:: my weekend with general sherman, as told on 8.28.06 ::

iowa is a friendly place. they say ‘hi’ to you as you pump your
gasoline; the kind that’s 89 octane, 10% ethanol and five cents cheaper
than regular. i arrived some two hours early, 1.04pm central time to be
exact, ate at subway and meandered around ankeny gazing at corn, big
white clouds and the john deere assembly plant.

i parked in
wayde’s driveway at the assigned time and i arrived just as one of his
brothers was returning home from work. i told him i was from
pennsylvania. he said he’d heard about me. my legend was growing.

wayde
is a tall young man and it was hard to decipher that from his myspace
photos but nevertheless, i enjoyed his company. we talked of
photography and music while i slid large sheets of film into plastic
holders inside of a light-tight bag. dana soon came over and we were
off to her place of former residence to load up the equipment in
wayde’s vw eurovan (i was thoroughly impressed that it was a five-speed
and i arranged a barrage of random questions for dana to answer as we
traveled to the venue).

i made nice photographs of these
lovely musicians in the hallway of an old school building turned
church. there was little room and little time but i was able to capture
a few successful shots (individual portraits) on the four-by-five. we
then cleaned up the photography gear and i was able to spend a little
time talking with wayde (who plays drums) and becca (who sings and
plays piano) during the sets before general sherman was to take the
stage.

just before general sherman went on i met the members
of ryne watts’ band and i interrogated alex on what it was like to play
the upright bass. i told him it was the most manly instrument i could
think of. general sherman interrupted our conversation and i stood
there in a state of uncontrolled giddiness (if that is a word). i could
not believe that i had just driven 1,200 miles to see them play about
eight songs and capture about 30 images of them on light sensitive
silver. i laughed and i smiled and i danced inside.

after the
show i learned that wayde had to work, scott was busy, dana was moving
to college and becca was working the next day. becca asked me to come
see her at her work and i did so. i arrived at 11.49am and left around
1.30pm. it was a delightful two hours which was followed up by six and
a half hours of uncontrolled boredom.

at this point it
probably would have been a good idea to travel back to indiana or go
all the way to nebraska. i did neither. i made it to exit 100 on I-80 W
and drove thru the iowan countryside making a few random pictures and
drinking coffee which i purchased at casey’s general store, the iowan
equivalent to turkey hill. i thought i may get to see the girls that
afternoon at iowa state university, but neither could be reached by
cellular telephone and i ended up in a walmart parking lot for several
hours reading and calling friends from home who refused to push the
little green button on their cellular telephone. it was a rough few
hours.

the time finally came for wayde to return home from work
so i met him back at his residence and amy and seth came over and we
watched a video of yo-yo hi-lights. we then all crammed into wayde’s
eurovan and headed to downtown des moines for coffee at java joe’s. on
the way there i talked to becca and decided that i may go visit she and
dana at iowa state before i returned to indiana later that night, but
by the time we made it back to ankeny, it was too late for another
visit. it would have been nice to see them both before i left. (though
there is always next time – only a scant 26 days away.)

des
moines seems to be a lovely town, though i cannot tell how much there
is to do there in the evenings. the coffee shop was lovely and they
even sold beer there. i was surely taken aback by this fact, since
nothing of the sort is legal in pennsylvania.

i left wayde’s
house and bid farewell to my new friends. i then proceeded to a gas
station where i purchased more “corn gas” at the low price of $2.63 per
gallon and headed back to the hoosier state. i only made it two hours
before i had to pull over and fall alseep. the bright blue sky woke me
up at about 6.30am and i realized i wouldn’t make it back to b-town
until lunchtime. i drove and i drove and at 8.16am, somewhere in
illinois, at least one tear was shed as i fondly looked back on the day
and a half i got to spend with general sherman.

the end.

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Author: thephonewasmadeofjelly

reviving xanga thru wordpress (2002-the present).

1 thought on “”

  1. A fun lot, those General Sherman types.I met my PA friends via the forum for the band Eisley, and also Myspace (and Xanga). I guess you can count AIM in that, too. We meet in person when I needed a place to stay whilst attending a couple of Eisley shows in NY and PA. They’re great people.Good times. Nice account of your travels.-Jamie

    Like

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