Losing The Drive

Sunday November 13th, 2011 – Harris, MI

Back up nort’ for more fun in the Upper Peninsula. The driving gets old on this run, but that’s what it is and I know it up front. I can either take it or leave it, so I took it. I always do. Then, as I‘m making the drives, I tell myself this is the last time. Until the next time.

It’s not easy to turn down work these days, but I need to seriously rethink my battle plan and find a way to make money without having to do this anymore. If I want to do it, that’s one thing. Sometimes a road trip can be fun. But not to the U.P. In November. In snow.

I don’t want to burn a bridge, and there’s no reason to, but the truth is other than getting a chance to work at the Northern Lights Theatre in Milwaukee there’s no reason to do this run anymore other than money. It’s not a career maker, and I’ve surely got the experience.

The booker of this run is a very nice guy named Joe San Felippo. I like him and his wife Margaret very much, and they wouldn’t care what I decided. We’d still be friends if I said I didn’t want to make the long drives anymore, and I’m sure if I asked they’d help me find a way to just do the Northern Lights gig. Right now, that sounds like the best way to do it.

That would be an ideal venue to do my ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show, and I could avoid the white knuckle stress of those two lane roads in sleet storms. I’ve paid years of dues to not have to do that anymore, and there is no shortage of young bucks who’d take their turn.

This is all part of the growth process entertainers need to go through. The drives are the price that comes with being able to get the experience of being booked as a headliner, and that builds chops to eventually work nicer rooms in bigger cities. Actually, this run is very nice and so are the people. It’s just that it’s so far to get there, and weather is a big issue.

At least I get to bring my own opener, and tonight it was Steve Purcell. He’s a laid back nice guy, and we get along well. He lives near Madison, so I swung up to get him and that made the drive even longer but it would be stupid not to ride together. Getting to hang out is the main reason I asked him to do the run in the first place. We always have a fun time.

The Island Casino in Harris, MI was our destination, and Steve and I have worked there way too many times to count. It’s a 7pm show, but that’s Eastern Time so we’re finished by about 7:30 Central Time and can get home at a decent hour. That makes it a lot better.

My cousin Wendy and her friends came out to see the show, and it’s always great to see her. Her father and my grandfather were brothers, and she’s had her own struggle with all that goes with being a dented can. Her father was a lot like mine – a complete ass, as were most in our family tree. My grandfather was an exception, and we’re trying to follow suit.

I remember her and her older sister Lynn from way back in my childhood, and they both were sweethearts. Seeing her and getting to hang out with Steve made the 733 mile round trip worth the effort. But, if I’m smart, I’ll find a way to avoid having to keep doing them.

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