Pardon my brief absence here (I’ve been trying to update much more regularly), but it was a busy weekend, and Monday was my Introvert Recovery Day. As much fun as I have on weekends like that, I’m exhausted by the time they are done and have to spend some downtime to recharge my battery. I’m feeling quite a bit better now!
The busy weekend was because we had the super talented and amazingly cool Bob Walkenhorst back in town! We had Bob out last year for a house show and it was so wonderful that we had him come back this year, again at Shane and Matt’s house. In the year since we had him out last, we’ve been to Kansas City to see him a couple of times. Once for New Year’s Eve (a show with the Rainmakers) and a business trip for Ken, in which we got to see him play at the RecordBar with Jeff Porter (the guitarist for the Rainmakers) and Norm Dahlor (bass and banjo player for the Elders). Bob and his super cool and groovy wife Michele invited us into their home and we got to meet the rest of the band and friends and family and...well, we seem to have ended up friends!
This show started turning into something special pretty quickly. Many of the attendees last year were happy to join us again this year, and we had friends from Detroit (Tony, Alaina, and Winston) come down, friends from Chicago (Joe and Maria, George and Karen...we met them through Bob), and of course Bob and Michele from Kansas City.
It was another great night of fun and friends and family, and Bob brought it, as always. He is an amazing performer and is capable of connecting with an audience to a degree that is a rarity. It was even more special for us this year after getting to know him and Michele and enjoy and cherish their friendship. It really was another magical night.
Oh, and this happened. One of my favorite photos of all time is this one of a young Elvis fan at a Philadelphia concert in 1955. This young lady embodies everything I feel about music. The craziness, the joy, the fandom, the sheer ROCKITUDE of it all. I’m not sure how Shane and Matt and I came to the conclusion that we would try to recreate this photo, but we did, and Bob was a great sport and played along as Elvis. Bob. Elvis-Bob. The angle isn’t quite the same due to the constraints of the room, but we all had a blast with it and it was a very fun time! (Thanks for doing the photo, Dan!)On Sunday, we all met at South Bend Brew Werks for brunch and for some of us, beermosas. (Yum!) We had a wonderful time talking and it made me sad to have to say goodbye to Bob, Michele, Joe, and Maria. But not as bad as last year, because I know I’ll get to see them all again. In fact, we’ll be seeing Joe and Maria (and George and Karen) this weekend when we go up to Chicago to see a Cubs game! They very graciously invited us to come over to their place after the game, so that will be fun!
After brunch, the rest of us went back to Nutwood Junction so Tony and Alaina could see the place. After being blogger friends for years, I think they really enjoyed getting to see a place they’ve seen so many pictures of! We even took a little hike through the wetlands and the woods. We didn’t see any critters, but we saw lots of bees (so happy our bee population is fairly healthy here!) and a couple of Monarch butterflies! They also got to see the Retro Lounge. Then it was back to Shane and Matt’s to load up the truck with the borrowed chairs and coolers. We then waved like crazy people when the Detroit gang drove off, and I felt sad to see them go, too.
But as we discussed with Shane and Matt afterwards, it really wasn’t quite the feeling of sadness after last year’s party. We’ve all become friends (Tony and Alaina went to Vegas with us, Winston has done several things with us, we’ll see the Chicago and KC gangs again as I mentioned above), so it’s more of an auf wiedersehen moment than a sad farewell. We WILL see them all again!
I’ll end this story of what was really a wonderful weekend with something that was truly one of the most joyful moments of my life. And no, I’m not exaggerating! When we saw Bob, Jeff, and Norm in KC, one of the songs they did was “Daydream Believer.” There is something about that song that just brings out the Full Happy in me. After that set, I told Bob that I loved it and would he maybe sing that at our house show? He said, “I’ve never sung it by myself before...but I’ll learn it for you.” And by golly if he didn’t sing it as the last song, and I get a little teary-eyed just thinking about it! It was a perfect ending, and he gave me a big hug afterwards. Thanks to everyone who helped make this shindig happen, and thank YOU, Bob, for such a special music moment!
Video by Dan; photos by Dan and Tony. Thanks guys!