I'm not about to rate the three separate parts of my 2010 "summer vacation," but I CAN tell you this - the "shortest distance traveled" award
definitely goes to this, the third leg of my vacation. On the first leg, I traveled to New York, Canada and Cleveland with my siblings . Two countries, ten days, and several hundred miles. The second leg again involved two countries (the same two, actually), seven days, and several hundred more miles.
This lack of travel does not mean, however, that I did not have a great time. Au contraire. I thoroughly enjoyed the all-too-brief 120 minutes. The event of which I speak took place on Saturday July 17, during the All-School Reunion Weekend in Aurelia. Though I attended many of the activities that weekend, the one that took place between 4 and 6 p.m. on the 17th was not one of the various and sundry activities which the All-School Committee had arranged.
Karl brought not only an outstanding lead guitar presence to our little group, but vocalizing as well, not to mention a great P.A. system and sound board, and some extra guitars. Mike Westphal, who now lives in Storm Lake, was the lead guitarist for the group with which I sang, the Rudabaga Bunch, and while Mike hasn't played in a group lately (that I'm aware of, anyway), his talents on the guitar have steadily improved and blossomed over time. Gary Otto is a fellow member of the choir at our church, and he possesses a wonderful tenor/baritone voice. He and I have sung togeteher as a duo a couple of times, and he, like me, plays rhythm guitar. Gary's short-lived group, the Rejects, was responsible for the Rudabaga Bunch finally taking the plunge and appearing in public for the first time.
My brother Doug played with a group called The Comets when he was in high school, along with Bernie Stief, Ron Brand, and Dan Peterson. Drummer Peterson and Doug left to join the late Dave Johnson of Alta in forming a group, Robby Rhines and the Rogues, which released a record ('Port Zibbee Part II' and 'Let Johnny Drum') on a now-defunct Omaha-based record label, Applause Records. Doug went off to college at Iowa State, learned to play the banjo, and joined a folk group, The Cambridge Singers, who performed at the Variety show at VEISHEA. He now has a "music room" in his home, and plays his (many) guitars often.
At any rate, that is the group which assembled in the Whitney basement on July 17, 2010. Doug established the one and only goal of the group - "to be 18 again," and then suggested we go around the group, taking turns suggesting songs for us to try. This we did, and we played for the entire scheduled two hours without a break. We had a few visitors, and they brought some treats, including Buffalo wings and brownies, which we washed down with assorted beverages.
And for two hours, we were "18 again."