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September 30, 2007

The End of September

I am sitting at the dining room table at the incredible Patrick Bloom’s house in Iowa City as peepers peep and an indian summer rain falls. It was so hot and humid today on our day off that I could do little more than lie in the back of the egg and be still. Harvest has come and gone in Iowa and the hills have taken on a bedtime patina, brittle, but you wouldn’t be able to place the season based on today’s heat.

I have been silent today in the hope of being able to quash the persistent laryngitis that has been traveling with me like an unwelcome hitcher. Patrick broke out a white board and dry erase marker so that I could communicate and ostensibly converse. It’s hard to keep up when you’re bantering through the written word. What sounds pertinent looses its steam when you’re an entire conversation behind. For a while I busted out the computer and had it speak a sentence at a time, but the only thing that really sounded correct in the simulated female voice (known as Victoria) was, “Do you want to play a game?”

The shows so far have been lovely, especially Hays, Kansas, which turned out to be the most wonderful surprise in the midwest. I can not imagine a better way to begin the first tour I have done in two years than Cafe Semolino, with a full crowd of tremendously enthusiastic people and great dinner to boot. You never know what you’ll find when you get off the interstate.

Speaking of which, Jenny and I drove north out of Hays on 183 123 miles to connect with I-80 in Nebraska. It was two lane road the entire way, on which we passed Charlais and Angus cattle ranches, windmills, and independent gas stations with no signage. We passed through tiny towns (one of which prominently featured a “Chubby Pickle” sandwich shop) proud and even smaller towns with a tenuous economic grip. It was a side of Kansas I had never before seen and one I can’t wait to see again.


Posted by bethamsel at 8:45 PM