Quinn’s Extraordinary Travel Ramblings:
January 4th- January17th

We left Juneau again on the 4th of January at about 1:30 in the afternoon. This time though we weren’t as hard pressed to get the house spick and span due to the fact that it was still clean from our Christmas jubilations.
Our flights took us down through Seattle to Dallas where we were picked up by our friends and taken to our bus in Springtown. We set off a bug bomb in the bowels of the bus in the hopes of killing any blood sucking bugs that might have crawled into it in our absence. The next day was spent haphazardly packing our instruments and equipment into the bus. We were scheduled to play at the Rockport Gospel Festival in Rockport, Texas on the 7th so we were hard pressed to get there on time. We had a five-hour drive from Dallas which we tackled with great trepidation. We arrived in Rockport just under four hours till we were supposed to play.
Our invitation to play at the Rockport Gospel Festival had been received a year previously when we had performed at a small gospel grass festival near Corpus Christie. This year the Rockport Gospel Festival was held in a high-school auditorium which seated twelve-hundred people and was filled to capacity for the event. Having played the small festival nearby a year previous we anticipated a similar event and were quite surprised at the magnitude of the festival goers. The three day festival featured a broad selection of southern gospel singing groups such as The Anchorman, The Bailey Family, The Telestials, The Springer Family, Larry Ford and others; most of whom we have never heard of as we have not really been exposed to southern gospel style of music in the past. In addition there was an extraordinary line up of church choirs from the area, each featuring remarkable soloists in their work.
After the festival we started heading to the Rio Grande Valley playing several shows along the way down. One of them was on Mustang Island at the Palms RV Park. A year ago January the Alaska String Band traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to participate in an entertainer’s showcase. From that event and contacts we made while in the area we booked about seven weeks of concert engagements for the 2011 winter season. So we arrived in the Rio Grande Valley and went to work giving concerts at many winter Texan retirement communities.
Not long after arriving our family spent an exceptionally fun afternoon and evening at a picnic hosted by the Link Family Band. Nine family bands pulled in with their rigs and a day of eating, games and socializing commenced. In attendance were the Link Family Band, The Harper Family, Lindley Creek Bluegrass, The Durocher Family, The Starfire Family Band, The Young Family Band, The Punches, The Redhead Express with the Walker Boys and of course the Alaska String Band.
A volleyball tournament, ultimate Frisbee, riding ripsticks (a two wheeled skateboard), were some of our activities. The Punches family provided unicycles and everyone took turns trying to figure out how to stay up on one. Most everyone gave up in disgust. After a while Mr. Durocher came and showed all of us up, mounting it and literally riding circles around all of us. He said that in days gone by he had delivered papers on one. I myself found that hard to believe seeing as the furthest that I could get on one was around five feet and that was while holding onto the side of the bus.
The day passed quickly and several families packed up and headed out to fulfill their evening’s concert engagements. Luckily we weren’t scheduled to play that evening and so we stayed to visit with the remaining families. All the kids went to see the new movie “Megamind” at a dollar theatre. There were around thirty-five of us, all in one van. No worries though, we took two trips to and from the theatre. I did the math and it cost the same for all of us to go to the theatre as it would have if five of us had gone back in Juneau. That night we stayed up till about 2:30 jamming, visiting, playing more games and making wise-cracks. Mr. Harper came out to the gymnasium about 2:30 a.m. and told us it was time to get some shut eye. Then he hung out with us till around 4:30 a.m. shootin’ the breeze. Mr. Harper told us that he knows that girls fart, because if you watch their ankles in church, they puff up when they fart because the girls are wearing those nylons. And he also said that his wife escapes fart detection because she wears fish net stockings and the vapors can escape undetected! Dillon Harper took it upon himself to give Kendra Walker a new hair doo. She disturbingly looked much like a French soufflé.
When we finally headed to the bus Laura and I tried to sneak as quietly in as possible. But as we feared my mom heard us come in. And she was just as ornery as we anticipated. We did have a concert engagement that coming evening and she figured we would be less than operational with three hours of sleep.