A Dented Can Reunion


Sunday July 19th, 2009 – Harris, MI

The north woods two lane highway tour continues. The weather was picture perfect as we wound our way even farther north on wiggly roads from Manitowish Waters on U.S. Highway 51 to U.S. 2 in Ironwood, MI. Then we turned right and headed toward Harris.

The U.P. of Michigan feels like it’s own country to me. There aren’t any big cities and most of it is connected with two lane roads that wind through thick woods. There are lots of houses that look to be in various stages of disrepair and rarely if ever does one see any hint of a foreign car on the road. It’s very noticeable and I pointed it out to Steve Purcell.

Steve drives a Pontiac Bonneville so we fit right in. There are all kinds of old American hulks rotting in front yards all through the U.P. and I guess it could be best described as a far northern version of Alabama or Mississippi. The necks here would be blue rather than red though because of the cold weather. At least rednecks can wear Daisy Dukes all year.

The gig tonight was at the Island Casino in Harris, MI. That’s about 13 miles outside of Escanaba, which is the second largest city in the U.P. It’s not really a city though, there is only a population of 13,000 so it’s like more like a big small town. I’ve been through here enough to know it’s the place to stop to go to the bathroom and gas up on my way home.

I’ve done shows at the Island Casino several times now and each time it gets better and better. They’re building on to the casino and hotel so they must be doing well and there’s a pretty nice turnout for the comedy nights from what I hear from the staff. It’s not so bad even though the crowds get in for free. Casino gigs pay decent money so I‘ll take them.

I have a cousin named Wendy who I haven’t seen since I was probably seven or eight and we’ve been emailing back and forth of late. She loves the Island Casino and saw that I’d be performing there and wanted to get together. She likes to go up with a group a few times a year. One of those people is her older sister Lynn so we made it a family reunion.

Wendy brought her husband and daughter and her boyfriend and another friend. Lynn brought her husband and we all had dinner before the show. I really didn’t know what to expect but they couldn’t have been any nicer and they totally understood the dented can concept. We talked about how hard it is to break the chain but we’re all trying to do it.

Their father and my grandfather were brothers so we are second cousins. They both told me how my grandfather was their favorite and shared stories of how he was nice to them when they were kids. That made me want to be nice to even more people because it lasts.

The show was very fun and there was a full crowd of good laughers. I also had visitors from my step mother’s family who are from Iron Mountain. That family was always nice too and they didn’t have to be because we were only step kids. It was very flattering that they came out and I tried to spend time with each side so they wouldn’t feel slighted. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only dented can in the world or even in my own family.

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