Once I had had my fill of waterfowl I drove a bit past the apartment to the abandoned K-mart to finish up the roll. While I was framing a shot of the boarded-up entrance and the cart corral I met an amusing cab driver named Joe. Joe asked me to take his picture (he hailed me from the frontage road by shouting, "Hey, you want a photo of the world's greatest cabbie?") and so... yeah, I took a picture of him just for the hell of it. We talked for a couple of minutes and he gave me his e-mail address so I can send the pictures along once they're developed and scanned (e-mail is so ubiquitous these days even cabbies have it... what a time to be alive). I had to laugh at this guy overall, he was one of the folks who has a surplus of personality and makes the world a more interesting and enjoyable place. He asked me if I was a photographer by trade and I told him No, I just fiddle around. He said I looked like a professional to him since I had about 18 pounds of gear hanging off my shoulder and was walking around in 78 degree weather with a black trench coat on. Naturally he asked why I was lurking around the old K-mart, and I had to tell him it wasn't for a school assignment like he assumed, it was just because I find abandoned and decaying buildings rather fascinating.
To recap the weekend: Our little trio of Don Williams fans made it up to Wisconsin Dells, arriving around 4:00 PM or so. We checked into the hotel, had dinner at a restaurant they knew called "Wally's House of Embers" and then drove over to the concert venue. The opening act was a local comedian who was pretty decent, something I can't say I'm accustomed to seeing at a music revue. I mean, an opening band is one thing... but a comedian? That's definately a new one on me. While some of his jokes fell flat a number of them were rather amusing, so I guess in the end all that matters was that I got a giggle out of his routine (he had a rather self-deprecating attitude, which I guess leads me to sympathize or relate with him more easily). On a side note, I don't really believe he grew up in Wisconsin, he talked like he was from Fargo both in terms of accent and how he paced his speech.
Once the comedian had finished we had a brief five minute intermission while the roadies finished getting all the gear in order for Don and his band. When they actually walked on stage the crowd started cheering, and when they introduced Don the whole place went up in a roar of applause. The concert itself was really good... it was hard for me to take my attention off the music long enough to write down his playlist. I typed so many notes onto my SideKick that I actually locked it up at one point and had to reboot it. Another thing distracted me as well: my camera. I burned up a 24-exposure roll of film during the evening, taking pictures mostly from my seat in the third row but stepping off once to take some pictures from down by the balcony wall. Sometime this week I'll have to drop that roll off to get developed, but I really don't know who to take it to right now. Sam's Club has good prices on developing but I'm not sure they're what I call a "quality photolab." If I take it to one of the local specialy photo shops (Like Wolf) I'm sure they'll do a good job with the film but the prices will, of course, be completely outrageous. Given the poor conditions these photos were taken under (stage lighting, no tripod, 200mm lens, etc) I imagine giving it to the experts in the field is the better choice... if there's anything they can do to rescue the pictures they'll do it. Ah well, a small fortune down the drain, but hopefully I'll have a few shots that turned out so I can have something to remember the evening with.
After the concert was over we waited for a while in the truck so the traffic could clear out and we wouldn't be taking our lives in our hands by trying to drive back to the hotel. While we waited I skimmed around the AM band to try and find a radio station so we could confirm that the Chicago Cubs had won their game last night (Pretty soon we sound the local sports station, and confirmed Chicago's win). As soon as the traffic got light enough we hit the road and cruised back down the main strip of the Dells, searching for a bar. Finding nothing that really suited our fancy we wound up back at Wally's. We each had a couple of drinks to unwind with (I had vanilla vodka and coke, Cap had a soco-cherry-coke and a "Bartender's Milkshake"), talked for a while and then unanimously decided to call it a night. Once we were back at the hotel we all hit our respective beds and were quickly asleep. I imagine we all passed out so fast due to a combination of factors such as the hour (11:30 PM), the alcohol, the hours of driving and the general excitement of the night We all slept until late this morning --- I know I didn't move before 8:15 AM and I don't think we got out the door until around 9:15 or so. Cracker Barrel was where we stopped for breakfast, and by 11:15 or so we had eaten, refuelled and were on I-90 and headed back for Illinois. Guess what, hakeber and kristenq? We were right up in your neighborhood. I should have stopped by to say "hi."
It was really nice to hang out with captain18, I've missed his company since he got married and moved out East to live with spoothbrush. It was also fun to hang out with Cap's dad for the weekend too, he's a pretty good fellow. Maybe I can luck out at the office and swing some trip time to our Long Island campus, then I could go hang out with Cap and Spoothbrush for an evening of dining and drinks, or something. It's not terribly likely, but I can hope, can't I?
My employer doesn't honor Columbus Day as a holiday so I'll be starting my workweek tomorrow morning as usual. Since I wasn't home this weekend I didn't get any laundry done, which means I'll be looking pretty pitiful tomorrow if I can't find at least one pressed shirt. Ah well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it in the morning. Right now I have something far more pressing to attend to, and that's my desire to sleep.
Walkin' with my feet ten feet off of Beale