I’ve spent the last week plus in my home state of Texas, and was reminded that the state has its own special brand of humidity, even in May. As I wipe the sweat from my brow to my feet, here are a few random thoughts about the trip:
• Texas weather forecast set to music: "Gray skies, scowling at me. Nothing but gray skies, do I see..." Joy.
• Next day memo to Mother Nature: Please put on your Depends.
Homework for the over-21 set, courtesy of Howard's convenience store in Shiner, Texas.
• Want proof that people share way too much even in small towns, without the benefit of a smart phone or computer? I overheard this gem in a store in small-town Texas: "I had chicken livers last night and they kinda stuck with me. Don't need anything now except a bathroom."
The reason I’m here, at least in part, is to see Ben and the various sets of family members who have come to see “Newsies” during its four-week swing through Texas. As always, it’s been great to see old friends, meet new people and take lots of photos.
Here are some random notes about the show…
• Senior groupies: My mom has several groups of retired friends from Alpha Delta Kappa who are seeing "Newsies" this month. The median age of my son's groupies just went up ... a lot.
Always nice to see your son on the cover of the local entertainment section when you walk into a hotel.
• Shut Up & Dance: This is what happens when you buy a new car and suddenly see the unique model you purchased everywhere you turn. Watching the video was the first time I'd heard this song. Now I hear it everywhere by Walk the Moon, the group that originated it. (Of course, I like the “Newsies” version the best...)
• I am continually amazed by the consistency of the show’s ensemble and the kindness of the entire cast and crew. As a “Stage Dad,” it hasn’t always been easy to see my 17-year-old son living his life independently (almost), but my heart is full after seeing the lifelong friendships he has built with this very special crew of people.
"Newsies" now moves from city to city in these 18 wheelers with the musical's logo painted on the sides.
On more serious notes…
• Amtrak derailment: As someone who has taken the train from DC to NY often, and loves it, my heart goes out to the Amtrak passengers and crew who were killed and injured in the recent tragic derailment in Philadelphia. Let's hope the NTSB and local investigators get to the bottom of this sooner rather than later, and when they do, that the necessary investments in our nation's aging and outdated transportation infrastructure are made as soon as possible. It's a sad reality that tragedy is usually what finally forces us to respond to something we should have dealt with a long time ago.
• Baltimore riots: I'm the last person to advocate for corporal punishment, but watching the mom go after her son for throwing rocks at the Baltimore police, I think this instance was one in which a little whup ass was more than justified. (The day this was exploding all over social and mainstream media, I went to Baltimore to see the scene for myself. Photos and essay here.)
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