperback in a fantasy series I'm reading.

If I lived here I can't imagine how much time I'd spend in Powell's. I'll probably go again tomorrow. The gig here is tomorrow night. I'll be doing a lot of reading till then.


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