Well, it is a damn good thing that I have a sweet son and a VERY understanding husband, because. . . wow. Can we all say HUNGOVER??? I think the lesson here is that I must always pay for my booze. Because, when I get liquor for free. . . it’s ON! Oh my. . .
So MY day was spent in the dark and quiet and with slow movements and frequent naps. At one point, we watched Incredibles 2 (which apparently we started last night. I mean, I have no idea) and Jared took Rudy to the park and I just recovered. A lot of people were excited to see us tonight, so I needed to be top of my game. By 5:00, I was better and we were loading in and getting set up.
Jared here: Rudy and I spent a good amount of time at the park, but he insisted on bringing his latest Lego creation: a chicken ship. He’s recently developed a really creative side that the Lego’s have fostered. When blocky shapes are all you have to work with, imagination has to fill in the gaps between what is and what is intended. That’s where a true kid magic resides. His ship is piloted by — and constructed mostly of — “chickens”. I spent quite some time playing with him and his creations at a picnic table, marveling at the creative genius that allows him to see the special things that others don’t.
The night before, while we were all in party mode, Paul told Rudy there was a man in town with a “Bat Mobile”. As a drunk grown up, you can NOT, I repeat NOT, suggest something to a child unless you have full intentions of following through! First thing we woke up to, and remember I was not in my best place mentally or physically, for that matter, was, (so very close to my face) “Momma, do I get to ride in the Bat Mobile now?” “Good lord, child…it is 7:30 in the morning! No!” Silence. Then (even closer to my face) “Ok. But when?” Oh. My. God. When normal people were awake and ready to talk about Batman related activities, we placed a phone call to our superhero “dealer”. After some juggling, we got a “He may show up later”. That is just enough carrot to dangle to get through the day!
So, in the middle of setting up, Rudy jumped out of his chair (and skin) and screamed, “The Bat Mobile!!!” We all went outside to see what I can only describe as a DIY at its absolute finest. The whole story is so cool, but I’ll sum up. The guy, Duke, took his son’s old Ford Landau (can’t remember the year…but picture a light blue couch. Now add wheels) and he CUT OFF THE TOP OF IT. Full on, homemade convertible. Then, he welded 3’ fins to the back, apoxied or duct taped a speaker to the back to, of course, play the 60’s Batman theme on repeat, and painted the whole outside matte black with the Bat symbol on it. The dash was covered with Bat-glasses and masks, ranging from badass superhero to Batman in a Santa hat. The smell was somewhere between antique store and car repair shop, but the seats were cushioned, plush and incredibly springy! Rudy asked me to be his ride date, so I climbed in the back and let Rudy sit in the front with Duke, who laughed heartily when Rudy observed that, since he clearly wasn’t Batman, he MUST be his butler, Alfred. He took Rudy to McDonald’s for a happy meal in his Bat Mobile, blasting the theme song all down Main Street. Rudy and I took turns trading Bat-masks back and forth, according to which Bat-persona we wanted to portray. I personally enjoyed the oversized, foam, plush Bat head that covered my whole head (and didn’t even mess up my hair!) it looked great with oversized bright pink sunglasses too! Rudy settled on a simple small black mask that “Alfred” let him keep. As we drove back to the bar, Duke happily chatted away, telling the history of the car and the way it’s sort of changed his life. From volunteering for the kindergarten and first graders in town, to driving it in parades, this classic, “retro” pop icon has become a big part of the Yankton community, and it couldn’t be spearheaded by a better guy. He was jolly and all smiles, and did I mention he had just flown in from Alaska that afternoon? Instead of staying home and relaxing, he heard there was a little boy who wanted to see the Bat Mobile, and he answered the Bat signal. That is a true hero. As we were getting out, I asked Rudy to hang in the front with Duke for a pic. Duke said, “I think my hair is kind of a mess from the wind.” True to fashion, Rudy gently tousled the top of Duke’s head and said, “I don’t agree. I think it looks very nice like that.” Oh my sweet son. . .
This show was highly attended, due to return fans from the first time through all inviting new people to come on out and see the show. Jared and I were well rested, and my hangover was pretty much at bay by this point. Rudy was in a state of Bat-euphoria, surrounded by Legos, Atari, and plenty of people to regale with his tales of adventure. The room was warm and buzzing with good energy. Several important Yankton people came out to support and check out CS, including the mayor, a few of Yankton’s best musicians, and a gentleman from the local tv station, who wanted to hook us up with a spot on air the next time we come through. The performance was electric, ran late, and could have run later. It was a great room, engaged, happy, ready for more, listening to stories, laughing in all the right places, and giving back to us as much as we gave to them. A super fan, Heather, ordered some pizza so we could eat, and towards the end, I was FINALLY ready for a beer…
It is really special to have a town get that excited over your music. We love the smaller towns. They seem more genuine. They rally behind you. They understand the underdog and root for them. It was absolutely everything we needed to fully regenerate our sense of purpose and remind us why we do what we do. We love you Yankton, SD. Can’t wait to do it even bigger next year.